TORY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Rensselaer County is no longer accepting online permit test results at its county Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) locations in Troy, East Greenbush, Hoosick Falls and Schodack. Rensselaer County Clerk Frank J. Merola said anyone bringing in online test results will be directed to manually retake the permit test.

Merola said this new policy is in response to the ongoing investigation into permits obtained illegally through use of false identities presented for the online tests.

“Three people who have tried to obtain permits in Troy have been detained by NYS DMV Office of Field Investigations due to questions on the validity of the online results,” said Merola. “All three live in Albany County and came to Rensselaer County because the state DMV requires appointments and we don’t. I am not going to continue to worry about the validity of these online results, so effective immediately we will not accept these online results. I hope other County Clerks adopt the same policy.”

Merola said the state restarted online permit testing in February 2021 without any security enhancements due to the fact that the state was losing money as residents were going to county DMVs. Any security measures were not introduced until October. The NYS Inspector General’s Office began an investigation into claims of people who were fraudulently obtaining learner permits in November.

“The NYS DMV conduct during this debacle has been shameful and inexcusable,” said Merola. “On behalf of the residents of Rensselaer County as County Clerk, I am demanding that Governor Hochul and Commissioner Schroeder immediately discontinue the online permit testing procedure.”

The New York State DMV issued this statement about the matter:

DMV put in place a number of security measures to address concerns with the online permit test, including taking multiple photos of the test taker during the duration of the online test and blocking people from taking the test from out of state. The measures have shown to be effective in thwarting people attempting to commit fraud, so there is no reason to refuse to accept online permit test results. Additionally, all applicants are required to bring in their original proofs to complete the transactions. There has been no change in our longstanding policy for our well trained staff to review all documents submitted for authenticity. Customers who wish to use the online permit application are invited to use other local DMV locations.