DMV: More people failing after driving test change

Officials: Written test questions have changed; 70% failed in December

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Last year, the written portion of the test for a driver's license changed, and since then a lot more people have been failing the test, according to an evaluator at the Tax Collector's Office.

The change was made because the old test had been in place for about 20 years and much of the test could be found online.

The state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles said nearly 70 percent of people who took the test in December failed.

The written test is now 50 questions, not 40.

Aiza Bonifacio passed her test Tuesday, getting the required 40 out of 50 questions right. She was one of a growing minority of people who pass the test on the first try.

"It was OK, I guess. Maybe that's because I passed, but it was pretty much OK," Bonifacio said. "It would be awful (to fail) because I would have to redo the test all over again."

A spokesman for the state DMV said the test now has 45 questions about rules of the road and five about road signs. The old test had 20 questions on each topic and the failure rate was around 40 percent.

With the new test, the failure rate in Duval County in December was 69.24 percent.

A state spokesman said officials wanted to make sure the test properly evaluated how well drivers knew the rules of the road, which is why they changed up the number of questions for each category.

At Jax Driving School in Mandarin, instructors have seen a lot of people come through who have failed the written portion of the test. They also still see a lot of people with bad habits that will cost them on the road portion.

"Driving with one hand on the wheel, sitting too far from the wheel. We try to get them to where they are driving correctly," instructor Justin Dominguez said.

Instructors said that they try to help the student drivers as much as they can by preparing them for both portions of the test, so that they are able to get their license on the first try.