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Nevada DMV: 71 percent fail written test for new driver authorization card


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Nevada DMV: 71 percent fail written test for new driver authorization card

By Michael Lopardi. CREATED Jan 6, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- People applying for the new driver authorization cards in Nevada are learning a tough lesson: Study.

The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles said 71 percent of applicants have failed the written test during the first three days of the program.

"I used to have a license before so I should pass the test," said Salvador Pulido, who was waiting in line at the East Sahara Avenue office to apply.

The driver authorization card allows undocumented immigrants driving privileges. But the DMV said many applicants are running into a roadblock.

"The written test is very difficult and we're having a very high failure rate, about 75-percent on it," said DMV spokesman Kevin Malone.

The agency said the failure rate for a regular driver's license, which is the same test, is around 57 percent. The DMV has administered about 500 written tests per day across the state for the new authorization card, which went into effect on Jan. 2. The test is taken on a touch screen computer and is available in both English and Spanish.

Malone said some drivers simply aren't prepared.

"It's 50 questions and you have to get 80-percent of them right," Malone said. "It's very detailed information from the driver handbook."

The driver's handbook is more than 70 pages and is only published in English. A Spanish version is available online but fluent speakers said that handbook has grammar errors from translation. Malone said the DMV is in process of correcting the problems with a fresh translation.

"Obviously, it's complicated questions but driving is a complicated process," said Astrid Silva, immigration organizer for Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada. The group is help undocumented immigrants through the process.

Silva said some applicants didn't know they had to take the test the same day they applied. Others don't have access to the internet and the Spanish handbook. Still, Silva said the test is fair and reminded people there is no deadline to obtain the card.

"Please take their time and definitely go over the manual, get access to it in Spanish," said Silva.

DMV director Troy Dillard said test scores are improving.

"There is a learning curve for people not familiar with the rules of the road and those applying for the DAC are in a learning mode," Dillard said in a news release.

The line at the DMV on East Sahara Avenue stretched out the door and around the corner by Monday morning. The agency said it's had to turn people away because of volume and lack of proper documentation.

Malone said the DMV is doing its best to handle the lines but cannot say when they will clear.