Arizona takes steps to speed up driving test

PHOENIX - The Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division has started a new scoring system that will speed up the behind-the-wheel portion of the driver's license test and allow for more road tests per day.

Arizona drivers used to have three attempts to parallel-park or perform a three-point turn with a straight "pass" or "fail" grading system. Now, the person taking the test has one attempt to park with the grading based on a point system.

"What we need to know is whether the driver can properly maneuver the vehicle," said Motor Vehicle Division Director Eric Jorgensen. "We adjusted the test to obtain that information in one attempt and it has resulted in a time savings of three to four minutes per test."

That cuts down on the number of minutes another customer has to wait to take the road test. It adds up to a couple of hours over the period of a day at busier MVD offices, allowing for more road tests to be given.

With the new grading scale, the person taking the road test will accumulate points for each infraction during the vehicle maneuverability test. Some infractions include not parking within the box, hard braking or difficulty maneuvering the vehicle and changing direction of travel once the vehicle pulls into the space.

If the person accumulates eight or more points, they will not pass the maneuverability test and fail the entire road test. Most infractions are worth two points.

MVD staff provides the test-taker with clear instructions on the vehicle maneuverability test and what constitutes infractions, before the parking exam begins, to ensure the person knows exactly what's expected.

For more information about the new testing policy, visit azdot.gov/mvd.