Drivers failing DMV written tests at alarming rates

Nearly 70 percent fail DMV written test

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – Nicole Carvalho prides herself is being a safe teen driver, but she almost didn't get a license. 

Her biggest obstacle she said was the Florida DMV written test, which she took not once or not twice, but eight times .

In the past two years, DMV officials have made the test questions tougher, and in two years the failure rate has gone from 40 percent to almost 70 percent.

In the first six months of 2015, three out of five Florida drivers failed the test. 

The biggest problem for the high school senior? Carvahlo said the questions on the test weren't in the handbook.

"I wasn't prepared for the questions (that) I studied for two weeks," said Carvahlo.

Drivers outside of the DMV in Pembroke Pines had mixed reactions. Sandy Villeda was waiting for her sister who was taking the test for the third time. Her sister recently moved from El Salvador and she knows she has a lot to learn about driving in the United States. 

"I think they just got to study harder. There are a lot of bad drivers here," said Villeda.

In 2013, state officials began making the questions more challenging to help better prepare teen drivers. Moms like Elizabeth Mendes are happy they did. She said her children both failed the first time but eventually passed.

"It's tougher and it's a good thing," said Mendes.

Every retake costs $25, so it cost Nicole Carvahlo almost $200 to get her precious license.

"It should be a difficult test so we have better drivers but not so difficult that people are not passing," said Carvahlo.