ITD’s Division of Motor Vehicles took the first major step in its extensive DMV Modernization Project by introducing electronic driver’s license tests at sites in Boise and Emmett.
Computer touch screens recently were installed at the Ada County Driver Licensing Office on Barrister Drive and at the Gem County Driver Licensing office in Emmett. Seventeen other sites will be added in October in the first phase of the project. About 80 test stations will be installed at those locations, said Shannon Barnes, Project Administrator of the Modernization Project.
Individuals have the option of taking electronic exams for regular driver’s licenses, motorcycle licenses or commercial driver’s licenses. The exams are highly secure and help guard against cheating because a random set of questions is presented in random order.
Two people seated next to each other will receive different questions and in different order. Results are scored automatically, saving time for examiners and test-takers. Electronic tests also provide immediate confirmation of pass or fail.
The touch screens enable the delivery of audio and visual tests in Spanish as well as English.
While the electronic tests save time and administrative costs, they probably will not completely replace the paper version, Barnes said. "There will always be individuals who prefer paper-based tests that are administered personally,." Barnes said.
ITD purchased almost 100 computer-based touch screens for installation during the first phase. When the second phase is completed, more than 250 kiosks will be located at about 50 sites throughout Idaho. The final phase is expected to be finished next spring.
Funding for the project came from two $500,000 grants from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Solutions Through Software, a consultant/vendor provided the hardware, software and installation.