CARSON CITY — A total of 549 Nevadans have been issued driver authorization cards in the first week of the new law creating the program, the Department of Motor Vehicles reported Thursday.
Another 281 learner’s permits have also been issued under the new law, which allows Nevada residents who are not U.S. citizens to legally drive on state roads.
The statistics, compiled from Jan. 2 through Wednesday, also show that the agency has administered about 3,200 written exams to driving card applicants. The combined failure rate for those applicants is 67 percent, which includes applicants who have taken the test on more than one occasion.
A total of 331 drive skill tests have been administered to driving card applicants with a passing rate of 76 percent, the agency reported.
The card was created in the 2013 session of the Nevada Legislature with an eye toward making the roads safer.
“I think it is moving right along,” said state Sen. Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, of the program. “The low pass rate on the written test proves we needed to do this.”
Nevada roads will now be safer, he said.
Denis, who authored the law, said the large number of cards issued in the first week might be due in part to applicants who already had cards from other states such as Utah, which has a similar program.
An estimated 60,000 Nevada residents are eligible for the cards, which must be renewed annually.
Contact Capital Bureau reporter Sean Whaley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-687-3900. Follow him on Twitter @seanw801.