New Computer-Based Drivers License Test

Teens can now take the written test via computer at any Leon County tax collector's office.

Eric Sauls is smiling for the camera. He's just turned 15 and is about to get behind the wheel for the first time.

Eric is one of the first people in Leon County to saddle up to a computer and take the test for his learner's permit at the local tax collector's office instead of waiting in line at a state driver's license locale.

Driving hopefuls can take the entire written test on a computer monitor and answer questions with the click of a mouse. Of the 20 questions on the test, if you get 15 right the computer automatically tells you you pass. If you get more than five wrong, it kicks you off and tells you to try again.

Eric says, "It's a lot easier because all of them are multiple choice and you have answers to pick from, so I think it's easier."

Leon County tax collector Doris Maloy added the driver's license test sites in December. Anyone required to take a written test, not a road one, can do it here.

Doris says, "We do not do road tests, they're always very challenging. We leave that up to the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, but we do all the other services required for driver's licenses."

The cost of this new program is minimal, just software required, and maybe for Eric's dad, a few new gray hairs.

Ken Sauls, father, says, "For me it's nerve-racking. It's huge for Eric though."

These computerized written tests will soon be upgraded to the touch screen variety to make it even easier for would-be drivers, especially those who are not computer savvy.