Taking a drivers test at a local DMV office is the final step of the licensing procedure, when you are required to prove that you have mastered the required driving skills and are ready to start driving alone on public roads. For most of the drivers out there, taking the drivers license test is a stressful experience, since so much depends on your performance on the road exam. There is only one way to guarantee that you pass your DMV drivers test the first time and that is practice. Try to get as much driving experience as you can before you take the road test and during these driving sessions, practice driver skills that are tested on the real exam. Remember - this driver's test is the only thing left standing between you and your drivers license!
Driver Test Requirements
If you are just starting your way towards receiving a drivers license, be advised that there are many things you need to do before you can schedule your road exam at the DMV. Licensing procedures differ between states, however the main steps usually remain the same. If you know all these things and already have your drivers permit, you may skip this part and go straight to the next section.
Your application for a drivers license usually starts at the DMV where you have to take a permit test. A learners permit test covers your state driving rules and regulations, road signs, pavement markings and may also include additional questions on defensive driving practices. The minimum age for taking the test is between 14 and 16 years. You can usually prepare for the test by reading your state driver's test book and taking practice driver tests.
Once you pass the test and have a learners permit, you can start practicing driving, provided you observe all permit restrictions. Your learners permit allows you to drive only while you are supervised by another licensed driver, you cannot drive alone. You may check the requirements for supervising drivers in your state drivers manual. Other common permit restrictions include prohibition of nighttime driving, passenger restrictions and a cell phone ban.
You must hold a drivers permit for a certain period of time before you can go ahead and apply for a drivers test. Use this time wisely and practice driving as much as possible.
Things to Expect on the DMV Driver's Test
During the test, you will be asked to perform a number of common driving maneuvers you may face any day on public roads. In addition to observing you perform these maneuvers, the instructor may also test your knowledge of general driving rules and road signs, so it is a very good idea to revise the book before you go in for your driver test appointment. Usually, you are tested on four basic skills: control of the vehicle, observation of traffic conditions and communication with other drivers.
Here is what drivers license applicants are commonly asked to do on their driver's test:
Parallel parking. Probably the most feared maneuver out there, since hitting the curb often means that you failed the drivers test.
Quick stop. Your examiner may ask you to stop your vehicle as quickly as possible without skidding your tires (usually not a problem on an ABS-equipped vehicle.
Backing. Depending on your examiner, you may be asked to either back your car in a straight line, or to maneuver around some cones.
Stop signs and traffic signals. Observation of all traffic signs is an absolute must. Make sure to look around.
Clutch usage. If you are taking the test on a car equipped with manual transmission, your skills at changing gears will be assessed.
Posture. Keep both hands on the steering wheel as much as possible.
You will also be tested on such things as turns, right of way, passing, proper lane observance and following other vehicles.
Many people wonder what things to practice for the drivers test. By now, the answer should be obvious. You drivers test practice sessions should consist of things listed above. Some things come naturally with hours of practice, other need to be worked on. Parallel parking is one thing you should definitely have down before you attempt to take your road exam, since your examiner will definitely have you do it. Have someone show you how it's done a few times, you may want to observe the action from both the inside of the vehicle and the outside, to have a better perspective on how the vehicle operates and which way you need to turn your wheels during various stages of the process. Be patient, no one gets it the from the first time, but practice does make perfect. Better yet - perfect practice makes perfect. Have your supervising driver explain you your mistakes during your practice sessions. And practice, practice, practice.
Things To Bring To The Driver Test
Most states don't offer drivers license testing on a walk-in basis and you have to schedule a test in advance. This can usually be done via an automated phone system or through the DMV website. When you arrive at the drivers testing station, you will be required to present your learners permit and certain identification documents.
It is up to you to provide a vehicle for the drivers test. The vehicle must be properly insured and titled, if it doesn't meet the insurance requirements, you will not be given the test. The vehicle must also be in a good technical condition and pass a basic safety check by the examiner. We compiled a short drivers test checklist that lists things that are checked during the safety inspection.
Things That Get You Failed
If you are a careful and observant driver, there is nothing for you to worry about, just be yourself and you will do just fine. However, here is a list of things that may get you failed:
- Failure to obey traffic rules or road signs
- Failure to obey school zone rules
- Straddling marked lanes
- Driving too close to pedestrians, bicycles or vehicles
- Driving left to center
- Running off the roadway
- Having an incident or making a contact with another vehicle
- Failing to yield right of way
This list is incomplete, but it should give you a good idea of what not to do during your DMV driver's test. However, this does not mean that you should drive very slow and be overcautious. Driving too slow and impeding traffic is also a minus towards your driving ability assessment and one more thing that can get you failed on the road test.
Once You Passed The Test
Once you successfully passed the drivers test, you are issued with your official drivers license. Please note that if you are under 18 years of age, this may not be a full license yet and it may have certain restrictions. Minors must also satisfy all graduated license requirements, such as completion of a drivers education course or completing a requirements number of driving hours with parents, before they can be issued with a full unrestricted drivers license.
Remember: practice as much as possible before you go in for your drivers test. Taking professional driving lessons if usually optional, but is usually of great help, since a professional instructor will quickly identify your weaknesses and help you correct them.