Indiana Drivers Test
Taking an Indiana drivers test is a must for everyone applying for their first drivers license in this state. If you currently hold a valid driver license issued by another state, you will most likely be exempt from taking a driving test in Indiana, however the Bureau of Motor Vehicles reserves the right to random test everyone. There is only one way to guarantee that you pass your Indiana drivers license test and that is to receive as much driving practice as possible before you visit the BMV for your road test appointment. Taking a few professional driving lessons won't hurt either, a professional driving instructor can run a mock-up driving test for you so you will know exactly what to expect on the real Indiana driver's test.
Driving License Test Requirements
Before the Indiana BMV allows you to take a drivers test, you will be required to meet certain requirements. Drivers license requirements are age dependent and those trying to achieve a driver's license prior to their 18th birthday will also need to comply with the Indiana graduated drivers license program. The program was designed to address high crash rates among teenage drivers and similar laws exist in almost every state.
Under 18 Years of Age
If you are under 18 years of age, there are two ways for you you meet your driver license requirements, the one that involves taking an Indiana driver education class and the one that doesn't.
Those who decided to take a drivers education course can enter the program and start preparing for the drivers test as soon as they are 15 years of age. Start by enrolling in a state-approved drivers education course. Your drivers ed school will issue you with a certificate of drivers education - CDE - that you will need to take down to a local BMV branch, where you will take a vision exam and a written knowledge test. Once you pass the tests, you are issued with an Indiana drivers education permit.
When you have the permit, you can start practicing driving with your drivers ed instructor, a parent, stepparent or legal guardian. You will have to be at least 16 years, 30 days, have completed the drivers ed class and held the permit for at least 60 days before you can schedule your driving test.
In certain cases, you may complete the Indiana driving test as part of your drivers education program and not have to take the test at the BMV. The school will issue you with a drivers test waiver that must be presented at the BMV when you show up to apply for your drivers license.
Drivers license applicants who do not wish to take a drivers education class have to be at least 16 years of age before you can enter the graduated license program. You will have to start by applying for a learners permit. Once you have the permit, practice driving with a relative who holds a valid Indiana driver's license and is at least 21 years of age. The permit must be held for at least 60 days and you must be no younger than 16 years, 180 days before you can schedule your Indiana driving test. Keep in mind that while operating under a permit, you are to observe all Indiana permit restrictions.
18 Years of Age and Older
Satisfying the state licensing requirements is much easier when you are at least 18 years of age. Start by visiting the BMV, submitting all of the required paperwork and taking a vision exam and an Indiana driver's permit test. The test covers the state driving rules, road signs and safe driving practices. If you are looking for ways to prepare for the permit exam, grab a copy of the driving manual, study the rules, then take a few Indiana drivers practice tests that will help you see where you currently stand.
Once you have your drivers permit, you are good to start practicing for the drivers license test. You cannot drive alone and must have a licensed driver at least 21 years of age accompany you during your practice sessions. The permit must be held for at least 60 days before you can go ahead and take your Indiana driver's test.
Scheduling The Drivers Test
You have to schedule your drivers license test, walk ins are not accepted. There are two ways to schedule a driving test in Indiana, you can either visit a local BMV branch in person or you may contact them over the phone. Scheduling an appointment for the drivers test online is not currently an option in Indiana.
In order to ensure that you get the date that is convenient for you, schedule your road test well in advance. This is especially true for summer months, when school is out and many youngsters choose this time for taking their driving test.
What to Bring / Things to Expect
Unfortunately, the Indiana BMV does not offer vehicles for drivers testing, so you will have to arrange for a vehicle yourself. The vehicle must meet the state's registration requirements, be in good mechanical condition and carry proper car insurance. If one of these requirements are not met, you will not be able to take your Indiana driving test.
The following paperwork must be presented before you can take a driver test:
- proof of identity
- proof of birth date
- Social Security Number
- proof of Indiana residency
If you are under 18 years of age, a parent or legal guardian will also need to sign the financial responsibility section of your application form before you can take a drivers license test in Indiana.
Most of the first time test takers are under the impression that they will be tested exclusively on their ability to control the vehicle. This is not true and the driving test will also evaluate your knowledge of Indiana driving rules and regulations and how you can apply this knowledge in real-life conditions.
Generally, you are tested on the following things during your driving test:
- Driving in the proper lane, obeying the lane markings, looking carefully and signaling properly before changing lanes.
- Distance allowed between the driver’s vehicle and the vehicle ahead, leaving enough space to avoid a collision.
- Reaction to being overtaken and passed by another vehicle, looking for maintaining speed and giving the other vehicle enough room in which to pass safely.
- Speed control according to posted speed limits and varying traffic conditions.
- General observance of good defensive driving habits.
- Listening to instructions and observing general traffic flow.
- Did the driver approach the intersection at the proper speed, look for other vehicles, come to complete stops, anticipate that the light might change, try to beat a yellow before it changed to red?
- Backing skills and backing correctly out of the parking space.
- Parallel parking ability. Did the applicant check traffic by looking in the rear view mirror and signal the intention to park? Did he/she position the vehicle before backing and move into the space smoothly and at the proper speed?
There are a few easy ways for you to fail your Indiana driving test and that is to cause a traffic accident, break the driving rules or disobey your examiner's instructions. The Indiana driver's license manual contains a full list of things that can get you failed.
You have three attempts at passing the road skills exam. If you fail it three times, you will have to go through the whole permit application procedure again and hold your permit for at least two months before you are allowed to be retested.
Those who pass the drivers test before their 18th birthday are issued with a probationary license and must observe all Indiana probationary license restrictions until they are at least 18 years. Adult drivers are issued with a full unrestricted drivers license when they pass the driving test.