Missouri Drivers Test
According to the current traffic law, every first time license applicant in Missouri is required to take a drivers license test. You will also need to take a Missouri driving test if your drivers license has been expired for more than 214 days or your license was revoked because you have too many points on your driving record. Teenagers are required to satisfy graduated license requirements prior to scheduling the Missouri drivers test. The road skills exam is administered by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, so if you do not find an answer to your question here, please contact the Highway Patrol or the Department of Revenue, whatever is more convenient to you.
Driving Test Requirements
You must satisfy certain requirements before the Department of Revenue permits your to take a driving test. Drivers license requirements depend on your age and whether you have previously held a drivers license in Missouri or any other state. For the sake of simplicity, we will only discuss the requirements that are presented before first time drivers license applicants here, if your license was revoked and you need to reinstate it, you will have to contact the DOR directly.
License applicants younger than 21 years of age must follow the Missouri graduated drivers license program guidelines on top of the requirements that are presented before adult drivers.
Under 21 Years of Age
The first thing you need to do is to obtain a Missouri learners permit. The instruction permit will allow you to practice driving while being supervised by another licensed driver, so you will be able to gain some driving experience before you take the actual road test. The minimum age when you can get a permit is 15, however you will not be able to take a driving test in Missouri until you are at least 16 years of age.
Once you learned the state driving rules, you are good to visit one of the MSHP offices and take the Missouri drivers permit test. The test covers rules of the road and traffic signs. You will also be required to take a vision exam while there. When you pass the examinations, you are provided with a receipt that you need to take down to the DOR where you will get your instruction permit.
The permit must be held for at least six months and you must be at least 16 years of age before you can schedule your drivers license test. During this period, you are to complete at least 40 hours of supervised driving with a parent or legal guardian, including at least 10 hours at night. You must also make sure to observe all Missouri permit restrictions, otherwise the driving privilege may be withdrawn.
Once all of the above requirements are met, schedule the Missouri road test with the MSHP. Once you pass the driving test, you are issued with another receipt that you can take down to the DOR where you will be issued with an intermediate license. Although your intermediate license allows unsupervised driving under certain circumstances, you will still need to abide by all Missouri intermediate license restrictions.
21 Years of Age and Older
Those who are at least 21 years of age have it much easier. In fact, you don't even have to apply for an instruction permit before taking the drivers test, however, if you choose not to apply for a permit, you will not be able to practice driving, so this option only works for those who have previously held a drivers license. Otherwise, you should obtain a permit and spend some time practicing driving before you schedule your Missouri drivers test.
You will need to pass vision screening and a knowledge exam that covers the state driving rules and traffic signs. When it comes to preparing for the exam, there are quite a few options available to you. For instance, you could sign up for and take a Missouri drivers education course, which would teach you all the rules you need to know and provide you with a lot of information on defensive driving. The downside is that drivers ed classes may be quite costly, especially if they include professional driving lessons.
Those looking for free ways to prepare for the test should look towards Missouri practice drivers tests. There are plenty free practice tests available online, so you could make pretty good use of them.
Once you submit your paperwork at the MSHP and pass all of the required tests, you are issued with a receipt that you can take down to the nearest DOR office where you will exchange it for a Missouri drivers license.
Scheduling The Drivers Test
Unlike the knowledge exam, the actual driving test in Missouri must be scheduled in advance. There is no central scheduling service available, so you will have to contact the location you plan on taking the test in. If you know of a drivers license testing center near you, please go ahead and get in touch with them over the phone or visit them in person. If you are not sure where the nearest testing station is, you may use the Missouri drivers handbook or the DOR website to locate a MSHP office near you.
Things to Bring / What to Expect
Provided you meet all other requirements, one thing you should concern yourself with is the vehicle that you will be taking the test in. The Highway Patrol does not provide any vehicles for drivers testing, so it will be up to you to come up with a vehicle for the driving test. The vehicle must be in good condition and all of the equipment should be operational. Your drivers license examiner will conduct a basic safety check to make sure that the vehicle meets these requirements and if it doesn't, you will have to reschedule the road test. The vehicle must also be registered and titled and you must have appropriate liability insurance.
During the driving test, only you and the examiner will be present in the vehicle. You cannot bring pets, relatives or friends with you for a ride when you are being tested for your drivers license. If someone comes to the testing site with you, they will have to remain at the site until you return from the test.
The driver test is your chance to prove that you are able to control the vehicle and that you can apply your knowledge of Missouri driving rules in real life situations. In most cases, you are tested on the following:
- Familiarity with the vehicle. You must be able to locate and point our all of the vehicle controls without searching for them and to be able to use them correctly.
- Starting the vehicle. The examiner will observe how you operate the gas pedal, the parking brakes, whether you look out for traffic and indicate that you are beginning to move.
- Parallel parking. You must be able to park the vehicle parallel to the curb, in a space 25 feet long and 7 feet wide. You are required to correctly position the vehicle before the maneuver begins and move into the space smoothly at the right speed. You must be able to end the maneuver within two minutes, the vehicle must be positioned in the middle of the space, no more than 18 inches from the curb.
- Backing. You may be asked to back the vehicle in a straight line, back into a parking space or both. The driving examiner will observe whether you look over your shoulder to perform the maneuver and how well you control the vehicle.
- Turning. You will need to make at least two right turns and two left turns. Signal while you're turning, maintain safe speed, stay in the correct lane.
- Parking on a hill. Remember which way you are supposed to turn your wheels while parking uphill and downhill.
- Intersections. Yield to traffic when appropriate, scan for pedestrians, reduce speed when approaching intersections.
As you drive, the examiner will score your test. Points are deducted for traffic offenses or poor driving skills. If you lose more than 30 points, your driving test is marked as failed. At the end of the road skills exam, your examiner will provide you with the score sheet, tell you what you did wrong and explain how you can correct those mistakes. Take heed of your examiner's advice, since you will only be allowed three attempts at taking the driving test before you are required to complete a mandatory behind the wheel training class.
There are a few easy ways to fail your driver test in Missouri and they are: not listening to examiner's instructions, contributing to or being involved in a traffic accident or committing a traffic violations. Don't worry, if you practiced for the required time, you should do just fine.
Once you pass the road test, you are issued with a receipt that you need to take down to the DOR where you will be able to apply for a Missouri drivers license. The following paperwork must be presented:
- verification of name
- proof of birth date
- Social Security Number
- proof of Missouri residency
If you are under 18 years of age, a permission statement muse be signed by a parent or legal guardian.
The DOR recognizes the fact that taking a driving test may be a stressful and unusual experience for you. Keep in mind the the examiner is not there to trick you, he is just observing how well you control the vehicle. If you practice enough before you take the road test, you should be able to pass it in no time.