Pennsylvania Drivers Test
Driving a vehicle can be dangerous activity, both to the driver and those who surround him. That's why every drivers license applicant has to take the Pennsylvania (PA) drivers test and prove that he's able to safely operate a vehicle. Taking the Pennsylvania drivers license test shouldn't be hard, especially if you follow the PennDOT recommendations and get as much driving practice as possible before you attempt to pass the real driving test. Teenagers must complete at least 50 hours of driving practice before taking a Pennsylvania DOT driving test, however that is the minimum, there is nothing that prevents you from doing more hours than required. Although adult drivers don't have to have a certain number of driving hours prior to taking the road test, they are recommended to follow the same guidelines and obtain the same number of driving instruction as younger drivers.
Drivers Test Requirements
Taking a Pennsylvania driver's license test is the final step in the process of obtaining a drivers license, so you will need to meet certain requirements before you get to this step. Due to the fact that teenagers must observe all Pennsylvania graduated drivers license rules, we have broken the drivers test requirements into two sections, one for each age group.
Under 18 Years of Age
You can start your way towards a Pennsylvania driver's license at the age of 16. At this age, you can visit the Department of Transportation, take a vision exam, a Pennsylvania driver's permit test, file the required paperwork and receive your driver's permit.
Once you have your permit, you can start driving, but you must observe all Pennsylvania drivers permit restrictions. You are not allowed to drive alone and must have a licensed driver at least 21 years of age or a licensed parent/legal guardian/spouse seated next to you when you practice driving. The permit must be held for at least six months and you must complete a minimum of 50 hours of driving during this period. You must also keep a clean driving record, if you receive a conviction for a moving violation, you will have to wait another six months from the conviction date until you can take your drivers license test.
If the above conditions are met, you are good to schedule you Pennsylvania drivers test appointment. Log into the DOT website or call them on the phone to schedule a date for the test.
Please note that once you pass the test, you will be issued with a junior license that comes with Pennsylvania junior license restrictions. Restrictions will be lifted once you reach the age of 18. If you want them to be gone sooner, you will have to take a Pennsylvania drivers education class approved by the Department of Education.
18 Years of Age and Older
If you are at least 18 years of age, you will not have to meet graduated license requirements prior to taking your Pennsylvania driving test, however you must still go through the same testing procedures as teenage drivers license applicants. Start by downloading a PA drivers test manual that covers the state driving rules and road signs. Study the manual, then take a few Pennsylvania drivers practice tests. When you feel that you are ready, visit a local DOT office, take a vision exam and a driver permit test. If you pass them successfully, you can start driving while being supervised by another licensed driver 21 years of age or older (the supervising driver can be 18 if it's your parent or spouse). When you think you've mastered the driving skills, make an appointment with the PennDOT to take your drivers test for Pennsylvania.
Scheduling the Drivers License Test
You have to schedule your PennDOT drivers test in advance. There are a few ways to do it, you can schedule an appointment by phone or over the Internet.
If you would like to schedule an appointment for the drivers test online, please go to www.dmv.state.pa.us. The site operates 24/7 and it's the most convenient way to schedule your Pennsylvania road test.
If you do not have access to a computer or the Internet, don't stress, you can always schedule an appointment over the phone, just call 1-800-423-5542.
You must have your drivers permit when you call in to schedule an appointment for the driving test.
Things to Bring / What to Expect
One thing you should worry yourself with is the vehicle for the test. The PennDOT does not offer vehicles that you could use to take your drivers license test, so it will be up to you to provide that vehicle. The car that you use for your Pennsylvania driving test must be registered, titled and carry appropriate car insurance. The car must also be in good mechanical condition, the essential car equipment such as the lights, windshield wipers, indicators and seat belts should be functional. Your drivers license examiner will inspect the vehicle and if it does not meet any of these requirements, you will be denied your Pennsylvania road test.
When you show up at the DOT drivers testing station, here is what you'll need to present:
- a valid Pennsylvania drivers permit
- the valid registration card for the vehicle you plan to drive for the road test
- proof of insurance for the vehicle
- the valid Pennsylvania drivers license of the person accompanying you to the driving test
If you are under 18 years of age, you will also need to present a Parent or Guardian Certification form DL-180C, stating that you have completed at least 50 hours of driving practice and a Parent or Guardian Consent Form DL-180TD. Both of these forms are available in the drivers license handbook.
During your Pennsylvania drivers license test, you will be required to do the following:
- Vehicle controls: operate horn, lights (parking lights, high and low beam headlights, turn signals), windshield wipers, parking (emergency) brake, 4-way flashers (hazard lights), defroster, etc. Failure to properly operate any of the vehicle controls will result in a failure of the Road Test.
- Parallel park: park your vehicle midway between two uprights in a space that is 24 feet long and eight feet wide. Your entire vehicle must be completely inside the space, and you cannot make contact with any of the uprights to the rear or front of your vehicle, or go up onto or over the curb. You have three attempts to successfully park your vehicle.
- Turn about - You will turn around by using an alley on the left side of the street. Turn your left signal on before turning into the alley. Back the car out of the alley and stay on your side of the street.
- Park uphill - Turn on the signal for the side of the road on which you are going to park. Stop your vehicle parallel to the side of the road. If there is a curb against which you can wedge your front wheel, turn the front wheels sharply away from the curb. Your vehicle will roll against the curb. Set the parking brake or put the gear selector in “Park.” If there is no curb or a low curb, turn your wheels toward the side of the road on which you are parked. Set your parking brake or put the gear selector in “Park.” If your vehicle rolls, it should not roll into traffic.
- Start uphill - Release the parking brake, give the correct signal and look back. When it is safe, pull slowly out onto the street.
- Park downhill - Signal to the side of the road where you wish to park. Stop the vehicle parallel to the road. Whether there is a curb or not, always turn the wheels toward the side of the road where you are parked. When there is a curb, let your vehicle roll against the curb. Set the parking brake or place the gear selector in "Park". If your vehicle rolls, it should not roll into traffic.
- Start downhill - Release your parking brake and relieve pressure on your tires by backing a little. Turn your wheels from the side of the road and use your turn signal. Look for oncoming traffic. When it is safe, pull slowly onto the street.
- Control your vehicle - You must obey all signs, controls and rights-of-way. Care must be taken to observe lane markings and give turn signals correctly.
There are a few easy ways to fail your Pennsylvania drivers test and that is to drive dangerously, cause a crash, make too many driving errors or do not follow the examiner's instructions.
You have three attempts at passing the driving test. If you are under 18 years of age and you fail a PA drivers test, you have to wait at least seven days before taking the road skills exam again. If you fail the exam three times, you will have to apply for extending your drivers permit privileges. Depending on the situation, the DOT may choose to have to do the drivers knowledge test again.
If you pass your Pennsylvania drivers license test, you are issued with a temporary license on the spot. This license is valid for 15 days and you should expect to receive your actual license in the mail within this period. Remember that if you are under 18 years of age, you are issued with a junior license at this point.
As you may see, there is noting to be afraid of while taking a Pennsylvania drivers test. Just try to get as much practice as you can before you schedule your driving test appointment and you will do great on the real road skills test. You should also try to practice with different supervising drivers, this will allow you to get used to having different people in the car so when the drivers license examiner gets in, you won't be too stressed over it.