Virginia Drivers Test
Taking a drivers test is probably one of the most dreaded experiences for those trying to obtain a Virginia drivers license, however it does not have to be so. If you start preparing well in advance, you will be able to pass your Virginia driving test easily and without any stress. If you are under 19 years of age and you are taking a drivers education class, you shouldn't worry at all, since you will be taking a Virginia drivers test as part of your drivers ed class. Those who did not take a drivers education course at school and those who are already over 19 years of age will have to take a Virginia driver's license test through one of the DMV license testing stations.
Driving Test Requirements
Taking a drivers license test is the final step on your way towards achieving a Virginia drivers license and there are certain requirements that you must meet before you get to this point. Drivers test requirements are age dependent due to Virginia's graduated drivers license program. According to the program, those ho apply for a drivers license before the age of 19 must complete a DMV-approved drivers education course and a certain number of driving hours.
Under 19 Years of Age
You have to be at least 15 years, 6 months old to be able to enter the program and apply for your Virginia learners permit. You have to submit your application at a local DMV office, where you will present all of the required paperwork, take a vision exam and a Virginia permit test. If you pass the tests, you are issued with a drivers permit that allows you to start preparing for your Virginia driving test.
If you are looking for study materials that could help you prepare for the permit test, look no further. Just grab a copy of the Virginia drivers license handbook and study the driving rules and road signs outlined there. Once done, take a few Virginia practice drivers tests to see if you memorized everything.
You have to hold your drivers permit for at least 9 months before you can schedule your Virginia drivers test. During this period, you are not allowed to drive alone and must have a supervising driver seated next to you at all times. You must also observe other Virginia permit restrictions and complete a drivers education course.
The good news is that you will not have to take a driving test at the DMV, since a road skills exam will be provided as part of your Virginia drivers education class. Then once the holding period is up, you just visit the DMV, surrender your learners permit, file the required paperwork and receive your drivers license.
In certain situations, applicants under 19 years of age do not take a drivers education class at school. In such cases, you must schedule a driving test with the DMV, just like older applicants.
19 Years of Age and Older
Keep in mind that what's stated here applies only to those who have never been licensed in another state or country. If you currently hold a valid out-of-state drivers license, you may be able to waive both the permit and the driving tests.
Those who have never been licensed should start by applying for a Virginia drivers permit. At this stage, you are required to take a vision exam and a drivers permit test based on the state road signs, traffic rules and safe driving practices. When you pass the drivers permit test, you are issued with a permit that allows you to practice driving under supervision of another licensed driver.
At this point, you have a choice. You can either hold a drivers permit for at least 30 days prior to scheduling your Virginia drivers test, or you may complete a drivers ed class and schedule the driving test as soon as you're done with the class.
Schedule The Drivers License Test
There are two ways you can schedule your Virginia driving test - you can either do it by phone or by going in person to your local DMV office. Please note that you have to schedule your road skills test appointment well in advance, especially if you plan on taking the test during summer months. Summer is usually the busiest time for the DMV since school is out for summer and most teenagers choose this time for obtaining a drivers license.
Things To Bring /What to Expect
Unfortunately, the DMV does not provide vehicles for the test, so you will have to arrange for a vehicle yourself. The vehicle must carry a valid safety inspection sticker, license plates, registration card and decals. The vehicle must be in good shape and all of the equipment should be functional. If the vehicle does not meet these requirements, you will be denied the chance to take your Virginia driving test.
When you show up for your DMV drivers test appointment, you will have to present the following documents:
- proof of ID
- proof of Virginia residency
- your drivers permit
- your social security number
If you are under 19 years of age, you will also need to present a drivers education certificate of completion. Your parents will need to certify that you received at least 45 hours of driving practice, including at least 15 hours at nighttime.
Taking a Virginia driving test is your chance to prove that you are able to control the vehicle and have the potential to become a safe and responsible driver. During the drivers test, you may be required to do the following:
- Parallel Parking: Park midway between two standards so that your car is not more than 18 inches from the curb. The standard parallel parking dimensions utilized in the driver’s license test are 22 feet in length by 10 feet in depth.
- Quick Stops: Drive at a speed of 20 miles per hour and make a quick, safe stop when the examiner instructs you to do so.
- Backing: Back your car for a distance of approximately 50 feet at a slow rate of speed as straight and as smoothly as possible. You must turn your head and look behind the vehicle at all times while backing.
- Stop for Signs or Traffic Signals: Give the proper hand or brake signal; approach in the proper lane; stop before reaching a pedestrian crosswalk and remain stopped until all pedestrians have cleared the crosswalk on the side of the roadway upon which you are traveling; move through the intersection only when you may do so safely.
- Turn About: Turn your car in a narrow space using two-, three-, or four-point turns.
- Use of Clutch: If your car has a manual transmission, you must shift smoothly and correctly.
- Approaching Corners: You must be in the proper lane and look in both directions.
- Yielding Right-of-Way: Always yield right-of-way to pedestrians, vehicle operators, and bicyclists who move into the intersection before you by stopping and remaining stopped until they have cleared the intersection.
- Turning: Move into the proper lane and signal an adequate distance before the turn.
- Passing: Always check in front of and behind your vehicle to make sure you can safely pass without interfering with other traffic.
- Following: Do not follow other cars too closely. Watch the car ahead of you; when it passes some reference point, such as a telephone pole, count “one- thousand-one, one-thousand-two.” If you pass the same spot before you are finished counting, you are following too closely.
- Maintaining Good Posture: Keep both hands on the steering wheel. Do not rest your elbow on the window and do not attempt to carry on a conversation with the Examiner because he/she will be busy giving instructions and recording your score
If you fail your Virginia drivers test, you will need to wait at lease till the next business day before you can retake the exam. If you fail the driving test three times, you will be required to complete the driving portion of drivers ed before you can be retested again.
Those who successfully pass their Virginia driver test at the DMV are issued with a drivers license and are good to start unsupervised driving.
If you are under 18 years of age when you pass the drivers test and receive your drivers license, your license is marked as provisional. Possession of the provisional license allows you to drive without parental supervision under most circumstances, but there are still certain Virginia provisional license restrictions that you will need to observe. These restrictions will be lifted once you reach the age of 18 years.