Your day has finally come. No more waiting for the bus in the pouring rain or the muggy heat. No more bumming rides. You are getting your driver’s license. But much like a hero embarking on an epic journey, you will have to pass a series of tests to prove your worthiness.
What Kind of Driver Are You?
New drivers usually are required to hold a learner’s permit and to take a driver education course before getting a full driver license. Sometimes, adult drivers can skip the permit phase and apply for a provisional license.
Find your state in our Applying for a New License section and you’re one step closer to hitting the road.
No matter where you live, start by studying your state’s driver’s manual. Pay attention to the legal responsibilities of a license holder, including:
- Having the proper license for your vehicle class (non-commercial, commercial, motorcycle, etc.).
- Making sure your vehicle meets any mandatory liability insurance requirements.
- Always having your license with you when you are driving.
While each state has its own specific rules, a license test usually consists of three parts:
- Vision test
- Written/knowledge test
- Driving test
What To Expect From The Written/Knowledge Test
The written test measures your knowledge of road rules and signage. It will test you on everything from the shapes of different road signs (Stop, Yield, No Passing Zone, etc.) to road and pavement markings (for example, the difference between a solid yellow line and a broken yellow line).
Once you study your driver manual, the best way to know if you’re ready is to take DMV practice tests and a road sign practice test. These will ease your fears and familiarize you with the types of questions often posed in the written driver test.
What To Expect From The Driving/Road Test
It is natural to be nervous about your road test, but remember that the state wants you to succeed. It’s only goal is to ensure that you drive safely and obey traffic laws.
You can expect your driving test to consist of some or all of these basic maneuvers:
- Making left and right turns.
- Stopping at controlled stops (traffic lights) and uncontrolled stops (stop signs).
- Making lane changes.
- Driving in regular street traffic.
- Driving in freeway or interstate traffic (if applicable to your location).
- Parking (parallel, straight line backing out of a parking space).
Above all, the best way to prepare for your road test is to take a driver education course and get lots of supervised behind-the-wheel training from a licensed driver. Good luck!