Road Test FAQs
If you’re ready to get behind the wheel and take your road test, we have the information you need. Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions about taking your driving exam.
What is the DMV road test?
The road test—also referred to as a driving test, behind-the-wheel exam, road exam, and others—is a behind-the-wheel driving skills test administered by your state DMV or related agency. In most cases, you must successfully pass a road test in order to get your driver’s license.
This test will evaluate your skills behind the wheel, as well as your ability to drive defensively and courteously with others on the road.
Do I need to take a road test?
In most cases, you’ll only need to take a road test if you have never previously held a driver’s license and you’re applying for one. However, there are some exceptions:
- Your license has been suspended or revoked and you need to have it reinstated.
- Your license has been expired beyond the maximum grace period allowed by your state.
- Your state requires you to re-test once you reach a certain age (i.e. 70 years old, etc.).
I’m a new teen driver. When am I eligible to take the road test?
If you’re under 18 years old, your road test eligibility is determined by your state’s Graduated Driver’s Licensing (GDL) requirements. Typically, you are eligible for your road test once you have completed a driver’s education course and any required behind-the-wheel practice hours.
Visit our Applying for a Teen License section and choose your state to find your specific age requirements.
Do I need to schedule a road test appointment? How do I make one?
In most states, you are required to schedule a driving test appointment. Some states will let you schedule a road test online, while others require you to call the DMV or a private testing facility ahead of time.
Even if a driving test appointment isn’t required, you can save yourself a lot of time by making one. To find the contact information for the nearest location, you can use our DMV Office Finder.
What can I expect for my driving test?
Most DMV driving exams consist of two sections:
- A basic maneuver course, usually set up in a parking lot, where you will be asked to perform basic maneuvers that include but are not limited to:
- 3-point turns.
- Parallel parking.
- Acceleration and braking.
- Using your signals.
- Checking your mirrors.
- An on-the-road evaluation, where you will be taken into traffic and asked to display your safe driving abilities on the actual streets and highways.
Your vehicle will also be given an evaluation, and you will likely be asked to turn your windshield wipers, headlights, and heaters on and off, to show that you are familiar with the components of your car. Make sure you know where all of your controls and signals are, and that you can easily manipulate them when asked.
Should I bring anything to my driving exam?
When you arrive for your road test, you’ll most likely need to provide:
- The vehicle in which you’re going to test.
- Proof of registration and insurance for your vehicle.
- Your learner’s permit or other equivalent authorization.
- Proof of your completed behind-the-wheel hours, if applicable.
I didn’t pass my road test on my first try. Can I take it again?
Yes. All states allow you to re-take your driving exam if you fail it the first time.
The waiting period between tests does vary by state, and your examiner will likely be able to tell you when you’re eligible to test again. If not, you can contact your local DMV.
Once I’ve passed my road test, how do I get my license?
While the process varies based on your state, generally you will take your proof of passing the exam to the DMV office, where you will fill out a licensing application, pay a required fee, and have your photo taken.
For the steps specific to your state, visit our licensing guides:Recommended ArticlesOther Topics in This Section
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