Retaking the Permit Test: What to Do If You Fail the Written Permit Exam

By: Cara Hopkins June 17, 2012
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The life of a prospective driver can be very stressful. There is so much to think about - road signs and traffic rules, the informal etiquette of driving - not to mention the actual operation of a vehicle.

Especially as a teen driver, all of this is heightened by the  social pressures and possibilities. Getting your license can mean more freedom, more access to different places, and possibly (hopefully?) more dates.

Plus, once you reach a certain age, everyone is expecting you to get your license, and the first step toward that ultimate goal is usually to get a learner's permit.

But, what if you get super nervous (or shall we say, overconfident) and you either don't study enough or you blank out on test day, and fail the written portion of the permit exam?

Never fear.

Second Chances: Retake Your Permit Test

Most states give you a second (and even a third) chance.

Some states, such as Connecticut, require a seven-day waiting period before retaking the test, but they will let you take it again (so long as you repay the $40 test fee). Other states, such as New York, let you retake the test right away and with no additional fee.

Some states are a bit more complicated, which can actually work in your favor. For example, California requires you to pay a one-time fee (amount depending upon which type of license you are applying for) that entitles you to take three exams of any type within a 12-month period. The fee also covers both your permit and your drivers license. (However, if you fail the same test three times, you will have to wait seven days and repay the fee).

Even though rules vary from state to state, one thing is always true, no matter where you live: The best preparation is to study your state's driver manual and to take sample permit practice tests.

Whether this is your first test, or you are going for a second (or third) chance, studying and taking practice exams are the only sure way to pass.

Have you taken your permit test more than once? What advice can you offer others to help them pass the second time around? Share with us in the comments below!

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