Driving Test

Automotive, Home & Family
on October 19, 2011

Knowing what to expect on your driver’s test will help reduce stress and improve your driving.

Practice. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) test administrator will ride with you to make sure you can drive safely and obey traffic laws. Those most likely to fail are those who have not practiced enough or have not practiced correctly. The New York DMV recommends and requires that drivers receive at least 50 hours of supervised driving practice, with at least 15 of those at night and 10 during times of moderate or high traffic. Be sure you’re able to do the following:

  • Steer smoothly
  • Accelerate smoothly
  • Stop the vehicle gently
  • Change gears properly
  • Obey the posted speed limits and adjust for weather, if necessary
  • Follow safely
  • Know and obey traffic signals and signs
  • Turn from the correct lane
  • Use turn signals appropriately
  • Change lanes safely
  • Check mirrors
  • Drive defensively

What to bring. This varies by state. Most require a learner’s permit, proof of driver training course completion, and a registered and insured automobile. Qualifications for the testing automobile vary by state. Here are the most common requirements:

  • A front and back license plate that shows current registration
  • Working front and back turn signals and working brake lights
  • A working horn
  • Tires with tread
  • Brakes that work
  • A functioning driver side window
  • An unobstructed windshield
  • Two rearview mirrors
  • Two front doors that open from the outside and inside
  • A secured glove compartment
  • A permanently attached passenger seat
  • Working seat belts
  • Parking brake

The test. When you arrive at the driving test site, park in the appropriate area, notify the test administrators you’ve arrived and wait until you are called. Be on time. Do not move to the driver’s seat until the examiner instructs you to do so. Be courteous at all times. The examiner will brief you on what to expect and allow you to ask questions. Adjust the seat and mirrors, and make sure the seat belt is fastened. The test itself usually takes between 15 and 25 minutes. You’ll be asked to perform basic maneuvers. The examiner looks for your ability to drive safely and obey traffic laws. The examiner may make suggestions during the test to help you improve. This doesn’t mean you failed, so relax. There’s a good chance you’ll be called on to perform the same maneuver again to make sure you’ve corrected the error.

Your state Department of Motor Vehicles will have the specific requirements for your state.