All you need to know before you go for DMV driving tests

A view of a car

One of the main highlights of turning 18 is getting your driving license, giving your driving test and officially being able to drive. However the step that stands between these 2 things is the driving test; the one you need to pass to earn your license. The procedure, the tests, all can be very nerve wracking for anyone. 

What is it?

A man sitting in a car

DMV test, also known as a driver’s test or a road test, is a test device to judge your ability to operate a vehicle safely according to your state’s laws. Minimum age to take the test varies from state to state, however the minimum age overall is 16. The test mainly consists of a written test about your knowledge of the signs, rules etc and a driving test.

The states don’t require you to get a perfect score; however,some states have a limit as to how many questions you can get wrong in the written test. Even during the driving test you can make some minor pre-driving mistakes and still pass.

Driving tests

A person driving a car

The examiner starts the assessment by judging the condition of your vehicle, to ensure the signals are working and the vehicle is safe to drive. After which you’ll be judged on your ability to drive through an intersection, three point turns, basic turns and changing lanes. Some states also test your ability to drive on a freeway and hence you may need to prepare to enter a highway, overtake vehicles and exit a highway.

While some states also might need you to parallel park, checking your state’s manual will help you prepare specific to what you need.

Other tests/checks

After entering the vehicle, the driver might ask you for some simple tasks before you start driving, such as turning the windshields on and off, flashing signals, setting parking breaks and checking rear and side view mirrors.

The examiner also rates you on using the signals, leaving appropriate spaces between vehicles, accelerating and braking smoothly, checking your mirrors and blindspots etc.

Location and instructor’s permit

While giving your test, you might be asked to drive in various locations. After the basic test in the parking lot, your instructor will most likely ask you to drive to a residential area and judge you thereon even when you drive from one location to another. If you aren’t clear with the instruction, feel free to ask your instructor. 

Mostly all states require everyone who’s below 18 and driving to have a learner’s permit before taking the test. Many states also require older people to also have a learner’s permit before the test, however, this too varies from state to state.


The content,type and things needed for the test vary from state to state, it’s best to ask beforehand to ensure there’s no chaos on the final day. The instructor doesn’t want you to fail, they won’t trick you. Just be calm and think of them as another passenger. All you need to do to pass is practise.

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