Preparations before taking a driving test in a DMV office
As it was mentioned before, requirements for obtaining a DL may vary depending on the state. Thus, first of all, it's necessary to check if there are any courses you need to complete before applying for a DL. For example, minors are often required to complete an education/training course for drivers approved by a state before they are admitted to knowledge and/or road testing. In some cases, the testing is carried out within the course, so you won't need to undergo at least a theory exam before your DMV driving test. In some states, both minors and persons over 18 have to complete an education course like Traffic Law Substance Abuse Education in Florida or any approved driver education course in Texas. Though you can't pass your DMV driving test online, some education courses are available via the Internet, for example, TLSAE.
When you are sure you don't need to complete any courses, or you have already completed one of them, it's time to move to collect documents for applying for a DL. In most states, the list of required documents includes the following:
- proofs of identity, SSN, lawful presence, and residency;
- a corresponding application (signed by a legal guardian for applicants under 18);
- certificates verifying the course completion (if required).
Other documents may vary depending on an applicant's age and citizenship status as well as on specific requirements of each state. For example, foreigners who can't provide SSN need to get a corresponding document from a social service office. At the same time, minors often have to present separate parental consent in addition to the application form. Finally, keep in mind that you won't be allowed to take a DMV driving exam if you fail to provide all the required documents, so make sure that you carefully learn the list on the official website of your state.
Also, be ready to pay the required fees: they vary from state to state and may depend on the DL validity duration. Besides, some states specify separate fees for a knowledge test, learner's permit, and driving examination in DMV and DL. In contrast, others include all the above-mentioned fees in a single payment. Finally, note that cash payments are not available in some DMV offices, and you need to provide a document verifying the payment before allowing DMV driving testing. Check this in advance since official branches have no free driving test.
One more question requires your attention in the preparatory phase – an appointment. Quite a few states allow taking DMV driver's license test on a walk-in basis, while many DMV offices inform applicants about mandatory scheduling. As a result, applicants can schedule their appointments via phone or online up to several months in advance. This is quite helpful for those people who are nervous about their testing since they get a chance to psych themselves up.
Passing the driving theory test
It is no use wondering how to pass the DMV driving test if you haven't passed a knowledge test yet. If you have, you can skip this paragraph. Otherwise, you need to get prepared for the testing in a proper way. Start by learning a Driver Handbook/Manual issued by your state since traffic rules vary a little depending on the state. Besides, one can find almost all information about DMV requirements in the guide, as well as descriptions of tests. The manuals can be found on state DMV websites or on associated websites offering DMV driving tests online, along with manuals and other helpful information.
It will be easier to learn the rules if you follow a simple scheme:
- Read a chapter making notes to better mark and remember the most important things.
- Try to quiz yourself or ask somebody to quiz you after each chapter. If you happen to find a web-service offering DMV driving exam online with an option to select topics, use this opportunity to check your knowledge.
- Don't proceed to the next chapter until you are able to answer at least 80% of the questions.
- When you get to the end, undertake a free driving test online again on the whole guide.
- Revisit those sections you are weak at and take the testing again.
- Don't try to learn the whole manual at a time – even if you go to the DMV office the next day, your knowledge won't be strong enough to be sure of success. It is better to allow a couple of weeks to prepare for the examination and to get through the whole manual several times within this period. Practice the DMV driver's license test online as often as it's possible to uncover your weaknesses and to gain psychological resistance before the testing.
Note that you can undergo a free driving exam on a DMV official website since many states offer the possibility to practice online, though the choice of questions is quite limited there. A third-party DMV driving online testing often provide a deeper understanding of questions you are going to face during the real exam. Besides, free driver's test.
The knowledge test can be paper-based or computer-based (depending on DMV office equipment). Regardless of the examination form, try to quickly answer those questions you are strong at and skip the questions that cause serious difficulties. Since you need to answer 75-80% of questions correctly when passing a driving test, you may not need to return to difficult questions. But if you are not sure that you scored the necessary, correct answers, try to answer difficult questions eliminating those answers you are sure to be wrong.
Many people wonder how to pass the DMV driving exam if a person is a foreigner with poor knowledge of American English. For foreigners, it is important to find out if there is any possibility of taking the test in their own language. Though it isn't easy to find a free driving theory test for practice in foreign languages, many DMVs in different states allow passing the written test in Spanish, Chinese, Russian, and other languages. Check what languages are available in your state if your English is not good enough to improve your chances of passing the test.
Don't take chances and avoid any form of cheating when passing a driving test since DMV staff and video equipment monitors the process. If you are caught cheating, you will be turned out and may not be allowed to this DMV office again. So even if you need a tip desperately, you'd better focus and try to use your common sense.
How to pass the DMV road test on the first attempt
Unfortunately, there is no DMV online practice exam, and you can't train to drive on your PC or a mobile device. But by having a learner's permit issued after your successful written exam, you can move to behind-the-wheel practice on state roads. You can't drive alone and need a supervisor who meets your state requirements. In most states, a supervisor must hold a DL for at least one year and be 18 years old (in many states, the required age is 21). In addition, there may be some restrictions on driving under a learner's permit, like the prohibition on driving with passengers except your supervisor or driving in specific locations (parks, tunnels, etc.). Besides, there may be some specific requirements for how much behind-the-wheel experience you have to obtain before taking the road exam. Learn your state manual carefully to make sure all the needs are satisfied.
In order to prepare for passing the car test, try to practice as often as it is possible. Pay special attention to the following maneuvers:
- Accurate parallel parking
- Skilled 3-point turn
- A quick stop at low speed without skidding
- Backing for a distance of about 60 feet while turning and looking back
- Left and right turns using proper turn signals
- Starting and stopping without jerks
- Proper lane change
- Following a vehicle while observing the distance
- Passing intersections
Also, it is important to observe speed limitations and show your understanding of traffic signs and signals (it will be smart to take a free car theory test again before the road exam in order to refresh your memory). Note that an examiner will grade you on your ability to control a vehicle, so don't be too nervous; aggression or free manners are unacceptable, too. Watch your posture keeping your hands on the steering wheel, and show you are quite comfortable with your vehicle.
When practicing for passing the road test, try to get real feedback from a person supervising you. Don't get offended, and don't ignore his/her comments, but ask your supervisor to point out any mistakes and even record them to be sure you won't forget to work on them. If you can't find a supervisor having enough free time to ride with you, it may be reasonable to pay for a private certified instructor. A professional instructor is unlikely to ignore your mistakes as your parents or friends may do, and he can give you helpful tips on how to pass the DMV driver's license test.
Note that you have to provide a vehicle to pass the practical test, and it must be registered and insured in a proper way. It may be your own car or your parents' vehicle, but without documents proving its insurance and registration, you won't be allowed to take the exam. Also, the vehicle must be in good technical condition – you won't be able to undergo the testing if it turns out that something like a turn signal doesn't work. So make sure you do know the car you are going to drive (you may be asked to turn on/off turn signals, lower/upper beam, windshield wipers, etc.) and check its technical state.
If you have practiced really hard, provided all the documents, and your car is OK, nothing can prevent you from passing the test on the first try!