FAQs About Behind-the-Wheel Driver's Test

Hey new drivers! Ready for your behind-the-wheel test? Not so fast. Let's make sure you're as prepared as possible before you arrive for your driver's test. Here are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about passing the road test for your driver's license.

What Should I Do to Prepare for The Behind-the-Wheel Test?

The short answer to this question is practice, study, and practice some more. Here's how you do that:

  • Take a driver's ed classThis is a requirement in most states if you are taking the test as a teenager. But even if you don't have to take the class, we still recommend it. You'll learn all of the skills you need to pass your driving test, plus get all of your questions answered by a professional driving instructor. 

  • Study your state's driver's manual. You can get a copy from your state's Department of Motor Vehicles.

  • Pass the written test. Not only is this a requirement in most states, but passing the written test in advance will get you prepared for demonstrating your knowledge of driving laws during your road test.

  • Choose the right vehicle for your test. This is so important! The vehicle you use to take your driver's test should be clean, in good working order, and safe to operate. In other words, if your mom's car has a broken turn signal or a missing mirror, borrow your dad's instead. 

What's Included in the Pre-Drive Check? 

Before you turn the key in the ignition, your skills tester will be watching to make sure you check the car for safety and operability. Make sure you check that all of these items work and are in place before you start driving.

  • Front and rear tags must be present.

  • Windshield must have no cracks or obstructions.

  • Driver and passenger doors should open and close.

  • Your tires should be properly inflated and have good tread. Check for missing lug nuts. 

  • All of your lights and lenses must be unbroken and operational. 

  • Check your rearview and side mirrors to ensure that they are secure and positioned for your height.

  • Make sure your front seats are free and clear. (No food, trash, liquid, etc.)

  • Fasten your seat belt and secure it over your lap and shoulder.

  • Close your glove box and make sure nothing is sticking out. 

  • Brake and gas pedals must be secure and properly adjusted. 

  • Check your dashboard for warning lights and resolve them before your test. 

  • Make sure there are no fluid leaks, such as oil, coolant, or transmission fluid. 

  • Horn must operate.

  • Speedometer must operate.

Which Skills Should I Practice for My Driver's Test?

Before you take the test, you'll want to practice these driving skills:

  • Steering. Be sure you can steer smoothly, especially through turns or backing up. 

  • Acceleration. Press the gas pedal gently so that you gradually accelerate. If you hear the engine racing, you've pressed too hard. 

  • Braking. Anytime you come to a stop, you'll want to brake gently. Your tester will want to see you start to slow down well before your stopping position. If you have to slam the brakes, you'll lose points. 

  • Gear shifting. Check to make sure you're in the correct gear for your entire test, whether you're driving an automatic or manual transmission.  

  • Speed. You have to follow all traffic laws, including the speed limit. Don't drive too fast or too slow. And if there are special circumstances — like bad weather or heavy traffic — you'll have to show that you can adjust your speed accordingly. 

  • Following distance. You always want to have adequate space between you and the car in front of you. We recommend one car length for every 10 miles per hour. So if you're driving 55 mph, keep six car lengths between you and the guy in front of you. 

  • Obey signs, signals, and markings. Study all of your state's signs, traffic signals, and lane markings, and obey them at all times. 

  • Stopping position. Always stop in the proper place at intersections, stop lines, and crosswalks. 

  • Lane selection. Choose the correct lane, especially if you are preparing for a turn. 

  • Signaling. Always use your turn signals and horn when appropriate. 

  • Remember SMOG. An easy way to remember what to do before turns and lane changes is to use the acronym "SMOG":

    • Signal: Use your turn signal.

    • Mirrors: Check rearview and side mirrors first.

    • Over the shoulder: Look over your shoulder before turning or changing lanes.

    • Go: Now you're ready to go!

  • Anticipate and react. Show your test administrator that you know how to look for potential hazards in the traffic around you. When you anticipate another driver's error, you should also be ready to react safely to their mistakes.

Get Ready to Ace Your Behind-the-Wheel Driver's Test

We hope this helps you feel more confident and prepared for your behind-the-wheel test. And remember, if you have any further questions, we're here to help. Give us a call today!