Road Test Tips2021-05-28T11:44:30-04:00

A Practice Guide


Note: Practice Guide is a publication of the NYS DMV and can be found on their website.

Drivers who are fully informed and prepared are more likely to pass their driver license road test, but many others are not quite ready to take the test. Perhaps they should have more practice driving, or maybe they have not practiced in the correct way. Some drivers are nervous because they do not know what to expect during the test. Others just expect to fail.

This publication presents basic information about knowing and understanding how to drive safely. You can use it to help prepare for your road test, and to preview what the test will be like.

When you pass your road test, you have shown you can meet certain minimum standards for safe driving. However, your learning to drive has really just begun. In your everyday driving, you will deal with situations and problems you may not have encountered while practicing for or taking your road test. You can learn how to handle these situations by using the same driving habits and responsible attitudes you demonstrated during the road test.
Test Results2020-09-02T10:35:14-04:00

Most drivers pass their road test on their first or second try. The amount of practice driving can make a positive difference on the road test for just about every driver.During the test, the examiner must assess a “negative” score for important safe driving mistakes. To pass, you must not accumulate more than 30 negative points. Automatic disqualification can result from making a dangerous driving action or a serious violation of traffic laws, or becoming involved in an accident. When you qualify for a non-commercial license Class C, D, DJ, E, M, or MJ, the examiner will issue you a printed receipt – this receipt plus your photo learner permit together will serve as a temporary license valid for 90 days. Your new photo-license will arrive in the postal mail within two to three weeks

During The Road Test2020-09-02T10:35:25-04:00

The passenger-car road test usually takes about 15 minutes. It will test your ability to make basic maneuvers needed in everyday driving. You will have to make left and right turns, stop at an intersection controlled by stop signs and traffic lights, and to parallel park. You also will be asked to turn your vehicle around in a narrow street (three-point turn) and to drive in fairly heavy traffic. The motorcycle test is slightly different from the passenger car test. For example, instead of parallel parking, you will be required to make figure-eights in a small area such as a narrow street and to make left and right circles. Follow the examiner’s instructions. The license examiner will be looking for you to demonstrate basic driving skills and your knowledge of traffic laws. He or she is not there to trick you into making mistakes or committing traffic violations. During your test, the examiner will point out mistakes you make and will give you information that will help you correct them. Relax, and listen to what the examiner tells you. He or she may have you repeat a maneuver to see if you can correct a mistake you made earlier.

At The Road Test Site2020-09-02T10:35:33-04:00

Your accompanying driver should place your vehicle behind the last vehicle in line. Leave enough room to pull out and around in case you are tested before the driver ahead of you. Move to the driver’s seat when the license examiner indicates to do so. Make sure your driver’s seat and mirrors are adjusted properly, and don’t forget to buckle your seat belt. Before the test begins, the license examiner will explain how the test is conducted and give you a chance to ask questions.

What to Bring To The Test2021-02-18T05:26:57-05:00

Give the examiner your photo learner permit. You also must give the examiner your five-hour pre-licensing course completion certificate (MV278) or your Student Certificate of Completion (MV285).You must provide the vehicle you will drive during the road test. You also must bring an accompanying driver who is at least 21 years old and holds a license valid for operating the test vehicle. Motorcycle applicants must also bring a car or truck and an accompanying licensed driver to transport the license examiner during the test. The test vehicle and any accompanying vehicle must be properly registered, inspected, insured and equipped. The test vehicle’s front seat belts and doors must be present and in working order, or, for the motorcycle test, in the accompanying vehicle. The passenger side seat belt must be readily available and clean for use by the license examiner. Be On Time If you cannot be at the road test site at the appointed time for a non-commercial driver license, you may request that your road test be rescheduled. You MUST make this request at least 24 hours before the scheduled test date – call the road test appointment telephone number, 1-(800)-801-3614, or visit the DMV Internet Office (, or contact the county motor vehicle office where you made your original appointment. A road test for a commercial driver license (CDL) will be rescheduled at your request only if you cancel your appointment at least three business days before the test date.The DMV may cancel road tests due to bad weather. You may call the road test appointment telephone number, 1-(800)-801-3614, or contact your county motor vehicle office where you made your original appointment, for announcements of road test cancellations.

Get Enough Practice2020-09-02T10:35:41-04:00

Some learning drivers need to practice more than others. The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles recommends at least 30 hours of driving practice, with at least 10 hours in moderately heavy traffic. When you practice driving, ask your supervising driver to calmly let you know when you have made a driving mistake. Then try again correctly. Watch for mistakes other drivers make, and remind yourself not to make them too. Be sure to practice each driving maneuver described in the DMV Driver’s Manual. If you have questions about something you did, or should have done, during a practice session, check the DMV Driver’s Manual. The next time you practice driving, pay particular attention to correcting the problems you had experienced.Important: It is illegal to practice driving in a designated Road Test Area.

Safe driving tips to help pass your road test:

  • STEERING Steer smoothly whether you are driving straight ahead, turning or backing up.
  • ACCELERATION Accelerate smoothly and moderately. Don’t race the engine or cause it to stall.
  • BRAKING Bring the vehicle to a stop gently. Start braking well before your stopping position to avoid “jerky” stops. Make sure you stop your vehicle in the proper position of the lane.
  • CLUTCH/GEAR Always be sure your vehicle is in the correct gear. With either an automatic or a manual transmission, shift into the proper gear at the right time without “grinding” the gears.
  • SPEED Obey the posted speed limit, of course, but also adjust your speed properly due to weather, road, visibility and traffic conditions.
  • FOLLOWING DISTANCE Keep an adequate space “cushion” between your vehicle and those you are following. Use the “two second rule” described in the Driver’s Manual. Be sure to increase your following distance in bad weather or poor visibility.
  • TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES Know what signs, signals and pavement markings mean, and obey them consistently.
  • STOPPING POSITION If a stop is required, stop your vehicle before it reaches an intersecting street. If stop lines or crosswalks are present, stop before crossing them. If your view is blocked after stopping behind the crosswalk, move up until you can clearly see your way, then stop again if necessary.
  • LANE SELECTION AND POSITION Keep your vehicle in the proper traffic lane, especially when preparing to make turns. Don’t allow room for another vehicle to pass you on the side toward which you are turning.
  • COMMUNICATION Let other drivers and pedestrians know which way you want to go. Use your directional signals or horn consistently and at the proper times.
  • OBSERVATION Look for and identify potential problems or hazards in the traffic around you – not just straight ahead, but behind you and on either side. Check your mirrors frequently, but be sure to look over your shoulder behind you when changing lanes or backing up.
  • ANTICIPATE & REACT TO OTHERS Anticipate possible driving errors by others and be ready to react safely to make up for their mistakes.


If you are adding an M or MJ endorsement to an existing license previously issued by New York State, you must go, in person, to any state or county motor vehicle office and amend your previous license. Wait at least five business days after passing the road test before you request the amendment. If you did not have a previous NYS driver license, your new Class M or MJ license will arrive in the postal mail within two to three weeks.

Your Class D or DJ permit, or other permit for a non-commercial license, is valid for up to two road tests. If you do not pass your second road test, you may continue to practice driving until the date the permit expires. Before you schedule another road test, you must return to a motor vehicle office and pay a $10 fee for two additional road tests.

When you qualify for a Commercial Driver License (CDL Class A, B, or C) or a Non-CDL C, the examiner will validate your Road Test Evaluation Form (CDL-200) – this validated evaluation form will be a temporary license valid for 10 days. To activate your permanent license, you must amend your original license, in person, at any state or county motor vehicle office. Wait at least five business days after passing the road test before you make the amendment.

If you did not pass your CDL road test, you may continue to practice driving until the date the permit expires. There is a fee of $40 for each additional road test.

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