DMV Testing FAQs


Taking a driver's test? Be prepared to satisfy any auto insurance requirements. Click below for a free insurance quote.

Please answer these questions to get started:

Whether you’re applying for your driver’s license for the first time, moving to a new state, or even renewing your license, the thought of taking the DMV tests can make anyone a little nervous!

Here are some of the most common questions we get about the DMV tests. Hopefully the answers will help you become more confident to pass your test.

But, if you need more help, we’ve got that too:

Is the permit test hard?

The permit test is hard if you fail to study and prepare for it. 

The written permit test is one of the first major steps towards getting your driver’s license. 

It’s based upon the information in your state’s driver handbook, which you’ll need to read and study before you take the test. 

Online practice tests and DMV cheat sheets like the free ones found at are a great way to supplement your handbook study and prepare for your written test. 

What percentage of people fail the permit test?

Depending on the state, the percentage of people who fail the permit test on their first try ranges from about 25% to 48%. 

How many people pass the permit test on their first try varies slightly from state to state. 

Some permit tests are slightly longer or have a higher passing score than others.  

What happens after you pass the permit test?

After you’ve passed your state’s written driver’s license test, you’ll be well on your way to your unrestricted driver’s license. Congratulations!

Once you finish the test, either the computer you took it on or the DMV examiner will give you your score. 

With a passing score, you’ll have officially received your learner’s permit.

In most cases you’ll receive a temporary learner’s permit (just a sheet of paper) to keep with you until your official document arrives in the mail. 

The learner’s permit allows you to operate a vehicle while supervised by a qualified, licensed adult. 

If you’re under 18 years old, you’ll now need to satisfy the learner’s permit requirements, which typically include:

  • Having the permit for a minimum amount of time (typically 6 months to 1 year).
  • Completing and logging the required supervised driving hours. 
  • Completing any required driver’s training with a professional driving instructor. 
  • Having no traffic violations. 

If you’re over 18, there is typically no minimum time limit or required supervised driving hours. You’ll just need to practice driving with your permit with a supervisor until you feel ready to take the road test.

What do you have to bring to your driver’s test?

Driver’s test requirements include:

  • Reaching the minimum age for a provisional license. 
  • Holding your permit for the required time limit. 
  • Completing the required supervised driving practice hours.

You’ll typically need to bring:

  • You valid learner’s permit document. 
  • Your driver’s license application.
  • Your signed supervised driving log sheet. 
  • Proof of completion of driver’s education and driver’s training, if applicable. 
  • Your parent or legal guardian if you’re under 18 years old, or your qualified supervisor if you’re over 18. 
  • A vehicle to take the test in. 
  • Any application and testing fees you need to pay. 

Plan to arrive at least 15 to 30 minutes before your test. 

What are the car requirements for the driving test?

Car requirements for the driving test include:

  • Current registration and insurance with properly displayed license plates. 
  • Working seats and seat belts for the driver and the examiner. 
  • Working headlights, tail lights, brake lights, and turn signal. 
  • Functioning windows.
  • Tires in safe condition. 
  • Working horn. 
  • Safe, working brakes, including the parking brake.
  • Unbroken, clean windshield and rear window.
  • Rearview mirror and side view mirror.
  • Working doors.
  • No mechanical issues. 
  • No emissions problems. 

If the car you bring for your road test is unsafe, you won’t be able to take the test. 

If you arrive at the DMV with your car by yourself, you will typically receive an automatic fail as well. You need to arrive with your supervising driver if you hold a learner’s permit.

What are some good DMV road test tips?

The best way to pass your DMV road test to be well prepared and totally focused on test day.

This means using the time with your learner’s permit to really master the driving techniques and safe driving habits you’ll need to demonstrate during your driving test. 

During your test, use these tips to help you pass:

  • Stay focused on the road and listen to the examiner.
  • Be comfortable with all the controls for your vehicle (brakes, accelerator, lights, signals, horn, etc.)
  • Know your hand signals. 
  • Make sure you are only doing what’s safe.
  • Don’t drive too fast or overly slow.
  • Accelerate and stop smoothly. 
  • Obey all traffic signals and signs.
  • Avoid following other vehicles too closely. 
  • Stay in the correct lanes during the test.
  • Check your mirrors and blind spots. 
  • Use your signals appropriately.

Learn more about passing the road test here!

What happens after you pass the road test?

After you finish the road test, the examiner will let you know whether you’ve passed or not, and the items you may have been marked down for. 

If you’ve passed, you’ll present your scorecard to the DMV clerk and they’ll update your records. 

After that you’ll receive a temporary license to keep until your official driver’s license arrives in the mail.

If you’re under 18 years old or are going through your state’s GDL process (graduated driver’s licensing), you’ll receive your provisional license.

The provisional license will allow you to drive by yourself, but will include some restrictions on which times of day you can drive and the passengers you’re permitted to drive with. 

After you’ve held your provisional license for the minimum amount of time or have reached a certain age, you’ll qualify for your standard driver’s license. These requirements vary slightly by state. 

If you don’t need to satisfy the GDL requirements, you’ll receive your standard, unrestricted driver’s license.

You can find the permit and license requirements for your state here.

We’ve also answered some common questions specific to each state. These questions include:

  • Are eye exams required?
  • Do you have to parallel park in the driving test?
  • Do you pay if you fail the permit test?
  • How do you schedule a DMV road test?
  • How long do you have to wait if you fail your driver’s test?
  • How long does it take to take the permit test?
  • How many mistakes can be made on the driver’s test?
  • How many questions are on the permit test?
  • Is the driver’s license test open book?
  • What are the road test requirements?
  • What happens if you fail your permit test?
  • Where can I get a driver’s manual?

Select your state below to find the answers specific to you!

Need cheaper insurance? ➜