How do I Take the Driving Exam?

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  • Written By: J.S. Metzker Erdemir
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 August 2019
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Before getting a drivers’ license, everyone has to take a driving exam. This exam generally consists of two parts: a written exam and a practical driving test. Most countries require some type of written and/or practical driving exam before issuing drivers’ licenses, though the process and cost may differ. In the US, driving exams are given by a state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

In the US, many people take drivers’ education courses before taking the tests for a license. Some US states require a certain number of hours of drivers’ ed while other people choose to take the courses because they can get lowered insurance rates. Some high schools offer drivers’ ed as part of their curricula, and courses are available from private companies as well.

A good drivers’ ed course will prepare a student for a driving exam, possibly including the parts of the car and how they work, traffic rules, and information about road safety and defensive driving practices. Additionally, students in these courses should have practice hours with a licensed driving instructor. Students learn about functions of the car such as steering, braking, and signaling. They should also learn about different types of turns, traffic maneuvers, parking, and road safety. Drivers’ ed should prepare students for the driving exam with practice tests.


To take the driving exam, most DMVs or equivalent agencies require an appointment. You must bring your valid learner’s permit and acceptable types of identification such as a passport or birth certificate. If your state requires completion of a drivers’ ed course, you have to bring those documents as well. You also must have proof that the car you will use to take the test in is insured. The car has to be legal and in working condition with all of the required documentation such as a valid registration sticker and two license plates.

In most cases, the written exam is given before the practical test. Some states give the written exam with paper while others might do it by computer. Most DMVs have a handbook you can use to prepare for the written exam. The practical driving exam is the final part, where you will drive with a DMV examiner who will tell you what to do. You will be expected to follow all traffic signals, to drive safely and defensively at all times, and to perform certain maneuvers like parallel parking, lane changes, and 3-point turns.



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