Road Test Tips

10 NYS Road Test Driving Tips

  1. Be sure to bring:
    • A valid NYS Photo Learner Permit.
    • A valid 5 Hour Class Pre-Licensing Course Certificate (mv-278), or mv-285.
    • If under 18, a Certification of Supervised Driving (mv-262).
    • Eyeglasses if permit is marked with a “B” Restriction.
  2. Get enough practice and be well prepared – Most driver’s who fail the road test did receive enough practice or proper training. It is important you can drive safely and understand NYS traffic law.
  3. In New York the usual wait for a road test appointment is about 6 weeks, it is a good idea to schedule the road test anticipating the wait and get enough practice in the weeks leading up to the test. In addition it is important to practice in the days leading up to the road test.
  4. Avoid being nervous – Try to remain confident and focused during the road test – Students who have proper practice tend to be significantly more confident during the road test because they are more likely to know exactly what to do.
  5. What should I practice for my 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 abrupt stops. Make sure you stop your vehicle in the proper position of the lane.
    • Clutch/Gears:  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 poor weather or visibility.
    • Traffic signs, signals and markings:  Know the meanings of signs, signals and pavement markings, 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 that you are turning toward.
    • 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 and react:  Anticipate possible driving errors by others and be ready to react safely to make up for their mistakes.
  6. The road test consists of left and right turns, stops at intersections controlled by stop signs and traffic lights, and parallel parking. In addition you also will be asked to perform a broken u-turn or 3 point turn. Do not hit the curb at any time during the test.
  7. To pass the road test you must not accumulate more than 30 negative points. Automatic failure can result from making a dangerous driving action, a serious violation of traffic laws, or becoming involved in an accident.
  8. Instructions are simple are straightforward, there are no hidden instructions so just do as the examiner tells you.  The examiner may have you repeat a maneuver to see if you can correct an earlier mistake.
  9. Most drivers pass their road test on their first or second try. The amount of practice before the road test is the most significant factor that will help someone pass the road test.
  10. If you pass the road test you will receive an interim drivers license valid for 90 days awhile you receive the original in the mail within 2 weeks.