Updated October 2021
Keys To Passing Your New York Road Test
Whether you plan to drive in the bustling Big Apple, cruise the Catksills upstate or joyride through western New York, there are some basic state-wide requirements you'll need to know to pass your New York road test. Taking your road test can be nerve-wracking. Whether you're a brand new driver or have been driving for 10 years in another county, most everyone gets nervous before taking a test. We know you have better things to do than worry about your road test. We also know that it can be confusing figuring out exactly what you need to do: How do I prepare for my road test? What forms do I need to bring? We're here to answer your questions and make things clear and simple. We've scoured the DMV resources for you, so you can focus on more important things, like hitting the road and visiting family.
BEFORE YOUR NEW YORK ROAD TEST
- Be sure you have a New York State road test scheduled. There are no walk-in road tests. You need to have a test scheduled.
- To schedule your New York road test, you'll need: 1) Client ID number (above your permit photo) 2) Date of Birth 3) Type of driving certificate and certification # from either the Pre-licensing course or a Driver's Education course 4) 5-digit zip code where you want to take your test.
- Bring your glasses or contacts. If your permit indicates that you need corrective lenses, you must bring them. It's also much easier to pass when you can see clearly 🙂
- Have your New York State Learner's Permit. Don't have one? You'll need to get one first before you'll be allowed to take your road test. You can schedule a DMV office appointment to get your Learner's Permit here.
- Bring your original Pre-Licensing Course Certificate (MV-278, valid for 1-year from issue date) or Student Certificate of Completion (MV-285), copies won't be accepted.
- *Note* the Pre-Licensing course (or a Driver's Education course) is a mandate in New York State, whether your 19 years old or 102. It's a 5-hour, DMV-approved, standardized classroom course that provides the knowledge you'll need as a new driver, including best practices and safety. If you show up to your New York State road test without one of these certificates, you won't be allowed to test. Fortunately, the Pre-Licensing course is offered almost every weekend throughout the state at most driving schools, high schools, and colleges. Simply do a quick search online to see where the Pre-Licensing course is offered near you.
- If you're under 18, you'll need to bring a Certification of Supervised Driving (MV-262) completed by your parent or guardian.
- You must have a driver with you who's at least 21 years old and has a license valid to operate the test vehicle.
- You'll need a vehicle to drive during the test that has valid registration, insurance, and current inspection sticker. It also needs to operate properly and be in clean condition. If you need a car and drive for your road test, you can reserve one here.
- Requirements for your vehicle include functional seat belts, working headlights, and windshield wipers. You'll also need a front passenger and seat belt area free of trash as well as a front passenger door that is able to be opened from inside the vehicle.
- Practice. Lots of it. We recommend at least 40 hours of practice behind the wheel before your road test. Repetition and muscle memory are key. We want to make sure all of the driving maneuvers you'll be tested on feel like second nature when it's time to test.
NEW YORK ROAD TEST FEE
The fee for up to two road tests for a non-commercial license is included in your $10 driver license application fee. If you don't pass your first two road tests, you must pay another $10 fee for up to two more tests. There is no refund if you don't take both tests.
TIPS FOR DURING YOUR NEW YORK ROAD TEST
- Steer and accelerate smoothly and moderately whether your driving straight ahead, backing up, or turning. Don't race the engine or cause it to stall. The smoother you drive, the easier it will be to react appropriately to everything going on in New York streets.
- Don't drive too slow. Stay the speed limit. We've seen a number of folks in New York get points docked for driving too slowly (especially in city traffic) and thus impeding traffic flow. And of course adjust your speed as necessary for weather, road, visibility, and traffic conditions.
- Brake smoothly. Many people wait until the last minute to break, resulting in an abrupt stop. Best to start braking well before your stopping position to keep things smooth and your New York tester happy 🙂
- Turn into the same lane. If you're in the left lane, stay in the left lane after turning and the same for the right side. This is a common error, so be mindful of which lane you're in and where you're going.
- Always look in the direction you're driving. If you're backing up or turning, looking in your mirrors is not enough. You must also turn and physically look and check your blind spot.
- Stop correctly at stop signs. Slow down smoothly and make sure to stop before the white line. We've seen people fail because they stopped after the white line. Don't make that mistake.
And with that, you should be good to go! Congrats on making it this far! If you passed your test, the license examiner will give you the interim license that allows you to drive. You'll want to keep this on you when you're driving along with your learner's permit until you receive your driver's license, which should come in the mail in about 2 weeks. If you failed, not to worry! You can take the test as soon as 1 day later in New York and now you know what to spend a little extra time practicing before you test again. Happy road testing in New York!
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