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Road Test in New York

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A road test is a procedure designed to test a person's ability to safely drive a motor vehicle. It exists in various forms worldwide and is a requirement to obtain a driver's license. A driving test generally consists of one or two parts: the practical test called a road test, used to assess a person's driving ability under normal operating conditions, and a written or oral test (theory test) to confirm a person's knowledge of driving and relevant rules and laws.

The world's first mandatory national driving test was introduced in France in 1899.

To make the test fair, written driving tests are normally standardized tests, meaning that everyone takes the same test under the same conditions. In many places, the test can be done by computer, and typically consists of questions related to road signs and traffic laws of the respective country, but may also include questions related to road safety best practices or technical questions regarding vehicle operation and maintenance. In many countries, passing a written driving test is required to be allowed to sit the practical test.

Road Test requirements

Depending on the country and on the driver's license category, the practical test includes driving on public, open roads as well as different maneuverability tests, which are usually carried out in a controlled environment such as:

  • driving back and forth through a set of traffic cones
  • reversing around a corner or into a parking space, with or without a trailer or semi-trailer, or with an extra one for multi-rig road trains
  • Turning and leaving controlled junctions with a trailer and/or with an extra one for multi-rig road trains
  • emergency stops or evasive maneuvers
  • coupling and de-coupling of a trailer to a truck, which includes establishing the electrical and compressed-air connections and checking them
  • maintaining a motorcycle stable at low speed
  • Parallel Parking (with a maximum of 2 separate forward movements)
  • Reverse Angled parking (cars, trucks, and road trains)
  • Three-point turns (in 3 movements)
  • Uphill starts, downhill curbside parking with gear shifts
  • Gear shifts moving off green lights (manual cars and trucks only)
  • Lane changes
  • Entering and leaving intersections (from give ways, stop signs, roundabouts)

In the United States, most Department of Motor Vehicles offices do not provide vehicles for the road test and so the person taking the test must provide their own vehicle. This is useful because the vehicle they use for the test is typically the same vehicle they have used to practice driving. Before they can use the vehicle for the test, they must show proof of liability insurance to the DMV for the particular vehicle to avoid liability from a collision that could occur during the test.

Scheduling a Road Test in NY

If you are under age 18, you must wait at least 6 months from the date you received your learner permit to schedule your road test.

The fee for up to 2 road tests for a non-commercial license was included in your $10.00 driver's license permit application fee. If you do not pass your first 2 tests, you must pay another $10.00 fee for up to 2 more tests. There is no refund if you do not take both tests.

For a road test for a commercial driver's license (CDL) the fee for a single test is $40. See Get a CDL.

What you need to schedule

  • a valid New York State learner permit (see a sample learner permit)
  • an original, unexpired Pre-Licensing Course Certificate (MV-278) or a Student Certificate of Completion (MV-285) (for more information about how to get a Pre-Licensing Course Certificate (MV-278), see Prepare for your road test)1
  • the ZIP Code of where you choose to take the test – see Road test locations
  • at least 1 unused test available from when you applied for your license
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