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The final portion of a driver’s license application procedure is the driving test. Applicants will be required to provide a safe vehicle for the test. They will also need to provide proof of automobile insurance prior to the driving test. An unlicensed applicant may not use a rental car for the driving test. The driving test may be waived if an applicant has a valid driver license from another state and meets all other applicable requirements. The driving test will be required of applicants with licenses from foreign countries, including Mexico and Canada.

The driving test is an opportunity to demonstrate that the applicants are a safe drivers. There will be no passengers other than an examining official—a local or state police officer or authorized department of motor vehicles personnel—allowed on the drive test. The examiner in the front seat will give the applicants driving directions. The directions should be given in a clear manner and with enough time to allow the applicants to take appropriate action. Applicants will never be asked to do anything unsafe or illegal.

The exact procedure for driving tests will vary somewhat from state to state, although several features of these tests are fairly consistent throughout the United States. Before the test applicants will be asked to use their arms to signal for a right turn, left turn, slow, or stop. Along with noting their driving skills in normal traffic the examiner will also ask them to perform certain maneuvers such as parking on a hill, parallel parking, entering traffic from a parked position, and backing out of a driveway or around a corner.

A few of the most common test items the examiner will observe are:

  • Backing up
  • Controlling the vehicle
  • Driving in traffic
  • Driving through blind or crowded intersections
  • Judging distance
  • Leaving the curb
  • Obeying traffic signals and signs
  • Respecting the rights of pedestrians and other drivers
  • Starting the vehicle
  • Stopping

Inside Driving