How to Pass Your NYS Drivers Test

Daimon Allen, Contributor

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Driving is a privilege, not a right. In order to get your license in the state of New York, you must go to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) and apply for your “New York State Learners Permit.” The only way that you can get your permit is to be at least 16 years old and have no restrictions for you to be able to drive such as a DWI (Driving Under the Influence). When you go down to the DMV, you must fill out a bunch of forms and bring three things with you. Bring your birth certificate, social security card and your parent or guardian. After filling out all the paper work, you must go to the computer and take the multiple-choice quiz. The quiz will consist of 20 questions and you cannot get over 4 questions wrong.  

If you pass, they will give you a paper copy of your permit, take your photo, and give you a few pieces of paper that need to be filled out, along with a safe driving book that you should read over before and after you get your permit. You must complete 50 hours of driving and at least 10 hours of night time driving. You must also get you 5-hour course done between the time you get your permit and the time that you try to get your license. Finally, you must wait at least 6 months from the time that you received your permit to apply for your license.  

So, you’re ready to get your license? Well, here are some steps to applying for your New York State Driver’s license. First off, have you completed your 50 hours of driving slip and met all the requirements? Have you taken your 5-hour course yet? Okay, if you have not done either of these, you cannot receive your license no matter what. You must have those two forms completed when you take your road test. First off, when you are scheduling your road test, you must either call the DMV or go on the website https://dmv.ny.gov/schedule-road-test in order to set up your appointment. When you get your appointment all set up, you must show up on that day for your exam. It would be in your interest to show up early because that way you can get it done sooner, and they will know that the road test means more to you than the others that are late to it.  

So here you are on your way to your road test. I hope you remembered your New York State Learners Permit, a parent or guardian that has a valid New York State Driver’s License, the vehicles registration, your 50-hour slip that your parent or guardian must sign and your 5 hour course slip that the instructor of your 5-hour course gave to you after taking the class. You will need all these just to be able to take the road test in the first place.  

When you arrive to your road test, you will park at the start line and wait for the instructor to come to you. After that, the instructor will ask your parent or guardian to step out of the vehicle and show a valid driver’s license. After that, the person that came with you to the test, will then get out of the vehicle and stand on the curb until you are done. At this point, the instructor will ask you to get into the driver’s seat of the vehicle and do as you are told when you are told to do so. First thing they will do is scan your information that you had to take with you and scan the vehicles registration. After that, the instructor will say something along the lines of, “I am going to get buckled up and we can get started.”  

Step number one: Always, no matter what always buckle up first. Then, make sure that your mirrors are at the correct spot for you to be able to see out of them clearly and see what is behind you. Then adjust your seat to the correct position for yourself. In order to do that though, you must start the vehicle. 

Step number two: When everything is adjusted to where you need it to be to be a safe driver, wait for the instructor to tell you what they would like you to do. The instructor is going to want you to pull away from the curb that you are parked at and proceed forward for about 40 feet then make a right. 

Step number three: ALWAYS put your turn signal on for whatever way that you are going to be turning. When you pull away from the curb, MAKE SURE that you put your signal on. You WILL fail if you do not do so. After you pull away from the curb and go to make a right-hand turn, you will realize that there is no stop sign at that turn. This means that you should not be stopping because you have the “right of way” because you’re turning right. Then, you will proceed straight until the instructor tells you to do differently. 

Step number four: From now until the end of the test, MAKE SURE that you check your mirrors multiple times and ALWAYS use your turning signal when you make a turn. The instructor is going to have you drive a few hundred feet and then make a right handed turn. When you make the right handed turn, you are going to want to slow down and put you right turning signal on.  

Step number five: After a few right-handed and left-handed turns, the instructor is going to have you pull up next to a car on the right-hand side of the road and do a parallel park. The parallel park is where most people fail the test. You need to turn your right turn signal on as you are approaching the vehicle you are parallel parking behind.  

Step number six: When you pull up, you are going to want to have your mirror lined up with their mirror and be completely stopped. Put the car in reverse and turn the wheel all the way right. Slowly start touching the gas petal until your car is at a 45-50-degree angle with the other vehicle. 

Step number seven: Now, put your foot on the brake to stop the car from going any further back. Turn the wheel back so it is straight. Start slowly letting off the gas and let the car roll back until you are about 8 inches away from the curb. If you have done this correctly so far, you should be able to finish step number eight with no problem. 

Step number eight: Now you are going to want to turn your wheel left almost all the way and start letting off the brake again. When the front of your vehicle is just barely clear of the back of the vehicle in front of you, crank the wheel all the way to the left so you can straighten the car out. (Tips: If you mess up the parallel parking very badly and the instructor even tells you that, ask him if he has some tips and pay very close attention to what they have to tell you because the instructor might have you try it again with the car that is in front of that one. The instructor will guide you through it while you’re doing it a second time to help you perfect it. The one thing that you need to be very careful of is hitting the curb. If you do that, you automatically fail the parallel park.) 

Step number nine: Now, wait for the instructor to tell you what to do next. They will then tell you that when it is safe to do so, you can pull out and proceed forward. MAKE SURE once again, that you use your left-hand turning signal when pulling out. So, when you do as they asked, continue forward until you are told otherwise. 

Step number ten: The instructor is now going to tell you to make a few more turns and they will tell you where they would like you to go. The last hard part to this road test is the 3-point-turn. Before doing this, he will have you pull up to the curb and will make the directions very clear to you about doing the 3-point-turn. First, pull up to the curb with your right-hand turn signal on. When it is safe to do so, turn your left-hand signal on, turn the wheel all the way to the left and then touch your foot to the gas pedal. Just before you’re about to hit the other curb or the driveway in front of you, slow down to a complete stop and put the car in reverse. Before you move, turn the wheel all the way to the right and start backing up until you can pull forward while you’re still staying in the road.  

Step number eleven: After you do the 3-point-turn and pull away, you are going to have a few more left and right turns, then you will pull back to where you were in the beginning of the test. The instructor is either going to print a receipt that is your temporary 90-day license with instructions and your points on it, or he will print you a receipt that has your points on it and how you can take your road test again. (Tips: If you mess up the parallel parking very badly and the instructor even tells you that, ask him if he has some tips and pay very close attention to what they have to tell you because the instructor might have you try it again with the car that is in front of that one. The instructor will guide you through it while you’re doing it a second time to help you perfect it. The one thing that you need to be very careful of is hitting the curb. If you do that, you automatically fail the parallel park.) 

 When you take your driver’s test, the instructor is looking for many things. Those things include: turning, parking, braking, acceleration, mirror checking, alertness, stopping, signaling, observing, judgement. 

The test categories include quite a few things as well. You cannot just pass your New York State Drivers test. You must score no more than 30 points in order to receive your license. If you score exactly 30 points, it will then be up to the instructor whether you pass or fail the driver’s test. The categories include Leaving the curb, turning and intersections, parking, backing and U-turn, driving in traffic and finally, vehicle control. You must do all these very well to pass the driver’s test. The instructors must be very strict when grading you because they are trying to increase the number of safe drivers and decrease the number of accidents in the state of New York. 

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