As a new driver, you’re probably a bit nervous about taking your Alabama road test. Maybe you want to double-check that you’re eligible, or maybe you’d like a convenient checklist of everything you should bring, or maybe you want to make sure that your vehicle will pass the vehicle check. Well there’s no need to worry, because we will answer all of those questions and more in this article.
Alabama Road Test Requirements
You’ll want to make sure that you’re eligible to take your road test before you schedule an appointment. In Alabama, drivers under the age of 18 are required to complete a graduated driver license program. It involves three stages: learner’s permit, restricted license, and unrestricted license. To move on to the restricted license section of the program, you’ll have to pass a road test.
Make sure that you’ve completed the road test requirements by looking through the following checklist:
- You’ve got a valid learner’s permit.
- After turning 15, you’ve studied for your written knowledge test using the Driver’s License Manual and passed the test at a driver licensing office.
- You’ve passed your vision exam.
- You’ve paid the required testing and licensing fees.
- You have practiced driving with your learner’s permit under the proper supervision for at least 30 hours.
- You’ve held your permit for at least six months.
- You’ve reached the age of 16.
- If you’re a minor, you’ve obtained permission from a parent or guardian.
When you’re ready to take your driving test, go ahead and schedule an appointment.
On the Day of Your Alabama Road Test
Finally, it’s the day of your Alabama road test! Prepare by checking your vehicle, practicing driving maneuvers, and collecting the documents you’ll need to bring.
What Should You Bring to the Driver Licensing Office?
When you head to the driver licensing office, you’ll need to bring a number of documents that you’ll have to present before being allowed to take your driving test. Be sure to bring:
- Two documents of identification.
- Your social security card.
- Two proofs of residency.
- Proof of insurance and registration for your vehicle.
- Testing and licensing fees.
If you’d like more information about acceptable documents, check out the document requirements.
In addition to the above items, you’ll also need proof of school enrollment or graduation if you’re younger than 19. If you’re under 17, you’ll need a parent or guardian to accompany you to the driver licensing office as well.
In Alabama, the road test is taken in your own vehicle, which will be thoroughly checked before you can begin the actual test. In addition to valid registration and insurance, you’ll need to make sure that your vehicle meets state standards for testing vehicles. Make sure that your vehicle is functioning properly by going over the following:
- All your lights (headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and taillights) must be working well. Make sure that the lights aren’t dim, flickering, or otherwise in need of repair.
- Your side and rear view mirrors should work and be adjusted to the correct position.
- Windshield shouldn’t be cracked or obstructed in any way. Windshield wipers should function effectively.
- Tires should be in good working order. Make sure that they are inflated correctly and aren’t worn down too far.
- Brakes should be working correctly. Additionally, your parking brake (or emergency brake) should work well.
- Car horn should function.
- You should have working seat belts in your vehicle for all passengers.
- Muffler and exhaust system should be working correctly.
- You should have a valid license plate that is properly attached to your vehicle.
What's Tested on the Road Test in Alabama?
During your road test, you’ll have to demonstrate to your examiner that you can properly control your vehicle. You’ll be tested on some general driving skills, as well as a number of closed course maneuvers. These maneuvers may require more dedicated practice as they aren’t generally used in day-to-day driving.
While preparing for your test, make sure that you’re developing good driving habits. Here’s a list of tips you should remember as you practice driving.
- Know where your controls are and how to use them. You should be able to use your parking brake, lights, windshield wipers, etc.
- Use correct posture and keep your hands on the steering wheel. Adjust your seat to a comfortable position so that you can sit up straight, wear your seat belt properly, and reach all the necessary controls.
- When stopping, check traffic behind you. Brake smoothly.
- When approaching a stop sign, always make a complete stop and check for other traffic before entering the intersection.
- Obey all traffic lights and don’t try to beat a yellow. If you need to stop, stop before entering the intersection and behind the stop line if there is one.
- Give others the right-of-way in the correct circumstances. Always pull over and stop for emergency vehicles with their lights on.
- Be sure to activate your turn signal well before a turn. Turn from the correct lane and into the correct lane. Slow your vehicle enough to make the turn safely, and check that your turn signal has canceled after the turn is complete.
- When passing other vehicles or merging, check your blind spot and move smoothly into traffic when it is safe.
- Stay in your lane and don’t change lanes unnecessarily. If you’re driving on a highway, stay in the right lane except to pass.
- Use your horn only in warning. Don’t use it to hurry other drivers, clear an intersection, or signal friends.
- Keep a good following distance between you and other vehicles.
- Don’t break the speed limit and adjust your speed based on weather, road, and traffic conditions.
You may be asked to perform a number of closed course maneuvers. Alabama drivers are not required to parallel park during the road test. However, you may also be asked to perform some or all of the following:
- Quick Stop: Simply stop your vehicle quickly and safely from a low speed.
- Backing: Back slowly and safely, moving in a straight line. While backing, look out of the back window for any other vehicles or pedestrians.
- Three Point Turn: Turn your vehicle around in a small area. Make sure to check traffic by doing a head check and using mirrors before you start the maneuver. You may only back up once. Don’t bump the sidewalk or curb.
- Parking on an upgrade: Signal and pull over to the curb. Turn your wheels in the correct direction for parking on a hill and put your car into park. When leaving the parking spot, check traffic before pulling out into the road again.
What if You Fail Your Alabama Road Test?
Though you probably don’t enjoy thinking about failing a road test, it is more likely to happen if you are unprepared. Knowing what causes a road test failure will help you avoid it. You may fail your test for the following reasons:
- Being involved in a vehicle crash.
- Violating traffic laws (such as speed limits, traffic signs/signals, etc.)
- Driving dangerously or recklessly.
- Refusing to obey your examiner or otherwise failing to cooperate.
- Making multiple errors due to lack of preparation or bad habits.
If you fail your test, don’t worry. Simply practice your driving skills and retake the test on a later date.
That’s everything you need to know about passing the Alabama road test. We hope this guide has helped you out, and that you now feel comfortable with the steps moving forward. If you need any help studying for your upcoming exams, then Zutobi is the perfect study guide with online practice tests, a summarized handbook, and practical driving tips that will help you immensely during the actual road exam.