Tennessee Road Test

How to Pass Your Tennessee Road Test: The Ultimate Guide

Zutobi
by Zutobi · Updated May 11, 2021

Taking the road test can be an intimidating experience. For many test-takers, it comes with a lot of stress and anxiety. With a bit of preparation and practice, you can throw your worries out of the window! 

In this article, we’ll break down exactly what you need to know to pass the Tennessee road test so you can feel confident on test day

Tennessee Road Test Requirements

The road test is one of the most important parts of the licensing process. Because of this, there are quite a few steps to complete beforehand. If you aren’t able to complete these requirements, you won’t be able to take your exam.

Here’s a checklist of the steps and requirements you need to complete: 

  1. Get a learner’s permit. If you’re under 18, you’ll be required to get a permit before you’re allowed to take the road exam. You may obtain one as early as 15 years of age, and you must hold your permit for six months. 
  2. Schedule your road test. There is no option to walk-in for the exam. You’ll need to schedule an appointment first before you’ll be allowed to take the test. There are appointments available here.
  3. Find a test vehicle. The TN DMV will not provide you a vehicle to take the exam, so you’ll need to find one for yourself. Many new drivers utilize their parents’ or close family member’s cars. This vehicle must have current registration and insurance, properly inflated tires, working mirrors and lights, and at least a half tank of gas. It is recommended that you get lots of driving practice with this specific vehicle if you’ll be using it for the exam.
  4. Practice early and often. You’ll be tested on several core driving maneuvers on the road exam such as signaling and turning, passing, and backing up safely. Ultimately, the more time you spend behind the wheel the more comfortable you’ll get. It is a good idea to practice driving around the location of your examination area as well. This will give you an idea of the stops and signs that may be present in the area, so you can get used to them beforehand. 
  5. Bring necessary documents. You’ll need to bring proof of citizenship or legal presence, proof of full social security number, and two proofs of Tennessee residency (one dated within the last 4 months). Additionally, if you’re under 18, you’ll need to bring proof of school attendance, teenage affidavit, and certification at 50 hours of behind-the-wheel practice.

The Day of the Tennessee Road Test

The best thing you can do on the day of the road test is to arrive at the DMV early! If you’re even a few minutes behind schedule, you will be required to reschedule your test. Have a licensed driver take you and your test vehicle and make sure you’re at least 15 minutes early! 

What’s Tested on the Driving Test?

The Tennessee driving test is split up into two parts.

  • The pre-check part
  • The driving part

1. Pre-Check

After your documents have been verified with the DMV clerk, your licensed driver will drive you towards the side of the building. An examiner will meet you to verify the vehicle’s registration and insurance, as well as ensure it is in legal working order. The two of you will enter the vehicle where you’ll demonstrate your knowledge of the vehicle’s functions related to changing mirrors, turning on headlights, honking the horn, among other actions.

2. The Driving Portion of the Exam

You will spend approximately 15 minutes on the driving portion of the test. Your examiner will test you on a variety of maneuvers such as turn, backing up, keeping safe following distance, and more. Make sure to always look in the direction you’re traveling and checking your mirror constantly. 

After the Road Test

If you’ve passed, congratulations! The Tennessee DMV will issue you a temporary license. If you are new to driving, you’ll have to pay certain fees to complete your application. Your permanent photo license should arrive in the mail within weeks.

Failing the road test isn’t a big deal – be sure to practice extra and you’ll be sure to ace it the second time around! You will be allowed to retake the exam after 7 days.

That’s It!

That’s all you need to know about passing the road test in Tennessee. Make sure to read through all of the tips in this guide, prepare properly, and get there early. Good luck!

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