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Passing the Texas Driving Test – The Ultimate Guide

Passing the Texas Driving Test – The Ultimate Guide

by Zutobi · Updated Dec 30, 2020

Passing the Texas driving test can be nerve-wracking. Obtaining a driver’s license is a marker of freedom and independence for many. However, completing the driving test is not as difficult as it seems – as long as you have the right knowledge beforehand

Remember, the Texas DPS is not trying to trick you – rather the intention is to make sure all drivers understand and follow the same driving rules in order to keep everybody safe.

How Can You Prepare for the Texas Driving Test?

The first step in preparing for the driving test is to study for the written test as you’ll learn about driving safety practices and the rules of the road. However, there are lots of great ways to further prepare before you are set to take the exam.  

#1 – Remember to keep your hands at 9-3

Keeping steering hands firmly at the top of both sides of the wheel will ensure your vehicle always stays in control. Additionally, this hand positioning encourages much better driving posture, which your instructor will be taking note of.

#2 – Always make complete stops

Making complete stops at stop signs helps keep you safe, as it allows you to properly look both ways before crossing an intersection to avoid oncoming vehicles and/or pedestrians. After the lane is clear, you may proceed by gently pressing the accelerator.

#3 – Perform common test maneuvers consistently

Your driving test will cover common maneuvers such as parallel parking, three points turn, U-turns, and more. To ensure you’re fully comfortable with these maneuvers, you’ll want to make sure you’re practicing them consistently every time you hit the road. 

#4 – Constantly scan the road ahead

Constantly scanning the road will allow you to stay current with everything that’s happening on the road at any point in time. This will prevent any sudden surprises from occurring, as you should be abreast of most dangerous situations well before they occur. 

#5 – Signal and check mirrors and blind spot when changing lanes

Before changing lanes, you’ll want to start signaling at least 100 feet before you plan to make the action. Additionally, you’ll want to check your mirrors and quickly check your blind spots, then turn your steering wheel in the direction of your desired lane.

When your test administrator asks you to change lanes on your DPS driving test, he or she will check to make sure you do exactly this.

#6 – Practice with your test vehicle

You’ll be required to bring your own test vehicle to the road test. This is a massive advantage to you, as you can spend as much time as you like fully getting comfortable with your test vehicle before heading to the DPS. Be sure to practice driving with your test vehicle whenever possible to gain maximum comfort with its various controls.

Getting in the habit of doing these little things every time you hit the road will help you gain familiarity with the road. Additionally, your driving test administrator will look for these things while you are taking your exam.

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How to Schedule Your DPS Driving Test

You can schedule your driving test after passing the written exam. Walk-in appointments are available on a limited basis. Many driving test locations have appointments scheduled months in advance, so walking in may be an option if you cannot wait. You’ll want to read our guide on the best times to visit the DPS if you decide to take this route.

Most drivers decide to schedule an appointment ahead of time. To do so, visit the Texas DPS Appointment Scheduler, where you’ll be prompted to enter your ID number, as well as your first & last name, date of birth, and last four digits of your social security number. 

What Documents to Bring

Several documents are required in order to obtain a driver’s license in the state of Texas. Some documents will count under multiple requirements, reducing the number of documents you’ll need to bring with you to the DPS office.

Requirements for New Drivers Over 18

  • Texas Driver License Application
  • Proof of US Citizenship or Lawful Presence
  • Proof of Residency
  • Proof of Identity
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Vehicle in working condition to complete test
  • Proof of insurance and registration for all vehicles (including test vehicle)

Requirements for New Drivers Under 18

  • Texas Driver License Application
  • Your Texas State Learner License
  • Proof of US Citizenship or Lawful Presence
  • Proof of Residency
  • Proof of Identity
  • Texas Driver Education Certificate of Completion (DE-964 or DE-964E)
  • Verification of Enrollment and Attendance (from your high school)
  • Evidence of successfully passed written test
  • Impact Texas Driver Program Certificate of Completion
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Vehicle in working condition to complete test
  • Proof of insurance and registration for all vehicles (including test vehicle)

What to Expect From the Texas Driving Test

The road test is designed to evaluate four basic skills in every driver:

  1. Control
  2. Positioning
  3. Signaling
  4. Observation

Specifically, you will be  tested on your proficiency in the following driving skills, knowledge, and maneuvers:

–       Obey all traffic signs

–       Obey all traffic signals

–       Using the clutch (if you have a manual transmission vehicle)

–       Driving properly in an intersection

–       Maintaining your lane

–       Parallel parking

–       Reversing safely and checking mirrors

–       Turning smoothly while staying in lane

–       Following, passing, and maintaining a single lane

–       Maintaining proper driving posture

What Happens If You Fail Your Texas Driving Test? 

If you fail, you will be allowed to attempt the driving exam three times within a 90-day period. If you fail all three times, you will then be required to redo the application process.

As you can see, the driving test isn’t difficult but is a comprehensive exam on operating a motor vehicle in the state of Texas. If you have properly prepared for the test, you will have no trouble passing the exam and proceeding to obtain your driver’s license.

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