Virginia Road Test: A Complete Guide

Virginia Road Test: A Complete Guide

by Zutobi · Updated Apr 06, 2021

Most new drivers in Virginia dread their road test, also known as the road skills test – and it can be extremely nerve-wracking. But with the proper preparation, you can make the experience far less stressful. One of the best things to do to prepare for your test is to find out what to expect. 

Below you’ll find all you need to know about taking and passing the Virginia road test so that you can pass it with confidence. 

Virginia Road Test Requirements

In Virginia, there are a number of requirements before you are allowed to take the road test. If you’re under the age of 18 and haven’t had a driver’s license before, make sure that you’ve completed the following before you schedule your road test appointment.

  • You have reached the age of 16 and three months.
  • You have completed a Virginia-approved driver’s education program. Proof of completion is required to get your license. 
  • You have had your permit for at least nine months.
  • You have 45 hours of supervised driving; 15 of which are night hours. You’ll need to have your driving hours verified by a parent or guardian.

Over 18

If you’re over the age of 18, but have not held a driver’s license before, you must complete the following requirements to be eligible to take the road test in Virginia.

  • You have completed a Virginia-approved driver’s education program. Proof of completion is required to get your license.
  • You have had your permit for at least 60 days. 

Regardless of your age, you’ll have to bring the proper identification documents: two proofs of residency, one proof of identity, one proof of legal presence, and one proof of your social security number. You should bring your permit as well. 

How to Schedule Your Virginia Road Test

When you’re ready to take your road skills test, go ahead and schedule an appointment with the Virginia DMV. Walk-in appointments are not allowed. You’ll also need to fill out this application form.

Vehicle Requirements

The Virginia road test is taken in your own vehicle, so you’ll want to make sure that it qualifies. If it doesn’t, you will not be allowed to take your test. 

Make sure that your vehicle has:

  • Valid insurance
  • Valid registration
  • Safety inspection sticker
  • Valid license plates
  • No dashboard warning lights on

Also, ensure that your vehicle is in working order by checking your:

  • Turn signals
  • Brakes
  • Brake lights
  • Seat belts
  • Speedometer
  • Car horn
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Rear view mirror and side mirrors
  • Windshield (nothing should be obstructing the view)

On the Day of the Virginia Road Test

When you head to the Virginia DMV to take your road skills test, remember to bring the following:

  • Your learner’s permit
  • Proof that you’ve completed driver’s education
  • Two proofs of residency
  • One proof of identity
  • Your social security number
  • Proof of legal presence

If you’ve changed your name, and your name is different on the documents you bring, you’ll need proof of a name change as well. 

You’ll need to be accompanied by a licensed adult who will either drive your vehicle to the testing site or supervise you as you drive. However, they will not be allowed in the vehicle during your test. Make sure that you arrive around 15 minutes early to your test with the correct documents. If you’re late, you may have to reschedule. 

During COVID-19 – you are asked to wait in your car until 15 minutes before your appointment. You’ll then check in with an employee outside of the DMV, who will direct you to the testing area. 

What Maneuvers are Tested on the Road Test in Virginia?

Unlike many other states, the Virginia road skills test takes place on a designated course rather than a public road. However, you should drive as if you were on a public road. The testing area will be marked off by cones, which will represent various boundaries and reference points. There will also be signs like on normal roads. 

During the road test, you’ll have to perform a variety of maneuvers within a time limit. You should be prepared to:

  • Make a three-point turn
  • Perform a pull-in parking technique
  • Perform a backing-in parking technique

You will have three minutes to complete each of these maneuvers. You may be asked to complete other maneuvers as well. To pass your road test, you’ll have to demonstrate that you can properly and safely control a vehicle. Your examiner will evaluate your performance based on your acceleration control, braking, steering, use of turn signals, use of mirrors, judgment of space, backing skills, visual skills, and general driving skills. 

During COVID-19 –  To ensure proper social distancing, your examiner will instruct you from outside of your vehicle rather than from the passenger seat. You should keep your window down so that the instructor is able to communicate instructions to you. If your vehicle’s windows aren’t clear enough for the examiner to see into your car, you may have to roll all the windows down to ensure an adequate view. If an examiner blows their whistle or raises their hand, you must come to a stop, put the car into park, and wait for instructions.

Mistakes that Result in a Failure on the Road Test

Failing a road test is never fun, but knowing what will cause an automatic failure is helpful for the purpose of avoiding it.

The following actions cause an automatic failure on the road test in Virginia:

  • Not making a complete stop at a stop sign
  • Failing to obey signals, signs, or other traffic laws
  • Failing to use your seat belt properly
  • Hitting a sidewalk or curb
  • Not completing maneuvers within the three-minute time limit
  • Moving or bumping a cone or flag boundary marker
  • Being involved in an avoidable accident
  • Allowing your vehicle to touch other vehicles, pedestrians, or objects
  • Doing any dangerous actions
  • Not following your examiner’s instructions
  • Failing to use both hands on the steering wheel while in motion
  • Forcing the examiner to intervene to avoid an accident

That’s It!

That’s everything you need to know about the Virginia 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.

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