Texas Driving Test Guide
Before you hit the open roads in Texas, you’ll need to pass the driving test to earn your new drivers license. Are you prepared? We’ll help you get behind the wheel.
Scheduling Your Appointment
Make sure you’re 100% prepared for what you’ll be facing when you schedule your drivers license appointment. All new drivers in Texas are required to pass a written exam covering road signs, driving laws, and penalties. In addition, every driver must pass a behind-the-wheel skills exam as well as a vision test before obtaining their license.
If you’re a teen and you already have your Texas drivers permit, you can schedule your behind-the-wheel test at the DPS once you pass your 16th birthday and you’ve had your license for 6 months. For drivers 18-24, you must bring proof of completion of your Texas adult drivers ed course on test day.
If you’re over the age of 25, you’ll want to prepare for the written exam before you head to the DPS. You could study the Texas drivers manual on your own, or you can increase your chances of passing by taking a Texas adult drivers ed online course. Once you pass your adult drivers education course, you’ll have fulfilled the written DPS exam requirement. All that’s left is passing your behind-the-wheel and vision exams at the DPS.
What to Expect from Your Texas Driving Test
When scheduling your driving test, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, you will need to arrive with a working vehicle that has both current registration and valid auto insurance. Make sure the headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals are all functioning properly. There should be no cracks in the windshield, and all your mirrors should be clean and void of damage.
A driving examiner will want to know you’re in complete control of the vehicle. You should know where everything is, from the gearshift, to the turn signal, to the emergency brake. As you move through each portion of the test, they’ll watch for signs that you are capable of handling each maneuver skillfully. This includes staying in your lane (not swerving), proper use of turn signals, checking blind spots, and smooth transitions from stop to start.
In addition, a driving instructor will be watching to ensure you obey posted speed limits, drive at a safe distance from other vehicles, and obey road signs and signals accurately.
Basic Driving Skills
In addition to presenting confidence behind the wheel, you will be tested on a few very specific driving skills, including:
- Safe lane changes
- Parallel parking
- Making proper turns including a U-turn and a 3-point turn
- Backing up
- Obeying speed laws, road signs, and traffic signals
- Proper use of turn signals and mirrors
Other Tips to Pass Your Test
While teen drivers are required to log a certain number of driving practice hours before they can apply for a drivers license, adults are not held to that same standard. Still, it’s invaluable to spend some time behind the wheel with a licensed driver and practice before you go in for your driving test. Staying calm and confident in your every move increases your chances of passing your test on the first try.
Keeping your eyes on the road and your hands at the 10 and 2 positions on the wheel are extremely important first steps to show you’re a safe driver. In addition, checking your mirrors frequently indicates you’re aware of your surroundings. Watch for changes on the road such as quick speed changes, pedestrians, or increased traffic. All of these factors will play into your reactions, and the instructor will be watching your behavior in each situation.
Don’t rely solely on your mirrors — remember to turn your head and check your blind spots before changing lanes or turning. If all else fails, err on the side of caution. A driving examiner will not penalize you for making a safe choice, only for making a risky one.