You’ve completed your TLSAE Drug and Alcohol course, and now there’s just thing standing between you and your Florida driver’s license: the Florida road test. Nervous? Don’t be. Here’s what you can expect.
Scheduling Your Appointment
You’ll be able to take your Intermediate Florida Driver’s License test when you’ve met the following requirements: you’ve turned 16, and you’ve had your Florida Learner’s License for at least one year, with no moving violations. You must passed all of your required driver’s ed courses, and you must be able to provide confirmation that you’ve practiced a minimum of 50 hours of behind-the-wheel driving, with 10 of those hours occurring at night.
To take the road test, you’ll need to make an appointment with your local DHSMV office. The state of Florida makes it easy: simply visit the OASIS website, and select the driver’s license skills test option.
What to Expect from Your Florida Driving Test
The Florida road test is designed to see how well you know the rules of the road and properly apply those under real-world conditions. Most of the test will take place on the streets, in actual traffic. You might be a bit nervous, but remember that you’ll have already had plenty of time behind the wheel, driving on Florida’s roads.
Your driving examiner is tasked with making sure that you’re in complete control of the vehicle. You should be thoroughly familiar with your car, and know where all of the controls are located. (It’s a good idea to do your road test in the car that you learned to drive in.) As you move through each portion of the test, your examiner will watch for signs that you are capable of handling each maneuver skillfully and easily. 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, your driving examiner 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
Keeping your eyes on the road and your hands at the 9 and 3 positions on the wheel are extremely important first steps to show you’re a safe driver. In addition, checking ALL of your mirrors frequently – especially the side mirrors – shows you’re aware of your surroundings. Keep your head on a swivel, as the saying goes. Constantly scan the road and expect the unexpected: quick speed changes, pedestrians, or sudden increases in traffic. All of these factors will play into your reactions, and the instructor will be watching your behavior in each situation.
Before you begin, make sure your mirrors are properly adjusted, but don’t rely on them alone. 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.
Finally, it’s highly likely that your driving examiner will be taking notes. Don’t let this worry you! The examiner may simply be checking off requirements as you complete them. Keep your eyes on the road and not on your examiner, and you’ll do just fine.