There’s nothing like the freedom of the open highway. Are you ready to feel the wind in your hair as you drive around Old Dominion? Before you can take off, you’ll need to pass the Virginia Road Skills Test.
For new drivers, this test can feel intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Today, we’re taking a close look at what the test includes and how you can pass with flying colors when it’s your time to complete the assessment.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started.
What is the Virginia Road Skills Test?
The Virginia Road Skills Test is an evaluation of your abilities behind the wheel.
How long does a driving test last in general? Well, to obtain your official Virginia driver’s license test, you must pass a 50-minute driving test.
How long does the road test take? In all, the Virginia Road Skills Test takes 30-minutes, divided into two parts:
- 10-minutes in the parking lot or on the range
- 20-minutes out on the road
If you’re under 18, you’re required to take the test as part of your Virginia driver education course. These courses are offered at public, private, and commercial driving schools across the state.
The test can take place at any DMV Customer Service Center (CSC), with the exception of two locations:
- Fair Oaks Mall
- Arlington DMV Metro at Virginia Square
Prior to the Virginia Road Skills Test, you’ll also take a written exam that tests how well you grasp the basic traffic rules and regulations — outlined in the 2020 Virginia Driver’s Manual.
DMV Road Test Tips to Know
If you fail the VA Road Skills Test, you’ll have to wait two full days before you can try again. Moreover, if you fail the test three times at a CSC, you’ll have to complete the behind-the-wheel portion of a driver education course. This course can be taken at a state-approved driver training school before you can qualify to take it a fourth time.
As such, it pays to pass the first time around! Thankfully, we know a few tips that can help. If you’re thinking, “I need to pass my driving test,” keep reading.
Avoid Automatic Fails On Driving Tests
Don’t get disqualified right off the bat.
Here are a few common mistakes during road tests that you need to know. These are considered hazardous moves that could present a significant safety risk.
How can you fail your driving test? A few driving test errors include:
- Failing to obey regulatory signs or signals
- Speeding five miles or more over the speed limit
- Requiring teacher intervention to maintain control of the vehicle
- Performing a dangerous maneuver
- Striking an object
- Failing to yield
Do your best to above the automatic driving test fails and you’ll be that much closer to walking away with your license!
Know Your Vehicle Requirements
You can also be denied testing because your vehicle doesn’t meet the necessary requirements.
Before you head to the nearest CSC, make sure that your car is up to speed. At the minimum, it will need to have:
- A current registration card and inspection sticker
- Valid license plate
- Up-to-date auto insurance coverage
- Working lights, safety belts, horn, doors, windows, speedometer, and mirrors
- Clean windshield with no view-obstructing cracks or debris
- No warning lights on the dashboard, including low gas
Don’t have access to a vehicle that checks all of these boxes? You can obtain one through a driving school or borrow one from a trusted friend or family member.
Tip: If you borrow a car, make sure to take it driving; road test practice is crucial before the test, especially in an unfamiliar vehicle.
Wear the Right Footwear
The evaluator can send you home for failing to put on the proper footwear on the day of your test. Make sure that your shoes are appropriate for safe driving. Sneakers and other low-heeled shoes are ideal.
Avoid options with an open heel, such as flip-flops or sandals. It’s also best to avoid high heels, as the heel can get caught under the floor mat and impede braking or accelerating.
Know the Road Test Point System
How is the road test scored?
If you make fewer than five driving errors and perform zero unsafe driving maneuvers, you’ll pass this portion of the test. Incurring five or more driving errors will result in an automatic failure, as will performing even one unsafe driving maneuver. Avoid critical mistakes during testing as listed above.
Arrive Early With The Right Documentation
One of the simplest, but most common driving test mistakes is showing up late. On the day of your Virginia Road Skills Test, be at least 15-minutes early. Arriving late is grounds for disqualification.
In addition, it’s important to not show up empty-handed. There are a few important things you need for your driving test, including your:
- Learner’s permit
- Car registration and license
- Auto insurance card
Keep these documents in the glove compartment of your car to make sure they’re always within an arm’s reach.
Study Key Driving Skills
Worried about the specific maneuvers that you’ll be required to demonstrate on the road? It helps to know ahead of time what kind of road test questions you should expect.
The Virginia Department of Education (DOE) shares its Final Road Skills Evaluation form online. While you cannot guarantee that the same test will be used in your situation, it helps to study it for reference on what to expect. The high-level testing categories outlined on the form include:
- Starting/stopping skills
- Visual skills
- Backing straight
- Backing and turning
- Navigating a turnabout
- Navigating controlled and uncontrolled intersections
- Maneuvering curves, line changes, parking and expressways
- Exhibiting safe driving behaviors
Ace Your Virginia Road Skills Test
You’re only a few steps away from scoring your license and taking off! The Virginia Road Skills Test doesn’t have to be a roadblock in your journey. We hope you find these DMV road test tips helpful as you study.
When you know what to look out for, how to prepare, and what to do on the day of the test, you’re already headed in the right direction.
Either way, Colonial Driving School has you covered. Take our Service Quiz today to learn which of our courses is the right fit for your needs!