Driving Permit
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How to Prepare for a Driving Permit (and Pass Your Test!)

So you’re finally ready to get your driving permit? Depending on your state of residence, you might know it under a different name.

Learner’s permit, learner’s license, or driver’s permit, all of those terms refer to the same document. It’s having the right to get behind the wheel (finally) and drive around. 

However, this is one of those logistical processes that you can’t get your parents or anyone else to do for you. To get your own driver’s permit, you’ll need to go through a theoretical test, as well as a driving test. If this is the first time you’re hearing about this process, no worries we are here to help. 

Keep on reading to learn everything you need to know so that you can ace your tests and apply for a driving permit with no issues. 

Driving Permit Requirements 101

Before we start delving into the different strategies to implement before your testing day, let’s make sure you know what the actual requirements look like for your state. 

Generally speaking, teens who are between 14 and 18 years of age can start their driving education and the process for getting their learner’s permit. You’ll be required to pass a driving knowledge test.

Some states will merge both the theoretical and practical parts in one single practical exam. Students are expected to pass their text by getting at least 70%, depending on the state’s minimum accepted percentage. 

Once you’ve passed your test (or tests), you might have to hold on to your driving permit for 6 months before applying for your driver’s license exam. 

Getting Your Driving Permit: The Preparation Phase

None of us have an inherent driving ability. We all have to spend some time learning how to drive, as well as get familiar with the rules of the road. 

The very first step you’ll want to take is to check out your state-based permit driving rules and requirements. While we’ve covered the common grounds, you’ll still want to learn your state-based ones by heart. 

This is the only way you can start your preparation process, so you’ll know what to expect. 

Spend Some Time Around Your Testing Office

Once you’ve written down the things you need, and your game plan, it’s time to get really familiar with your testing office’s location and its general surroundings. 

After all, your DMV test will be held around your DMV office. It’s always a good idea to take some of your driving lessons in the area where your actual test will be held. 

This way, you’ll avoid any unpleasant surprises, like running into a pothole in the middle of your test. You’ll come in knowing your testing environment, so you won’t feel as stressed or anxious as you’re learning your new terrain. 

Master the Driving Basics

No one is expecting you to be a NASCAR driver any time soon. 

But, on your testing day, your supervising driving instructor will expect you to know the basics of driving. And, the only way you can learn those is by putting in the hours of driving practice that you need. 

The more you drive, the higher your confidence in your driving ability will be. Nothing can be more helpful in testing conditions than muscle memory.   

Get Familiar With Your Car

Part of your exam will be on demonstrating sufficient knowledge of the exterior and interior of your car. These will involve marking out the locations and different functions of a variety of devices, control mechanisms, and instruments in your car. 

Similar to actual driving, you’ll want to dedicate some time to learn those functions and buttons by heart. After all, even the best of us can experience a mental blank in the middle of a test. 

In short, the more you practice, the higher your chances will be of having an easy testing experience. 

Assess the Time and Weather

The whole idea behind preparing for your driving test is trying to stack all the factors in your favor. So, you’ll want to avoid sabotaging yourself and pick your testing time in the middle of rush hour and the midst of a rainstorm. 

Take a thorough look at your town or city’s peak hours. Pick a testing time that will grant you some road space, so you’ll have to pass on the early morning hours and the afternoon time slots. 

This way you can avoid getting stuck in the rush hour period of people trying to make it to work and dropping off their kids at school. The same rule applies to the return journey home from work or school in the afternoon. 

Organize Your Documents in Advance

You don’t want to find out that you have missing documents in the middle of your driving test. Create a checklist of all the legally required documents or items a week or so before even thinking about booking your test. 

For instance, depending on your life circumstances, you might need additional supporting documents from overseas or other offices before you apply for your driver’s permit. 

So, take your time now to double-check that your paperwork is all in order. 

Get to the DMV Early

Sure, the DMV is notorious for taking it slow. But, you’ll want to show up at least 15 minutes before your test time. 

This way, you can take a breather, get in any last-minute revision and mentally prepare yourself for the exam. 

If you do arrive a bit late for your test, you’re opening the door to the possibility of forfeiting your attempt on this day. Your supervising instructor might even have you rebook your test for a different day, which includes paying for any booking fees. 

Basically, nothing is forcing you to go through that logistical mess. When in doubt, arrive 30 minutes early. No one was ever penalized for arriving early to the DMV. 

Ready to Start Your Driving Permit Classes?

We know how overwhelming it can be to start the process of getting your driving permit, especially if you’re an only child or the eldest so you can’t get some practical tips from your siblings. 

Thankfully, the whole process is much simpler than you can imagine. Hopefully, by applying the key tips we’ve added to our explainer, you feel much more confident preparing for your DMV test.

And, if you enjoyed our article, make sure to check out additional tips and tricks, all available to you in our auto section.