NY Road Test Guide

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How to schedule a New York City road test in no time

If you thought driving permit tests are nerve-wracking, wait till you hear about the actual road tests! It doesn't matter if you are an experienced driver or a new one, driving in New York is always stressful. More so if you have to take a test in these congested streets and heavy traffic.

In the Big Apple, scheduling your road test at the DMV demands patience. Usually, the earliest date you can get is approximately three to five weeks the earliest. During the school breaks and summer, this can take up to three months! There aren't even any waiting lists available. To avoid all the unnecessary stress, DoNotPay can help you schedule a road test at the DMV in no time. You don't even have to dial anyone. All you have to do is:

  • Use the DoNotPay app from your
  • Sit back, relax, and let our app take care of your road test appointment.
How to use the DoNotPay app to schedule a NY road test?
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How to prepare for your road test?

Before you even consider taking a road test, you must fulfill requirements such as:

  1. Have a learner's permit and follow the instructions that clearly define your driving conditions
  2. If you are 18 or younger, you can schedule a road test only after having a learner's permit in your possession for a minimum of six months
  3. Complete a Driver Education Course or a Pre-licensing Course
  4. Collect sufficient hours of supervised driving practice

How much supervised driving practice do you need?

It depends on your age. If you are 18 or younger, you need at least 50 hours of training, with a minimum of 15 hours driven at nighttime, and a minimum of 10 hours driving in moderate to heavy traffic conditions. As a minor, you will also have to bring a Certification of Supervised Driving (MV-262) signed by your parent or legal guardian to confirm that you have completed the required amount of hours of driving practice under supervision.

If you are an adult, the DMV highly recommends going through this supervised driving practice either by taking professional driving lessons or attending a driver education course.

How can you complete a Pre-licensing Course?

A Pre-licensing Course is a standardized course approved by the DMV. It covers topics regarding driving, driver's skills, and habits. You can take it in driving schools, colleges, and high schools but not online.

When you complete this course, you will get a Pre-licensing Certificate (MV-278), which is valid for two years. You have to complete the course again if you don't schedule the road rest within a year. When planning the road test, your certificate must be valid and unexpired, but it can expire on the day you take the test.

How to schedule a NY road test?

In NY, you can schedule your road test online or by phone. Both options take a lot of time and effort. There is a third, super easy option, the DoNotPay app. To schedule a road test at the NY DMV with our app, all you have to do is use it in your .

If you decide to try scheduling it on your own, you can do it:

  • Online—access the DMV road test online application and log in. Enter the necessary documents to complete your appointment and click "Schedule now." Save the confirmation or write it down on a piece of paper in case you want to refer to it later.
  • By phone—call 1-518-402-2100 and follow the instructions.

You can also use both of these options to check your appointment, reschedule it or cancel it, if necessary. Bear in mind that you can have only one meeting in the system at a time. So, if you want to reschedule and look for another, more suitable date, you have to cancel the first one.

What do you need for scheduling a road test?

To schedule a NY road test, you need to gather some documents. Make sure to prepare them on time, or else you won't be able to schedule it on the date preferred. You will need:

  1. A completed and valid Pre-licensing Course or a Driver Education Course
  2. Zip code for the testing site. You can take the road test in an area other than that in which you live.
  3. Check out the DMV's website to select the zip code.
  4. A valid New York learner permit
  5. One unused test available, as the non-commercial license fee covers up to two road tests

How much does a road test cost?

If you are applying for a non-commercial driver's license, you have to pay a $10 fee. This fee also covers up to two road tests. In case you fail both of them, you have to pay a $10 fee for two additional road tests. If you fail to take them for some reason, you will not get a refund.

The situation with the commercial driver's license differs slightly. The candidates have to pay $40 for a single test.

Before the test, check if it’s still on!

Road tests are taken seriously in New York City. As they usually take place during the week, the testers have to consider traffic and road and weather conditions to have a safe testing session. Due to bad weather or road construction, they sometimes have to cancel the testing. Before you head off to your appointment, make sure to give the DMV a call at 1-518-402-2100 or check the page dedicated to cancelations, closings, and delays to see whether your road test is still on.

Another thing to look after is not to be late for your road test! The testers don't like it when their candidates are late. In that case, they are more likely to reschedule than to wait for you. Try arriving at the location at least 30 minutes earlier. This way, you will patiently wait for your turn and not miss your test.

What documents should you bring to the test?

Before you can take the test, you have to give the tester valid documents that prove you meet the requirements. These are:

  • A valid Pre-licensing Course Certificate (MV-278) or a certificate from a driver education course such as Student Certificate of Completion (MV-285), only originals as they don't accept copies
  • Contacts or glasses, if it says in your permit that you have to wear corrective lenses
  • Minors have to bring a Certification of Supervised Driving (MV-262) signed by a parent or a legal guardian to verify they have completed a sufficient amount of hours of supervised driving practice
  • A learner permit with a photo. In case you have a temporary permit without a picture, you have to provide additional documents such as an NY State driver's license with a photo or a NY State ID card for non-drivers.

Aside from these, you have to provide a car for the road test and be accompanied by a driver who's at least 21 and who owns a valid driver's license to drive that test car.

What are the requirements for the test car?

The car for the road test has to have an unexpired inspection and registration. It has to be fully functional and clean. The headlights, seat belts, windshield wipers, and other necessary equipment must function correctly.

The area around the passenger seat and seatbelt has to be clean and without any clutter or dirt that could contaminate the tester's uniform in any way. The doors have to operate correctly, especially the front passenger door, which can open from the inside.

Before the road test starts

As you arrive at the road test site, make sure to park in line behind the last vehicle correctly. Leave enough room around you so you can safely get out of the parking spot. When the tester indicates, move to the driver's seat, and start taking preparatory actions such as adjusting your seat, mirrors, and rearview. Don't forget to fasten your seatbelt. The tester will guide you through the route and the process before the test starts. If you have some questions at this point, don't hesitate to ask.

During the road test

The road test in NY lasts around 15 minutes. It tests your ability to perform the driving basics in real traffic. You might have to turn left and right, parallel park, and drive through an intersection with traffic lights and stop signs. The tester may ask you to make a three-point turn and to drive in moderate to heavy traffic.

During your testing, apart from observing the traffic around you, pay attention to the tester and their instructions. They will point out your mistakes while driving and tell you how to fix them. Listen carefully as they may put you through a similar situation where you made a mistake and give you a chance to repair it.

Tips and tricks for your road test

  1. Find the perfect balance when you are accelerating and steering. Avoid making rapid transitions when shifting gears. It can cause stalling and pressuring the engine, which shows you don't have control over the vehicle. Practice makes perfect. Only by smooth driving will you be able to react correctly and in time to everything that is happening around you.
  2. Adjust your speed to the posted limits and road conditions at all times. This doesn't mean you should drive slower than other vehicles because then you can seriously interfere with the normal traffic flow. Follow the speed limit but also take into account the weather, road, and traffic conditions and adjust your driving correctly.
  3. Practice braking smoothly and timely. Don't wait for the last moment to brake. Begin braking before your stopping position so you can make a gentle and smooth stop.
  4. Always sound your horn and use your signals during your driving to let other drivers and pedestrians know your intentions. It will prevent any unpleasant situations and show your tester that you are a cautious driver.
  5. Make sure you are in the appropriate gear in every situation. If you don't adjust the gears to the speed, it will not only cause severe damage to the car but also show that you are unable to make smooth transitions and ensure a safe and pleasant ride.
  6. Always be alert. Frequently check your side mirrors and rearview to monitor the traffic around you. Don't forget to look over your shoulders before you change lanes or start reversing.
  7. Always keep a proper distance when following another vehicle. Rely on the "two seconds rule" from the Drivers Manual. Take into account the weather and road conditions and adjust your distance suitably.
  8. One of the most common errors is not staying in the lanes. When turning, remain in the same lane even after you complete the turn. Pay attention to your position and change lanes carefully.
  9. Be aware of stopping positions. Pay attention to marked lines and stop before you reach an intersection, crosswalk, or a stop line.
  10. Predict the potential mistakes of other drivers and be prepared to react to prevent any dangerous situation from happening.

Results of the road test

Depending on their practice, most drivers manage to pass the NY road test on the first or second attempt. During the road test, the tester tracks your driving by noting down negative points for every mistake you make. If you collect more than 30 of these negative points, you have failed the test. You can also get automatically disqualified during the test if you commit a serious violation or you participate in an accident.

After the road test

What happens after the road test differs depends on whether you applied for a commercial or non-commercial driver's license. If you qualify for a non-commercial one (Class D, DJ, E, M, or MJ), the tester will give you a printed receipt that, along with your learner permit with a photo, serves as an interim license and is valid for 90 days. In case the tester cannot confirm your qualifications for a driver's license, they will give you another receipt confirming you have successfully passed the road test, but you can't use it as a driver's license. You will receive a new one with a photo in about two weeks by mail.

If you have applied for a commercial driver's license (Class A, B, C), the tester will give you the Road Test Evaluation Form (CDL—200) as a receipt and a confirmation that you have passed the road test. You should wait at least a week after passing your road test before you apply for a permanent driver's license. For this, you will have to bring your original license to the local DMV and modify it on the spot.

What happens if you fail your road test?

If you fail a road test for a non-commercial driver's license, there is no need to worry, as your learner permit is valid until its expiration date. In case you are planning on taking the test again, and your permit expires around that time, you will have to apply for a new learner permit.

Don't forget the fee you paid when you first scheduled a road test covers only two attempts. If you have failed both of them, and want to try again, you have to pay an additional fee that will cover two new road tests. The rules say you have to wait for a minimum of one day before you can take the road test again.

How can you pay for additional road tests?

The DMV allows payment online or by phone. If you want to pay for additional road tests, then you have to:

  1. Give your date of birth and DMV ID number from your learner permit
  2. Obtain an unexpired driver license or learner permit
  3. Have no pre-paid road tests remaining
  4. Use your debit or credit card to cover the fee — they accept only Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express

Access the online payment application on the website or call 1-518-402-2100 and follow the simple instructions to complete the payment.

DoNotPay also helps you ACE your written exam

DoNotPay can also help you study for your written exam with a free practice test. Drivers that do well on our practice tests are guaranteed to do well on the written exam. If you have an upcoming practice test, make sure you pass by using our free DMV practice test.

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