Can I Use a Backup Camera During a Driving Test?

There is no denying that having driver-assist features such as a backup camera makes your car significantly easier to drive. However, in the case of rearview cameras, these could give you a significant edge during a driving test. As a result, the question remains, are they legal to use during a driving test?

As you’d imagine, this isn’t a simple case of yes or no. This comes down to the simple fact that various states across the U.S. have different stances on the issue. Nevertheless, as new vehicles offer even 360-degree systems, having a newer car has some serious advantages.

Is using a backup camera illegal?

An image of a screen showing a backup camera.
Backup Camera | THE DENVER POST/ ANDY CROSS

In short, it depends. If you’re going to take a driving test soon, you’ll want to look at your local laws before your test date. According to WFMY News 2, you cant utilize a backup camera during your driving test in the state of Massachusetts. Furthermore, you cant utilize a car that has one equipped to take your test. Since most brand-new vehicles come with these as standard, you’d need an older vehicle for the test.

On the other hand, some states will allow you to use a car that has a backup camera as long as it’s covered up or ignored. However, it is worth noting that these laws change as the auto industry shifts to embrace these driver-assist systems.

In the best-case scenario, you’ve got a state like Texas. According to Government Technology, the state of Texas will allow you to utilize your car’s backup camera if it has one equipped. Additionally, you can even utilize your car’s proximity sensors as well. In short, anything your car has as standard equipment is fair game during a driving test.

Regardless, it is worth reiterating that your local laws may vary.

What about other systems?

An image of a physical backup camera on a car.
Backup Camera | Getty Images

RELATED: A Backup Camera Doesn’t Automatically Improve Safety


As mentioned earlier, modern cars have more than just a clever backup camera. However, systems such as proximity sensors are far rarer than cameras. This is because these sensors are often sold as optional extras, not standard equipment. As you might imagine, this creates a double-edged sword scenario. Since these systems are rarer, there aren’t clear laws banning them like there are for cameras. As a result, your state might allow you to use them.

During most of your driving test, your backup camera won’t even play a major role. However, lane-keep assist systems might. Since most of these driver-assist features work in the background, there are much harder to spot than a camera. Additionally, most of these systems include bling-sport monitoring, which drivers can’t simply turn off either. In short, having these systems gives test-takers a considerable edge.

This is one system you cannot use in all states

An image of a screen showing a backup camera.
Backup Camera | Getty Images

If your car has an advanced backup camera and sensor system, chances are it will offer the ability to parallel park automatically. As you might imagine, this is a system that can’t be used under any circumstances.

In case you’re thinking of using this system sneakily, it is worth noting that it beeps loudly as the car looks for the empty spot. You might even get a warning on the dash telling you to release the wheel. As a result, you’ll want to get those parallel parking skills ironed out before you take the test.