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Failures That Will Make You Flunk Your DMV Driving Test Automatically

While the driving tests for getting your driver's license can vary from state to state, there are some general rules of things you can expect. In fact, there are a few major dont's that you should avoid altogether, and you'll definitely fail if you do these few things, or even worse, all of them.

Taking your driver’s license test with the DMV can be exciting, but it can also be very stressful. If you succeed, you will have the freedom of driving a vehicle on the open roads, but the test is designed to ensure you can do so safely under different conditions to protect you as well as other drivers on the road. While most driving tests work on a point system that gives you a bit of flexibility in small driving errors you may make along the way, there are a few things you can do that are guaranteed to send you home, waiting another day to retake the test.

Distracted driving

The 2021 Ford F-150 driving on the road by trees
2021 Ford F-150 | Ford

One of the worst things you can do during a driving test — and on the road in general — is to pull out your cellphone while behind the wheel. While it may be tempting to check notifications or answer text messages when you’re driving. You may just be reaching over to change the song, but most instructors suggest the best way to take your driving test is with no music, and no potential distractions — but, doing something that is illegal in most states, such as texting while driving, is definitely frowned upon while taking your driver’s license test.

Hitting another vehicle, pedestrian, or object

A car driving down the street
A car drives on a street after heavy thunder storm | Dominika Zarzycka, NurPhoto, Getty Images

It goes without saying that hitting another vehicle, or worse, a biker or pedestrian, means that you won’t be getting successful markings on your driver’s license test. In both the driving and parking portion of the test, hitting another vehicle is typically an immediate grounds for dismissal from your driving test — not to mention a ding on your insurance.

Your vehicle fails to meet basic safety requirements

In many states, unless you are attending classes in which a vehicle is provided for use of the DMV test, students are required to bring their own vehicle in which to take their driver’s license test. While you can take the test in any type of car, from a Bugatti to a Nissan, there are some standards of safety that must be adhered to. While the standards may vary by state, having working headlights, taillights, brake lights, seatbelts, and airbags are basic requirements — though it it important to check with your state DMV to see if there are additional expectations so you can be sure to bring a vehicle that will pass the inspection. If your vehicle doesn’t pass this inspection, you won’t be passing your license test, either.

The best way to ensure you pass your driver’s license test is to practice and pay attention, and to ensure that your vehicle is up to the set safety standards. Thought it may seem trivial, or even annoying, for new drivers, these tests and regulations are set in place to ensure your safety and the safety of the drivers, pedestrians, and others around you.


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