We know that taking your Florida road test can be nerve-wracking. With a little preparation and insight into the test itself, there's nothing to be worried about. This guide will make sure you know the specific requirements in Florida, what you can expect on the road test itself and give our best practice tips. Here's exactly what you need to know to pass your Florida road test.
What to know before your Florida road test
First, you'll need to have a road test scheduled. There are no walk-ins. You can easily make a Florida road test appointment online. Then, make sure you have the necessary paperwork. Check the glove compartment for the vehicle registration and insurance and make sure they're current. You'll need these when you check in at the DMV. Next, you'll need to make sure your vehicle meets all of the Florida requirements and that you have a licensed driver to accompany you to your road test. We've listed them out for you in the next section, to make it easier to go through and check off each one.
Once you verified your road test, paperwork, and vehicle, it's time for more practice. Some states restrict where you can practice, but not so in Florida. You can practice anywhere, so have at it! Specifically, we strongly recommend you practice in the neighborhood around the DMV where your road test is scheduled. This is most likely where your test will be, so get to know the area. 🙂
Feel free to reference the Florida Drivers Manual if you need a quick refresh on road signs and driving rules.
What are the vehicle requirements for the Florida road test?
If your car does not meet all of the requirements, you won't be able to test. Check these and check them again. Here's what your vehicle needs to have:
- Current registration card with a valid window registration sticker
- Current inspection sticker
- Properly functioning brake lights, headlights, turn signal lights, horn, windows that roll up and down, operable doors from inside and outside, inside rearview mirror and outside side mirrors
- A windshield with no cracks or debris that would obstruct the view
- Working windshield wipers as well as wiper fluid
- No service or warning lights illuminated on the dashboard, including low gas
If you don't have a vehicle that meets all of these requirements and/or a sponsor to take you to your road test, you have a few options. You can get a car through a driving school, see if a friend or family can accompany you with their car, or Skip offers a car and driver service for the Florida road test which you can reserve ahead of time online.
What to know on the day of your Florida road test
First, get to the DMV early! If you're late, the DMV will ask you to reschedule. We recommend arriving 15 minutes before your scheduled test time. Don't worry about arriving any earlier than that, as most DMVs in Florida won't check you in more than 15 minutes before. At check-in, the DMV will ask for your permit and the Driver's License of your sponsor. This is also when they'll ask for the car insurance and registration for the vehicle you'll use for your test. After checking in, you'll wait in the general waiting area until they call you for your road test. When you're called, you and your tester will walk out to your vehicle for your test. Your sponsor can wait inside the DMV for you until you're back.
Before you begin the driving portion of your test, the DMV tester will go through the vehicle safety check. They'll ask you to show them the car's hazard lights, left and right blinker, emergency brake as well as hand signals.
The test itself is 10-15 minutes. It will go by quickly, so take your time. Every minute counts and you'll think and perform better if you don't rush. Most of the test will take place on the street, in actual traffic, not in a closed course like in some other states. The tester will most likely ask you to drive around the neighborhood right next to the DMV.
What driving maneuvers will be on the Florida road test?
- Three-point turn: turn your car around in a 20 to 40-foot space. This is one of the most common mistakes people make on the road test, so if it doesn't feel comfortable yet, keep practicing.
- Observe right-of-way: allow pedestrians to cross. Remember to pull over and stop for emergency vehicles to pass and don't enter an intersection where you'll interfere with other traffic.
- Backing and straight-in parking: when parked, your vehicle should be centered inside the space. We've heard of backing happening more often than straight-in parking on the Florida road test, so practice this!
- Stop quickly: be able to make a quick and safe stop when the examiner instructs you to at 20 mph.
- Backing up: back for a distance of 50 feet at a slow speed while turning your head and looking over your right shoulder to the rear. You can't use a back-up camera on your test, so don't rely on this. We've seen many people get points off for not actually turning and looking.
- Signal and turn: get into the proper lane and signal your turn for the last *200 feet*. Right and left turns will be on your test. Even though they're basic, don't forget to practice these.
- Parallel parking: you know what to do. Keep practicing until you feel comfortable with this.
- Passing: always look ahead and behind to make sure you can pass safely.
- Follow at a safe distance: don't follow too close behind other cars. Keep a minimum following distance of three to four seconds.
Lastly, during your road test, it's highly likely that your examiner will be taking notes. This is nothing to worry about! The examiner may simply be checking off requirements as you complete them. Keep your eyes on the road and not on your examiner, and you'll do just fine.
What happens after the Florida road test?
Congratulations on making it this far! If you passed, your examiner will tell you where to go to get your temporary license. Your actual laminated license will come in the mail. If you didn't pass, not to worry, most people pass by their second try. The examiners are usually happy to talk through anything you missed. Each time you take the road test, make sure you have a licensed driver and car. In the meantime, keep practicing and reschedule when you feel ready!
Need other Florida DMV help?
We're here to help! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions we haven't answered here!