Can You Take the Driving Test Online? Everything You Need to Know
If you’re just about to take your driver’s exam for the first time, but you just can’t find the time to go do it, you may be wondering if you can get it done online. Well, that’s exactly what I’m here to answer. Needless to say, the main authority when it comes to driving tests is the DMV, the Department of Motor Vehicles. So that’s the main source we’ll want to consult when we’re talking about this particular subject.
Before I get into the gist of the matter, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about what the driving test entails. After we’re all up to speed, so to speak, we’ll get into the particulars of if and how you can take the big test online. Without further ado, let’s get you started on the way to getting a driver’s license.
The Road to Getting Your Driver’s Licence
Before we can start talking about taking your driving test online, we have to know the steps you need to take before getting to that point. If you’re completely new to driving, the first thing you’ll need to do is get a learner’s permit. So how do you do that?
Well, it all starts with a visit to your local DMV or, I suppose, a perusal of the state DMV site. Generally, they tend to stick to the same formula across the board: California’s site is at dmv.ca.gov, and Pennsylvania’s is at dmv.pa.gov.
However, there are some exceptions. For example, Minnesota’s Driver and Vehicle Services are actually a subdivision of their Department of Public Safety, so they share that Office’s domain. But really, you can also just use this handy list of all the state DMV sites.
Among other things, the site should teach you about the requirements you need to check off before you get your license. If you’re a minor, there’s a minimum age requirement you need to hit, which varies from state to state. Typically, it falls between 14 and 16 years old. Minors usually have to get learners’ permits before moving on to the real thing after several months.
Whether you’re a minor or an adult, you’ll need to visit your local DMV to get the ball rolling. Remember to take your ID, birth certificate, or passport with you, as well as a document that shows where you live. Minors also need to take one of their parents along or take a school transcript to prove that you’re a student. Lastly, you should also prepare the testing and permit fees in advance — but those are usually under $100.
How Do You Prepare for the Driver’s Exam?
While you’re at the DMV, you can pick up your physical copy of the driver’s handbook. They’re constantly updating those books, and they are all slightly different from state to state. Another way to get it is to check the site, or simply look up a phrase like “Florida driver’s handbook 2019/2020” to get the newest edition.
The driver’s manual will teach you about the many subjects the written portion of the exam covers, including:
- What are the requirements for getting your license? How much does getting a license cost? Which kinds of licenses exist?
- The basic principles of driving: what you can and can’t do. How can you lose your license? Which are the laws you must follow, and how can you adjust to different conditions?
- What are all the signs, signals, and road markings for? How do you deal with the freeway?
However, the driver’s manual won’t teach you anything about your own car. As you probably know, learning how to set up a scissor jack is crucial for all drivers. Well, you won’t pick that up in the manual.
Whatever you do, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you don’t need to study for the written test. Many people believe that they can get by on the knowledge they’ve collected over the years of riding shotgun. But believe me, that’s not the case.
Also, even if you’ve passed the written exam to get your learner’s permit — you’ll still have to do the big one to get your driver’s license. So don’t slack off! Read the materials, and use the practice tests in the back of the handbook. On top of that, you can find a whole host of studying resources online, so don’t hesitate to use them.
So Is There a Way to Take Your Driver’s Test Online?
So you’ve studied up, and you’re ready to crush the written driving test. But can you take it from the comfort of your home?
Well, on a technical level, all driving tests are administered online. We’re way past writing down our answers on paper. Still, that’s obviously not what we wanted to learn.
Unfortunately, most of the official sources I’ve found point to the answer being “no,” at least for now. As you can see on the Pennsylvanian DMV site’s Frequently Asked Questions page, you will have to find a physical location to take your test. According to that source, you don’t even need to schedule an appointment to take a knowledge test. You just need to show up during the Driver’s License Center’s working hours.
If you think about it, this makes sense. After all, they can’t be sure you’re not cheating if they don’t have a chaperone in the room while you’re taking the test. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want people who cheated on their test driving around. So just flip through your driver’s manual and get down to the DMV for the test.
On the off chance that you do fail the test, you shouldn’t stress about it. Almost half of all drivers fail the written exam their first time. If you happen to fall into that category, you may have to wait a bit before you can retake it.
There’s also the possibility that you’ll have to cough up additional fees. And if you fail the written test more than three times, most states will make you start the process all over again.
Where Can You Find More Information About the Driving Exam?
So there we have it. Currently, it isn’t possible to take the longer version of the driving test from the comfort of our home. Still, whether you’re about to take the test or you’re planning on doing so in the future, I recommend that you familiarize yourself with your state’s DMV site.
There are all sorts of helpful resources there — you should easily find the answers to all your questions. And hey, taking the written test is only the first step toward getting your driver’s license. After you pass, you’ll still need to take the road test and vision exam.
But trust me, it’s less complicated than it sounds. And when you finally have your papers and start driving your own car — the world is your oyster. You’ll forget all the trouble you had to go through to get there; I know I have. And if you ever have any additional questions, like if your check engine light is on or how to reduce engine noise, I’ll be here to answer any of your questions.