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Steering Wheel

How to Pass Your Ohio Driving Test the First Time

Getting behind the wheel is a big responsibility, and taking an Ohio driving test is no small feat. But if you feel confident and secure in your knowledge of Ohio's traffic rules, you'll be on the road in no time. Follow these tips to pass the Ohio driving test smoothly!

Get Yourself and Your Vehicle Ready for the Ohio Driving Test

The best thing to do is get a good night rest before the day of test. You'll want to show up to your appointment early, alert, and confident.

To refresh your memory of traffic laws, read through the Ohio Drivers Manual again and take a couple of online practice tests (free with our Ohio Drivers Education course). Make sure to bring a valid temporary instruction permit with you.

Be familiar with your vehicle! The test administrator will you ask to demonstrate the following:

  • Adjust your mirrors
  • Turn on your windshield wipers, radio, defroster, headlights, heating and cooling systems
  • Hit your horn

They will also inspect these items to make sure they're in safe working condition:

  • Windows
  • Current license plate
  • Safety belts
  • License plate light
  • Speedometer
  • Exhaust system
  • Tail lights
  • Tires
  • Current license plate

Knowledge for the Ohio Driving Test

The test administrator will make sure you know about driving rules and regulations, which include passing in the correct lane and knowing when passing other vehicles is prohibited. You will demonstrate to them signals for lane changes and turns using both lights and arm signals.

You must also understand and apply rules of right-of-way, which includes maintaining a space cushion with a four-second following distance.

If you go over the speed limit or roll past a stop sign or red light without stopping, you can expect to fail your road test. Remember the basics of putting on your safety belt and placing both hands on the wheel.

The Ohio Driving Test

The road test has two parts: driving and maneuverability.

Part One: Driving

During the driving test, the test administrator will ask you to perform the following tasks smoothly and without hesitation:

  • Stopping and starting
  • Turning around and backing up
  • Making left and right turns
  • Giving hand signals or using vehicle turn signals
  • Driving in the correct lane
  • Maintaining a safe following distance

Part Two: Maneuverability Test

The maneuverability test includes two steps: going forward and backwards through markers.

Each step is to be completed in one continuous motion. The test administrator will deduct points if you stop to check progress, bump the markers, or misjudge the stopping distance. You will automatically fail if you run over or knock down a marker.

Step One

First, you will drive forward through a box formed by four markers (see BMV's diagram below). The test administrator will tell you to steer to the right or left of the "point" marker. Afterwards, they will direct you to drive straight ahead and stop when the rear bumper of your car is even with the "point" marker and parallel with the course.

BMV Maneuverability Diagram

Step Two

From your stopped position at the end of Step One, you will back past the "point" marker. Straighten your car and back through the box and come to a stop—with your front bumper even with the two rear markers and parallel with the course. If you stop your vehicle because of striking a marker, you'll need to go back to start and begin again.

To complete the test, you must drive away safely from the test area without running over a marker.

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