What happens if you fail a driving test?

On the Road 2 min read

Consequences for failing a driving test vary from state to state. But don’t worry; a failed driving test won’t stop you from getting your driver’s license. All states allow you to retake the test. However, depending on your state’s laws, you may need to complete additional administrative steps. These steps include logging more practice driving hours, or paying extra fees to retest. Learn how to practice driving if you need to prepare for a retest.

How long do you have to wait if you fail your driver’s test before re-taking?

That depends on where you live. Each state has different procedures. Many states allow you to retest the next day if your learner’s permit is still valid. In the states with the longest waiting periods, you may have to wait two weeks or more if you fail your driver’s test. Depending on your state’s graduated licensing laws, teen drivers with a learner’s permit may have a different waiting period than adults.

How many times can you fail your driver’s test?

Like the waiting period, states have different ways of handling failing the driving test multiple times. Some states don’t restrict the number of attempts you can make if you fail a driving test. However, you may have to pay administration fees for retesting. Other states may limit you to a specific number of attempts in a fixed period. For example, in one state, if you’ve failed your driving test three times, you can’t retest until you’ve waited two months.

If your learner’s permit expires during that period, you may need to renew it and take another written test in the process. Still, other states have an expanding retake schedule. Because of the variety in retake schedules, you should contact your state’s DMV or check the DMV website to learn more about rescheduling policies in your area.

What to do if you fail your driver’s test

If you failed the written test, there might be nothing to do besides study the common traffic laws and try again. However, finding out what answers you got wrong, it can help you understand what to focus on when you study. The same goes for the road test. When you get the result, the instructor may give you feedback or tell you what you did wrong. If they don’t, politely ask how you could improve next time and note their feedback.

Despite the waiting periods and administrative fees for multiple attempts, no state permanently bars you from getting your license just because you failed the driving test. Don’t give up even if you’ve failed your driving test multiple times. Make sure you’re well prepared to pass your driver’s test, pass your written driver’s test and practice safe driving habits.

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