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Driving Skills Examination

You must schedule an appointment at a BMV license branch and arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time to take a driving skills examination.

When you visit the license branch to take the driving skills examination:

  • You must be accompanied by an individual who has a valid driver's license.
  • No one besides the BMV examiner is allowed in your vehicle when you take the driving skills examination.
  • You must be carrying your valid Indiana learner's permit.
  • The vehicle must be legally equipped and in safe and clean condition.
  • The vehicle used must be properly registered and a valid registration must be presented, along with proof of insurance.
  • If a rental vehicle is being used, the applicant taking the skills examination must be named on the Rental Agreement as an authorized driver.

A driving skills examination is valid for two years or until the learner’s permit expires, whichever is first.

The driving skills examination waiver

If you have a learner's permit you may take the driving skills examination during your driver education course, if your school participates in the BMV’s waiver program; or, you may also choose to take the skills examination at a license branch when you apply for a driver's license. You must, however, take the driving skills examination at a license branch if any of the following situations occur:

  • Your learner's permit expires;
  • Your driver education course does not participate in the BMV's driving skills examination waiver program;
  • You fail to successfully complete your driver education program;

What happens if you fail an examination?

If you fail a knowledge examination you must wait until the next business day before taking another knowledge examination.
If you fail a driving skills examination, you must wait 14 days before taking another driving skills examination.
If you fail three driving skills examinations while holding a learner’s permit, you must wait two months following the date of the last failed skills examination before attempting another skills examination.
You will be required to renew your learner’s permit if it expires before you are eligible for additional driving skills examinations.

Elements Of The Driving Skills Examinations

When taking the driving skills examination, you must pay particular attention to the following situations:

  • Drive in the proper lane, obey the lane markings, look carefully, and signal properly before changing lanes
  • Leave enough distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you to avoid a collision
  • If you are overtaken and passed by another vehicle, maintain your speed and give the other vehicle enough room to pass safely
  • Control your speed according to posted speed limits and varying traffic conditions
  • Observe good defensive driving habits
  • Listen to instructions and observe the general flow of traffic
  • Approach intersections at the proper speed, look for other vehicles, come to a complete stop, anticipate that the light might change, and do not try to beat a yellow before it changes to red
  • Use your mirrors and check your blind spots to ensure you are backing correctly out of parking spaces
  • When parallel parking, always check traffic by looking in your mirrors, signal your intention to park, position your vehicle before backing, and move into the space smoothly and at the proper speed

When taking the driving skills examination, the following actions may detract from your final score:

  • Failing to use defroster or wipers when needed
  • Failing to use both hands on the wheel
  • Selecting the wrong gear
  • Failing to signal
  • Driving too slowly for conditions or stopping unnecessarily
  • Overrunning a crosswalk, stop line or stop sign
  • Failing to check blind spot
  • Slowing speed when changing lanes
  • Reversing too fast
  • Leaving turn signal on after completed lane change
  • Driving too closely to the vehicle ahead or a parked vehicle

When taking the driving skills examination, the following actions will result in an automatic failure:

  • Disobeying a yield, stop, school zone, or no turn on red sign
  • Disobeying a traffic signal
  • Backing over curb while parallel parking
  • Driving into a parked vehicle while parallel parking
  • Failure to follow instructions
  • Failure to use a seat belt
  • Failure to react to hazardous driving conditions
  • Speeding
  • Driving too fast for conditions
  • Turning into or using the wrong lane
  • Passing in a no passing zone or otherwise crossing a solid yellow line
  • Driving left of center
  • Straddling marked lanes
  • Driving too close to pedestrians or bicycles
  • Pass school bus with arm out
  • Failure to pull over and stop for emergency vehicles or school buses
  • Causing an accident during a driving skills test
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way
  • Failure to obey required laws concerning RR crossings

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