Before your road test can begin at the DMV, the license examiner will perform a safety check on your vehicle. If your car is not mechanically sound, it's possible that you could fail your road test before you even turn the key. To ensure your vehicle is ready for the road test , here are some things to check:
- Non-functional / defective doors and windows – Your door must shut up completely and your windows must roll up and down easily. In some areas, the driving license examiner is required to keep the window open just a bit for safety purposes.
- Damaged / too-heavily-tinted windshield, windows – Damages such as cracks or window-tint that's too dark may obstruct vision during driving.
- Non-functional / defective lights – All lights, including the tag light, and turn signals must work properly. Make sure you test them all before going to the DMV. Changing out a bulb is cheap and reliably easy.
- Non-functional / defective / missing seat belts – Being properly buckled in seat belts is a requirement in ALL states.
- Non-functional / defective windshield wipers / washer fluid nozzle – You have to be prepared for all kinds of weather. The examiner will ask you to activate your windshield wipers.
- Non-functional / defective brakes – It's obvious that brakes have to work every time; especially in an emergency and emergency braking will be a part of your road test. Your examiner may also ask you to activate the emergency brake. Your emergency brake should be able to hold the car on a slow upgrade or hill.
- Broken rearview mirror, side mirrors – To be aware of a driver's surroundings, these mirrors have to be able to show what driving conditions are like behind the vehicle.
- Flat / over-inflated / defective / worn-out tires – The examiner will check your tires for proper inflation and tread wear. If there is any doubt, he or she will use a penny to check the depth of the tread. If you can see the top of Abe Lincoln's head, the tires are too worn.
- Non-functional / defective horn, speedometer, fuel indicator – These are all required for safe operation of a vehicle. An inoperable speedometer will mean an automatic failure. Horns are necessary to warn another driver in case of an emergency. The examiner will ask you to tap your horn.
- Obviously leaks / fumes coming out of the vehicle – A driver should be alerted if the vehicle leaves a trail of oil or produces harmful fumes that could enter the passenger compartment.
These are just some of the items that will be checked. Make sure your car is clean inside and out and that there are no objects in the window that could obscure a driver's vision. Make sure everything is in working order and you should sail right through the test.