Texas Driving Test Guide

Passing the driving test is the last step to getting your Texas driver's license. So many first time drivers want to know what is on the driving test to begin with. This is a good question and knowing the answer will help any novice driver prepare to get their first Texas driver's license.

The license test involves driving with a Department of Public Safety customer service representative riding in the passenger seat. The CSR will examine your driving skills and ask you to perform some driving tasks. At the end of the test, the CSR will let you know of any errors you made and how to correct them, as well as letting you know whether you passed or failed the test. If you fail, the CSR will also let you know when you can retake the test.

The test will actually begin with the CSR looking over the vehicle you will take your test in. You must provide your own vehicle. The CSR will make sure it's legal and that it has passed an inspection.

Once the driving portion of the test begins, there are a couple of guidelines to follow:

  • You must follow all of the instructions given by the CSR.
  • The CSR will not instruct you to do anything illegal.
  • Do not carry a conversation during the test. It is an official examination.

What Instructors Look For and How to Pass

While driving, all drivers are evaluated on four basic skills:

  1. Control – Be able to make the car do what you're trying to make it do.
  2. Observation – Be able to view and respond to what other traffic is doing, particularly where problems might come into play.
  3. Positioning – Stay in your lane.
  4. Signaling – Always use your turn signals properly.

There are additional areas you will be evaluated on, though exactly what they are can vary from test to test. It's a good idea to get plenty of practice to become proficient in all of them so you are fully prepared for the test. These additional areas are as follows:

  • Parallel parking
  • Stopping quickly, where you are asked to stop your car as quickly as possible from a speed of around 20 mph, without causing the tires to skid.
  • Backing, where you are asked to drive the car in reverse for about 15 feet as straight and smoothly as possible. Be sure to go slowly and look out the rear windshield the entire time by physically turning your head.
  • Obeying all traffic signs, particularly stop signs. Remember to come to a complete stop; do not roll through.
  • Obeying all traffic signals.
  • Using the clutch. If you have a manual transmission car for the test, be sure to press the clutch all the way in when starting the car, shifting gears, and once the car's speed goes below 10 mph when stopping. Be sure to release the clutch once the action is complete — do not coast with the clutch pressed.
  • Driving properly in an intersection. Be sure to stay in the proper lane, and slow down and look both ways before entering the intersection.
  • Turning smoothly while staying in the correct lanes.
  • Maintaining right of way.
  • Following, passing, and maintaining the proper lane.
  • Maintaining correct posture. Keep your hands on the steering wheel and do not rest your elbow on the window.

You will not pass the test if you perform any one of the following actions:

  • Violate the law.
  • Refuse to follow instructions.
  • Drive dangerously, including having a crash.
  • Have more than 30 points deducted from your test.