Nevada DMV Practical Road Test Tips
by Jeff Garrett
Driving Is a complex and demanding skill. Every one planning to take the DMV road test needs to be aware of all the elements that form the foundation of a safe and responsible driver. Including knowledge of risk prevention and avoidance. Understanding the vehicle, vehicle handling, perception and risk management, the rules of the road, interacting with other drivers, driver behavior, attention.
The driver is responsible for the safety of their passengers. In this case, the DMV examiner. Their job is assessment not instruction.
Consistent practice makes all the difference in my opinion. Teens that only drive an hour or two a week have a decreased chance of passing then those that drive everyday or at least 4-5 times per week. 50 hours is a bare minimum. It takes a year of daily driving to become an experienced, confident and well rounded driver.
Here are some guidelines and reminders.
First or last: Parallel Parking
Drive around the area for approximately approx 20-30 minutes
Remember to put the seat belt on before you start the car.
The examiner will check the vehicles signals, brake lights and horn. If the windshield is cracked or a mirror is broken, or tires are bald they may decline to do the test.
Clean your car before the test. Make sure all the windows and mirrors are clean.
In Nevada you know how hot the car gets in the summer. As soon as you start the car blast the air to cool it down inside. The examiners spend all day climbing into hot cars. Not a comfortable job.
The examiners generally are not too chatty. They want the driver to focus on driving safe.
Do not back into a parking space upon arrival. I once watched an examiner have the driver find another parking space, park and back out.
Signal every turn in the DMV lot. Yield to all pedestrians and vehicles backing out. Keep your speed under control 8-10 mph max.
Use of the turn signal
Put your turn signal on at the proper distances. Too early or late you can lose points.
ALWAYS come to a complete stop behind the white line. If there is no white line use your side view mirror aligned with the stop sign post. A complete stop could be a count of 3. Don't hesitate too long, if clear go.
You must see the tires on the vehicle in front of you on stops. A full car length.
Extra distance with buses and trucks. If you cannot see their side mirrors they cannot see you.
Stay as close to the posted speed limit as possible. 5 under maximum. Don't go over.
Move your head left and right when proceeding thru any intersection.
Look at your rear and side mirrors frequently. Scan at the round a bouts all the way down the side streets.
When the examiner asks you to change lanes only do so if you are safe. Don’t cut anyone off in the next lane. Do not change lanes unless you are clear and safe.
Check mirrors first, Signal for approx 100 feet or several seconds.
You should turn your head over the shoulder to check the blind spot in the side rear windows.
Leave signal on for a count of 3 when you get into your lane before cancelling.
Right Turn on Red
If you choose to turn right on a red light make sure you are clear. The 1st two lanes oncoming lanes must be clear, and no one is making a U turn in front of you and no pedestrians.
Look to your right for pedestrians before moving. Accelerate and get up to the speed limit. If a car comes up to your rear you will fail the test for cutting someone off.
You are not required to turn right on red. However the test is about confidence also. Knowing when you are clear to go. You may be holding up traffic behind you by just sitting there.
Hands on the wheel in the proper position for the entire test.
Sit back in your seat.
If there is a bike, skateboarder, scooter etc on your side of the lane. Change lanes if possible.
Flashing Yellow Turn Arrow
If there is no oncoming traffic and no pedestrians do not stop, proceed through the turn.
If there is a lot of traffic, wait behind the line. As the last car is approaching move up then and make your turn. If the light changes to red while in the intersection this is an auto fail on the test.
Green Light at Intersection
Start promptly if you are first to go.
While turning never stop on a green light unless you are not clear to go.
If there are no students or children proceed at the regular speed limit.
If there is one child in the zone, you must stay at the reduced posted limit for the entire school zone.
Signal when pulling up to the barrels
Look over your shoulder before backing
You should be 6-18" from the curb parked parallel to the curb
When finished put the car in park.
You can make small adjustments in a couple of moves if too close or too far.
Signal and look over your shoulder when leaving the barrels
End of test
Park in a space between the lines with your wheels straight.
Some Causes For Automatic Failure
Cutting off another driver
Failure to stop for a school bus with its arm out or red lights flashing
Weaving or straddling the lines
Stopping on a green light
Driving in the bike lane
Not changing lanes if there is a bike in the bike lane next to you
Backing over a curb like in parallel parking
Hitting a curb driving or turning a corner
Failure to yield at stops sign
Not yielding to cars making U Turns
Not yielding to pedestrians
Hitting a barrel while parallel parking
Driving with one hand
Crossing the stop line or not coming to a complete stop
Failure to react to a hazardous condition
Taking the wrong lane when turning
Failure to follow the examiners instructions, like missing a turn
Too much hesitation or overall lack of confidence
If the examiner has to tell you to "stop!" or has to grab the steering wheel…
There may be more these are just a few
Frequent questions we are asked
Which DMV location is easiest to pass the test?
My answer based on taking many students to all locations is no DMV route is any easier or more difficult.
The road rules are the same throughout Las Vegas.
It is helpful however, to practice around the DMV area including parallel parking at the DMV barrels prior to your road test.