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Driver Tests Overview in New Jersey

Residents must pass a drivers test in New Jersey before they may obtain a first-time driving license through the state Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC). In addition to passing a drivers license test, residents must complete a knowledge examination and a vision screening. However, certain written drivers test exemptions apply if applicants are younger than 18 years of age and pass the knowledge exam while in high school. Furthermore, the written drivers exam is a requirement if students do not pass their knowledge test in high school or they are older than 18 years of age. After passing a written drivers ed test and a vision screening, applicants may complete their road demonstration. After passing the driving test, applicants may apply for a probationary license through the MVC. After passing the drivers exam and meeting all other application requirements, residents must obtain a probationary license before they may apply for a basic driving credential. To learn more about these New Jersey DMV drivers test requirements, review the information below.

New Jersey Driver’s Test Vision Requirements

Before completing a New Jersey driver’s license test or applying for a learner permit, residents must pass a vision screening to ensure that their visual acuity meets the state’s minimum requirements. To complete a driving exam vision screening, applicants must visit a motor vehicle agency that offers testing services and pass the test with a visual acuity of 20/50. Applicants may pass the driver test vision screening with or without the use of corrective lenses. If residents pass the driving test vision screening while wearing corrective lenses, then they must add a restriction to their driver licenses. If residents fail the vision screening, then they must visit an eye doctor and have their physician complete Form ST-14 before they may retake the examination. However, this form is only available in person at motor vehicle agency testing facilities.

New Jersey Written Drivers Exam

In addition to the NJ driver license test vision screening, all MVC customers must complete and pass a knowledge exam before they may obtain a probationary license. To complete the written driving exam, applicants must visit a driver testing center, pay the applicable fee and submit six points of identification. Before completing the written driving license test, applicants must submit at least one primary and secondary ID, proof of address and a verifiable Social Security Number. For instance, written drivers test applicants may submit the following as proof of identification:

  • A civil or certified copy of a birth certificate – four points as a primary document
  • A current photo employment authorization card – three points as a primary document
  • A U.S. school photo ID – two points as a secondary document
  • A Social Security card – one point as a secondary document
  • A recent credit card or utility bill – as proof of address

What does a written test include?

Written NJ driver exams contain 50 questions pertaining to local motor vehicle laws, violations and regulations. Additionally, a written drivers exam includes a survey question related to organ donation. To pass the written drivers test, students must answer at least 40 of the 50 questions correctly, or receive a passing score of 80 percent or higher. To prepare for the written DMV drivers test, it is important to study the state’s driver manual, as the knowledge exam contains much of the same information. For instance, written driving tests quiz students on their ability to understand local motor vehicle laws, the penalties of operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and new driver restrictions.

Passing the Written Exam

After residents pass the written drivers exam in New Jersey, the MVC validates their permits, which allows them to practice driving before completing their road demonstration. Before completing the drivers test, however, applicants must hold their validated permit for at least six months if they are between 16 and 21 years of age. If driver test applicants are older than 21 years of age, then they must hold a validated learner permit for at least three months. However, residents must take their drivers license exam within two years of passing their knowledge test. Furthermore, residents may be exempt from knowledge test requirements if they are 18 years of age or younger and complete and pass a knowledge exam while in high school. To meet these written drivers test exemptions, applicants must provide the MVC with their blue high school exam waiver.

New Jersey Drivers License Test Road Demonstration

After passing the written drivers ed test, vision screening and meeting all other validated learner permit requirements, residents may schedule their road demonstrations in person at an MVC testing center or online. Before completing the NJ drivers test, however, applicants must submit their six points of identification, a validated permit and they must provide a safe and operational motor vehicle. Once the driving license exam begins, students must demonstrate their ability to perform the following: start an automobile, steer, stop and turn properly, drive in reverse, follow other vehicles, approach corners and intersections, parallel park and use a seat belt or horn.

Passing or Failing the Road Skills Test

If applicants pass their drivers license test in New Jersey, then the examiner provides them with an authorization for licensing. Then, driving exam customers must visit a motor vehicle agency to submit their permit, licensing authorization and six points of identification before they may obtain a driver license. After doing so, driver test customers receive a probationary credentials, as this type of license allows the MVC to monitor their driving habits for one year. If residents fail the driving license exam, however, they must wait at least two weeks before they may retake the test. To schedule a second or third drivers exam, applicants must visit an MVC testing center or they may do so online.

New Jersey Drivers License Exam Vehicle Requirements

A New Jersey drivers test grades applicants on their ability to operate a motor vehicle, but also on the safety of the automobile used during the test. For instance, driving test vehicles must display a valid inspection sticker or applicants must provide the examiner with a valid “no inspection sticker required” card. Additionally, DMV driver test applicants must ensure that their vehicle meets the following requirements:

  • It must display two red Graduated Driver License (GDL) decals, if applicable.
  • It must be registered and insured in the state (proof of registration and insurance are both a requirement).
  • It must have all windshield wipers, brake lights and turn signals in working order.
  • It must have the parking or foot brake accessible to the examiner.
  • It must not be an autocycle or self-parking vehicle.
  • It must not be rented (unless the applicant’s name is included on the rental agreement).
  • It must be safe and operational.

If vehicles do not meet these New Jersey driving exam requirements, then applicants may not be able to complete their road demonstration.

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