Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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In a nutshell...

  • When you’re preparing to apply for your license, you need to get your car insurance in order before testing
  • You don’t have to show you’re insured when you’re a teenager and you’re getting a permit to get driving experience
  • If you’re getting a permit, you have to take a written exam and not a practical exam behind the wheel
  • Anyone who has a scheduled appointment must have a safe vehicle and mandatory auto insurance in place
  • Since you don’t have a valid license, you’ll have to borrow an insured vehicle where the coverage will extend to you

All states have some sort of driving test requirement when a resident is applying for their driver’s license. If you’ve never been licensed, you’ll have to pass both a written and a practical exam so that you can prove that you know the laws.

There aren’t too many requirements for taking a written exam when you want to get your license or your permit.

However, there are requirements when you want to take the driving test.

Before you schedule your driving test, you need to practice all of your maneuvers so that you can correct mistakes. In addition to taking a behind-the-wheel training class, you should get your auto insurance in order.

It doesn’t matter if you’re in your own car or a borrowed car, you have to prove you’re covered. Let’s discuss what you need to know.

If you are planning to take the driving test soon and need adequate auto insurance, start comparison shopping today by entering your ZIP code above!

Do you have to own the vehicle you’re testing in?

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You can legally own a vehicle even if you’re not licensed. As long as you’re of the age of majority and you can own and title property in the state, you can register a vehicle in your name before you start the process of applying for your driving privilege.

Even though you have the right to buy a vehicle before you’re licensed, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to.

If you don’t own a vehicle, you can still make a driving test appointment and borrow a vehicle from a family member that you live with. As long as you’re a household resident, it won’t create too many issues with the insurance contract.

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What are the test vehicle requirements?

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All vehicles that are used for a driving test must be inspected before the examiner will enter the car. If the car doesn’t pass a visual inspection, it will be classified as unsafe to drive.

Whenever a car doesn’t pass the check, you’ll have to delay your test. Here are the most common things that the examiner will check for:

  • A functioning horn
  • A front license plate and rear license plate
  • Current tags
  • Tires with tread
  • Adequate brake pressure
  • A driver’s side window that can roll down manually or electrically
  • A windshield with no obstructions
  • A working emergency brake
  • Working seat belts
  • A glove compartment box that stays shut
  • Two rear view mirrors
  • Doors that open from the inside and out

Do you have to have vehicle insurance on the vehicle?

You will have to check to see what the state’s insurance requirements are before you verify the vehicle’s insurance policy is sufficient.

Mandatory insurance laws vary from state to state, but you’ll have to satisfy the financial responsibility laws in the state that you’re testing in.

If you don’t have at least the state minimum coverage or you don’t have acceptable evidence of the coverage, you’ll be turned away.

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If you’re borrowing the car, will the owner’s insurance suffice?

If you’re going to borrow a friend or family member’s car, be sure that the car you’re borrowing is insured.

It doesn’t matter what name is on the auto insurance ID card as long as the VIN on the ID card matches the VIN of the car you’re testing in.

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Are you covered during the test drive if you’re not on the policy?

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You can’t be added as a driver on a policy when you’re not licensed to drive. Even teen drivers who have a permit aren’t rated drivers on their parents’ insurance until after they pass their licensing test.

For the vehicle owner, it can be very concerning to know that they are lending their vehicle out to someone who’s not a rated driver.

It’s best that you have the named insured with authority over the policy call their agent to ask if you’ll be covered during the driving test.

If you live in the home, chances are that the coverage will automatically extend to you. However, if you’re not a household member, there could be restrictions on the permissive user provision because you don’t have a valid license.

Can you rent a car for your driving test appointment?

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A standard auto rental carrier isn’t going to rent a vehicle to you if you’re testing for your license when you don’t currently have a valid one in another state.

You can’t even rent a car if you have a permit and you’re able to drive under the supervision of other licensed drivers.

One solution would be to allow your parents or your family member to rent a car for you. The rental agreement would be in their name, so you’ll have to explain to circumstances.

While you don’t technically have to insure the rental vehicle since it’s insured by the agency, you should add supplemental coverage to the car for added protection.

Tips to Pass Your Driving Test

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You should get the insurance issues out of the way first. That way you can focus your energy on passing your test the first time.

The examiner is looking to see if you’re a safe driver who can safely operate a vehicle in all situations. Here are some driving test tips:

  • Fasten your seat belt
  • Adjust your mirrors
  • Always steer smoothly
  • Look left, right, and left before turning
  • Follow at a safe distance
  • Always signal when turning and changing lanes
  • Stop the vehicle gently
  • Do not engage in general conversation with the examiner
  • Brush up on the traffic signs before your test

Don’t let your nerves get to you when you’re about to take your driving test. Get plenty of practice before your appointment.

Also, make verifying insurance coverage a priority. Once you’re licensed, use an online rate comparison tool to get insurance quotes so that you can find affordable premiums.

Try our FREE online quote tool and compare at least three to four policies to find the best rates for you! Enter your ZIP code below!