When it’s time to get your license for the first time, renewed, or just update some private identification information, you’re going to be heading to the DMV.
The DMV, or Department of Motor Vehicles, handles everything from licensing to the registration of your car.
When filling out the information, you’ll usually need to provide details about your height, the color of your eyes, and whether you wear glasses or not.
One aspect that you may wonder about it is whether you’re going to need to get on a scale for the workers to weigh you.
Here’s what you need to know about whether they weigh you or not at the DMV.
Do They Weigh You At The DMV?
No, they do not weigh you at the DMV.
When you need to get a license, renew a license, or update anything personal about yourself, you don’t have to worry about getting on a scale in front of everyone.
That said, you do sometimes need to provide your estimated weight.
When you arrive at the DMV, you’ll receive some paperwork that you need to fill out.
This information is then used by the workers to update and fill out your new driver’s license.
Some of the information includes details like your hair color, your eye color, whether you wear glasses or not, your sex, your height, and your weight.
Some states don’t even ask for your weight anymore.
Knowing your sex, name, and height is usually good enough for them.
In reality, you can put any weight you want on your license.
However, in most cases, it’s a good idea to take your best-guess estimate.
The worker will then take that information, and it will appear on your new driver’s license.
You may be able to lie about your weight at the DMV since they don’t weigh you, but you can avoid a few judging looks by being as honest as possible.
What Information Do You Need To Bring To The DMV To Get A New Driver’s License?
If you’re getting a license for the first time, then you have a few things you need to bring with you to get your license from the DMV.
You won’t be able to go home with your license unless you bring those items.
The specific items you need differ based on the state in which you live, but they’re similar to one another.
In Michigan, for example, you need to bring proof of your identity.
There are a few documents that they’ll accept at the DMV.
Your social security card is one of the easiest and best documents to prove your identity.
You’ll also need proof of residency in your state.
Let’s discuss Michigan as an example.
You can find acceptable documents to prove your residency on the Michigan DMV website.
You’ll also need to bring with you your Temporary Learner’s Permit for driving.
To get your license, you have to pass the road exam.
If you do pass, the examiner will give you a road skills test certificate that indicates you passed.
You’ll need to bring that certificate with you to the DMV as well.
Depending on if you took the vision test before, you might also need to take another vision test to get your license.
They perform the test at the DMV.
With all the documents in hand, they’ll take your picture for your license, and then give you a temporary license.
Your real driver’s license will show up in the mail in about three weeks.
While every state has slightly different documents that you need to bring, you’ll find that the process is similar to what’s done in Michigan.
By having those documents, you can get your driver’s license.
How Do You Get A Driver’s License?
Depending on your state, you may have a few hurdles that you need to jump before you can get a driver’s license.
If you plan on getting a commercial driver’s license, then you have even more hurdles to jump.
In Michigan, there are a few steps you need to follow to get your driver’s license.
1. Get The DMV Driver Manual For Your State
If you’re in Michigan, then you’ll get the DMV Driver Handbook for Michigan.
If you’re in another state, then you’ll get the Driver Handbook for that specific state.
You can also find driver’s training classes that will teach you the handbook in person.
You can even find online courses.
Since reading the manual can be a bit difficult, especially if you’re a young student, attending a class may be a better option.
However, if you’re an adult or need to do things in your own time, then simply downloading the handbook is suitable.
The handbook teaches everything you need to know about your state’s specific road laws.
It will indicate various speed limits on the highways, in residential zones, and in commercial zones.
It also explains the various traffic signs and lights.
You’ll learn what each sign and light indicates and what to do when you come across one.
To get your license, you’ll need to read the handbook and memorize its rules.
These are the rules you need to follow when driving lest you get pulled over by a police officer and ticketed.
2. Apply For A Temporary Instruction Permit
Once you think you’re ready to get your learner’s permit, you’ll need to head to your local Secretary of State.
In most cases, this is where the DMV is also located.
Once there, you’ll need to tell the worker behind the desk that you want to apply for your Temporary Instruction Permit.
They’ll ask for an exam or some sort of certificate if you conducted the written portion of the exam with a school.
If you’re learning on your own, you’ll need to sit for the exam in the Secretary of State’s Office.
There are three parts to the test.
The first is the written portion which asks you questions about the various laws.
It’s multiple choice.
Choose the correct answer and continue until you complete it.
The next part of the test is the road signs test.
You’ll see several pictures that depict road signs.
You need to correctly identify the sign and indicate what it means or what you do when you approach it in a car.
The final part of the test is the vision test.
When you get to this part, you’ll need to indicate to the worker that you’re ready for the vision test.
They’ll take you to a small machine that’s usually right beside them.
You’ll look through the machine and answer the questions that they ask based on what you see.
If you pass all portions of the test, then you will get your Temporary Instruction Permit after paying a $25 fee.
If you did not pass your test, then you’ll need to retake it.
There is no limit to how many times you can retake the test in your lifetime, though some states do require you to wait a certain amount of time before you can take the test again.
3. Practice Driving
With your Temporary Instruction Permit, you’re able to drive under the supervision of someone who is an adult and also has a driver’s license.
The number of hours that you need to drive differs based on the state.
In Michigan, you need to drive with supervision for at least 30 days.
Some also ask for a certain number of miles.
Some of those miles may need to be on the highway and others on residential or city streets.
The idea behind the Temporary Instruction Permit is to give you real-life experience behind the wheel before you’re an official driver.
If any problems occur or if you have any questions, then the adult with you is there to answer and guide you.
Once you’ve completed your required number of hours or miles, then you can move on to the next step.
4. Take The Road Skills Test
Once you feel comfortable on the road and you’ve completed the number of hours or miles that you need to complete, you’re able to schedule a road skills test.
In some states, there are a few third-party organizations out there responsible for providing the test.
The test usually consists of two main parts.
The first is parking.
You’ll need to be able to successfully park your car in a series of different parking situations.
One of those parking tests is parallel parking.
After the parking portion, the instructor will take you on the road.
They’ll sit next to you and tell you where to drive.
Usually, you’ll end up doing a bit of highway driving, some city driving, and some driving on the backroads.
They want to discern how you handle the different levels of traffic and the various laws associated with each type of road.
Once you’re done with the test, you’ll either pass or fail.
If you pass, they’ll sign a certificate for you.
If you fail, you’ll need to take the test again.
Again, some states require you to wait a certain period before you can retest.
It costs a certain fee each time you want to take the road skills test.
The fee amount depends on which third-party instructor you choose.
Once you have your certificate, you’re ready to head to the DMV to get your temporary driver’s license.
5. Visit The Secretary Of State’s Office
With your certificate, you can now head to the DMV at your local SOS.
You’ll need to bring with you a few documents that prove your identity and residency.
You’ll also need your learner’s permit and the certificate that proves you passed the road skills test.
The office will have you fill out some information that they’ll put on your driver’s license.
You will not need to step on a scale to confirm your weight.
They don’t even measure you to confirm your height.
If you wear glasses or contacts, you will need to wear them to the SOS.
They’ll need to take a picture of you with the glasses on for better identification purposes.
Once they finish processing the paperwork, they’ll take a picture of you for your license.
At that point, they have to go make the official driver’s license, but they do give you a temporary driver’s license.
It gives you the same rights to drive as your official driver’s license.
You can expect your official driver’s license to arrive in the mail in around three weeks.
What Happens If You Fail The Road Test?
While everyone hopes to pass the road test on the first try, that isn’t always the case.
If you don’t pass the road test, you may wonder what happens next.
You can still try to pass the road test, but you have to wait at least a day before you can do so.
Since some road skills examiners have busy schedules, you usually end up waiting a bit longer than a day.
That said, you’re completely able to try the test again.
You’ll still have to pay the exam fee to take the test, however.
You may get the same examiner or a different one.
The test, itself, may also be different.
Even if you get the same examiner, they may lead you through a different route.
The best thing you can do to increase your chances of passing the test is to practice.
If you fail again, then you can always wait a day and try again.
How To Pass The Road Skills Test
If you’re worried about not being able to pass the road skills test, then you may wonder what you can do to improve your chances.
Here are a few tips you can use to pass the road skills test.
1. Practice More Than the Required Hours
One mistake that those learning to drive sometimes make is to only drive the required number of hours before taking the test.
States require a certain number of hours or miles because they believe that’s the amount of time you need to feel comfortable behind the wheel.
That isn’t always the case, however.
For some people, driving is quite complex.
They may require more hours until they feel comfortable behind the wheel.
If you feel like that’s you, don’t pressure yourself into taking the road skills test just because you’ve satisfied your permit’s requirements.
Take the extra time to keep practicing.
You can usually extend how long your Temporary Instruction Permit lasts.
Only after you feel confident in your skills should you schedule an appointment to take the road skills test.
2. Practice Parking
The road skills test covers both driving and parking.
Since a lot of focus is on driving, it’s easy to forget to practice the parking part of it, too.
This can become a problem during the test.
Even if you do a great job on the driving portion, if you completely fail the parking portion, then you’re likely going to fail the entire test.
Make sure you spend time parking.
Parallel parking tends to be the most complex part of the test.
Spending time perfecting your parking skills can ensure you boost your score for everything that follows.
3. Practice During Traffic
It’s common to want to avoid traffic when practicing your driving.
However, your test isn’t going to avoid traffic.
If anything, your examiner is going to want to take you into some pretty high-traffic areas.
If you’re not comfortable driving in a lot of traffic, then you could lose some points by making mistakes.
While you practice your driving and grow more confident, be sure to drive during rush hour with your supervisor.
Once you’re comfortable in all sorts of different traffic, the test will become easy for you.
When visiting the DMV to get your license, you may see a spot to write down your weight.
Since they don’t actually weigh you, you can put almost anything you want in that region.