What Happens if You Fail Your Driving Test 3 Times

A driving test or driving exam is a strategy that was created and tested first in France. The essence was to evaluate a person’s capability and competence at driving.

Most times, driving tests are taken as a requirement for people to obtain their driving license. A driving test can be failed. However, what happens if you fail your driving test 3 times?

If you fail your driving test 3 times, you will be required to go for more driving lessons to perfect your flaws. You will however re-apply for the driving test by submitting the necessary documents which include your Social Security number, identification, name, birth date, etc., to get another 3 fresh chances of retaking the driving test.

 How Many Times Are You Allowed to Fail a Driving Test?

The number of times you’re allowed to fail a driving test is dependent on what country you are living in at the time you want to take the test.

In most countries, you’re allowed to take the test as many times as you can afford it, that way you’re limited by how much you can spare to keep trying to take the test and not by some rule or policy.

In some other states and countries, the number of times you’re allowed to take varies from two, three to five times(2, 3 to 5 times) before you start the application process all over again.

Some other countries/states would have you wait for a certain number of days/months before your next trial

This is why it is advisable to take some time after a failed test to practice before applying to take the test again, that way, you have enough time to practice, correct your mistakes and also gain some knowledge in the areas you don’t know much.

What Happens if You Fail Your Driving Test 3 Times?

After you have taken your driving test three times and still have not passed, you’re obligated to take driving lessons before the next time you get a chance to take the driving test, sometimes you get to retake the test as early as the next working or business day.

In some countries you have to re-apply and go through the process of submitting the necessary documents, then you will get another three chances to take the driving test again.

For example, according to DMV California, if you fail your driving test 3 times, you will be required to apply again just like you did in the beginning, by submitting all the necessary information which includes your Social Security number, identification, name, birth date, etc.

This is to say that once you apply for the test, you only have 3 chances. If you fail to pass the test within the 3 chances allocated to you when you registered, you will have to apply again to get another fresh 3 chances.

However, the application may or may not be immediate which includes the test. You’ll need more time to practice those areas that are affecting you. Perfecting it will help you pass the exam.

Is It OK To Fail Driving Test 3 Times?

Failure is sometimes a requirement in life because it gives people experience on how to go about certain things so yes, it is completely normal to fail your driving test more than once.

The fact that you failed is supposed to make you better because you have learned a thing or two from failing that will make you better the next time you decide to take the driving test.

While you’re waiting to take the test again you can keep reading the driver’s handbook or books about car handling and maintenance, try practicing with different people that have passed the test, and ask questions about the things they think you’re doing wrong and how you can be better.

Whenever you decide to take the test again, you need to be completely focused, and make sure you don’t make the same mistakes as the last time you took the test.

What to Do If You Fail Driving Test 3 Times

Here are a few things you can do when you’ve failed your driving test three times;

1. Strive to Get Better

Find out why you didn’t pass the test (written or road). In a very polite manner, find out who graded your test or any of the supervisors and tell them that you’d like to get better, ask if they can point you in the right direction, and tell you what you can do better, and how your performance can be improved.

2. Stay Calm

Being anxious about taking either one of the tests can make you perform below your capabilities so, try as much as possible to stay calm if you feel like you didn’t prepare enough.

Don’t let it bother you, just stay calm and take the test. If you fail it, the next time you get the opportunity, put more effort into getting prepared for the test.

I would suggest you drive as if you are taking your friend out for a drive. The person that will take the test for you is not a god. He or she is human and passed the same procedure you’re doing before they were allowed to drive. So, if they can do it, you yourself can do it as well.

3. Take Time to Practice

While you’re waiting for the next opportunity to take the test, find someone that can be honest with you and practice with them, let them constructively criticize your performance, that way you can work on your flaws.

The easiest way to learn how to drive and be strong at it is if you drive every day. So I’d suggest you practice every day. This is where learning how to drive your own car pays off. You can always take the car for the lesson.

However, if you are a working type, find a way to allocate time for the lessons so you can get through with it. Remember, the earlier the better.

4. Stop Trying Too Hard

You’ve taken the test severally and you’re trying so hard not to fail again, you should try to enjoy driving so you can shut out all the noise in your head and pay attention to the details in your driving, also you could try to enjoy driving however you can, try to relax while you’re driving.

I remember during my lesson days, it was so difficult for me to master my manual clutch biting point. Because of that, I keep stalling all the time. I couldn’t take the driving test because I’m still having issues with the clutch.

I remember crying inside my car one day when I was doing the lesson. I cried so hard because, the more I try to master the clutch biting point, the more the car keeps stalling.

But look at me today, I can drive very well. Sometimes when I look back, on how it started. I smile. It wasn’t so easy for me but I later did it so you can do it if you constantly practice.

5. Know How Many Mistakes You’re to Make

It’s better to know how many mistakes you are allowed to make when taking a driving test to help you minimize making many mistakes. Taking the number of mistakes into consideration will help you do better next time.

Why Do I Keep Failing My Driving Test?

Any one of these factors could have been the reason you have been failing the test;

1. Same Driving Instructor

If you have been with the same driving instructor all through the times you have been failing the test, maybe the instructor’s style of teaching is just not what you need.

Try getting another driving instructor preferably someone that doesn’t intimidate you and you feel comfortable around.

2. Using the Same Test Centre

If you have been taking the test at a particular place and you’ve been failing, if you live in a major city whose roads are always busy any Centre around you will use those roads, and passing a driving test on a busy road is more difficult.

3. Telling Too Many People You Want to Take the Test

When the number of people you discussed taking the test is restricted to just a few people, the pressure to pass is reduced and there are not so many expectations you have to live up to.

4. Scheduling the Test During the Busy Hours of the Day

You should book your test for the quiet hours of the day, that way you can be more focused without having to worry about too many things because there are not too many distractions.

The quiet hours are the times when people are at work and students are still in school, from 10/11 am till 1/2 pm are good times to take a driving test.

Types of Driving Test

A driving test comprises two important tests; the theory test which can be written or oral. It is done to assess the person’s knowledge of the laws and rules of driving and sometimes about how they can apply them in real-life situations.

While the practical test that is done on the road is used to evaluate the person’s ability to drive under normal conditions.

Sometimes the theoretical part of the driving exam can be a computer-based test (CBT), the test usually consists of questions that are related to road laws and traffic signs that are peculiar to that country, they also contain questions that are related to proper vehicle maintenance and handling.

Also, you can only be qualified to take the practical test after you have successfully passed the theoretical part of the driving test, then you can proceed.


Most people do not pass their driving test on their first trial, some people tend to get it right in the second trial and some in the third, and on and on but regardless of how many times you’ve taken the test, you should learn to focus on what you’re not doing right rather than paying attention to the fact that you’re failing the test. Put more effort into getting it right and you’ll pass the test with ease.