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How to Use Your Mirrors During Driver's Exam

Should You Adjust Your Mirrors During Your Driver's Exam?

Many beginner drivers are confused about using their rear-view mirrors during their Driver's Exam. Are you allowed to adjust them? Or, should you not touch them at all?

The answer is: yes, you absolutely should adjust your mirrors. But it depends on when during the exam you have the opportunity to do so.

Before the road test begins

In most states, the test administer will ask you to use some of your car functions before the road test begins. In many cases, this will include the mirrors. Make sure you know where your mirrors are located and how to use them.

While each car's controls are different, the location of the mirrors is typically the same in every vehicle:

  • Rear-view mirror

    Your review-mirror is the located at the center-top of the windshield. This mirror should be adjusted to give you a clear view of what's directly outside your rear window, such as other cars and objects behind you.

    In most vehicles, this mirror is adjusted manually by hand, while you're sitting in the driver's seat.

  • Driver's side mirror

    This mirror, located to your left, when you're sitting in the driver's seat, gives you a view of objects that are on the left/driver's side of your vehicle.

    The controls for this mirror could be located in a number of areas, depending on your vehicle: by the window; on the door panel; in the center console; or even on the steering wheel. Be sure to check your vehicle's driver's manual if you're not sure.

    Adjust this mirror to where you feel it gives the greatest view of your vehicle's left side, but keep in mind there will always be a blind spot. When driving, you must also check your blind spot by glancing over your shoulder when it is safe to do so.

  • Passenger's side mirror

    The passenger's side mirror is located on the right/passenger's side of your vehicle and operates the same way. Again, be sure you know where the controls are located before the exam.

Even if your exam administrator does not ask you to adjust your mirrors before the test begins, now is the best time to do it.

During the exam

You should never have to adjust your side mirrors while driving and it is unsafe to do so unless your vehicle is stopped. However, it is reasonable to adjust your rear-view mirror if you must while driving.

Before you adjust your rear-view mirror, make sure traffic around is clear and safe. Adjusting your mirror should not take more than 2 seconds.

If you must parallel park as part of your driving test, it is okay to adjust any of your mirrors as needed, as long as your vehicle is stopped.

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