Can You Take Your Drivers Test With a Cracked Windshield?
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One of the most stressful times in a teenager’s life is when their drivers test is approaching. While trying to study and make sure they have healthy driving habits, it can be hard to focus on everything that you need to do to pass.
They are also hearing from friends who may have had an easy time which will put more stress on them or that the test was hard, confirming some of their worst fears.
In reality, a drivers test is just another test. Even if you fail it, you will have the option to re-take it so it is important to stay calm.
However, what about things that are outside your control? If you have a cracked windshield, will you be able to take your drivers test or will you automatically fail?
Can You Take Your Drivers Test With a Cracked Windshield?
So, can you take your driver’s test with a cracked windshield? No, you should not take your driver’s test with a cracked windshield. Some states will let it pass, but others may hold it against you.
That’s definitely not the whole story. You need to learn the rest of the story. Here’s what you really need to know about taking your drivers test with a cracked windshield.
The DMV Breakdown
This is a complicated answer that may depend on where you live and will almost certainly depend on the severity of the crack in the windshield.
Contrary to popular belief, not all DMV employees are out to get you or are hoping to see you fail. In all honesty, they act as an impartial judge to try to determine if you are safe to be on the road or not.
While some people may have stories where it seems like someone was out to get them, it is more likely that the DMV employee was simply doing their job and they just made an honest mistake.
This is where your living area will probably play a role in the decision. The DMV employee will most likely be guided by the laws that their state provides to them.
Of course, you could get a friendly DMV employee who will be more lenient or a strict DMV employee who will follow every rule to the exact letter of the law. Those types of judgements are almost impossible to make until you show up, so it would be extremely unwise to simply “hope” for a friendly tester.
What is known about the DMV process is that you need to be operating a car without any safety defects. The easiest way to think about this problem is to think about your car missing a headlight.
The DMV employee inspects your car before taking the drivers test to make sure that your car is completely safe, aka “street ready”. It is highly likely that this is the stage where the DMV employee would become aware of the crack in your windshield and need to make a ruling.
If at all possible, you really don’t want to leave this decision up to them. Your mind is probably best off focusing on the things that you actually need to do as opposed to worrying about whether someone makes a judgement on your car.
Defining Your Situation
One notable thing about cracks in the windshield is that they come in all shapes and sizes. There are large cracks that really need to be taken care of right away due to immediate safety concerns, and others are smaller that may not be quite as visible. (although they still should probably be taken care of fairly quickly)
What your exact windshield situation is will change how you may want to go about your business.
For starters, if the crack in your windshield is in your line of sight, it is almost immediately going to be a “no go”. You can see why this makes sense. Even though drivers today seemingly are distracted by tens of different things all around them, they need to be able to see in any direction almost immediately.
Having a crack in your windshield directly in front of the driver, for example, would make it harder to see what is coming and could even mess with your perception to the point that you have trouble actually figuring out what is happening.
Your brain is a complex thing and it doesn’t take much to throw off your reaction time just a bit which could mean the difference between braking safely and causing an accident.
Actions to Take
If you truly think that your windshield is going to be questionable based on all the research you can do on your local laws, there is another recommendation you should take into consideration.
It would make a lot of sense to call ahead of time to wherever it is you are taking your driving test and talk to someone about what the policy is as far as cracks or any kind of windshield damage.
If there is a no tolerance policy, at least you would be aware of that right away so you could turn your attention to fixing the damage of your vehicle.
It may seem tempting to try to hide the crack and not say anything until the instructor looks at your vehicle. This is not a good situation because you are going to be stressed and nervous about what the instructor may have to say.
If they make a negative ruling, you are also going to be completely bummed out and let down that you do not get a chance to prove your driving prowess. It’s always better to figure out where you stand as opposed to stressing out and hoping that you get lucky on the day of the test.
Even if you have a short delay in passing your drivers test, that would be preferable to trying to sneak something through the system that really doesn’t belong there. Besides, these organizations are simply trying to follow the rules and be as impartial as possible.
At the end of the day, it is best to get your windshield fixed immediately to prevent further damage and to be eligible to take a drivers test.
You can try to call ahead to get a ruling and see what the local policy may be, as this will save you a lot of stress and anxiety as opposed to simply hoping for the best with a damaged windshield.