What is the brake reaction test?

Before you start your Washington state driving test, the examiner will have you do a brake reaction test. This tests your ability to safely and quickly stop the car. This part is pretty easy to do, but it helps if you know what to expect.

How does the brake reaction test work?

For the brake reaction test, the examiner will stand outside the car. Typically, the brake reaction test is given at the end of the pre-trip inspection, where the examiner makes sure your car meets the minimum requirements in order to test in it. The examiner will stand just outside the driver’s door in a position where they can see the brake. The brake reaction test is performed with the engine turned off for safety.

You’ll have to roll down your window so that you can hear the examiner give the command.

The examiner will say:

I’m going to check your ability to stop.

Put your foot on the gas pedal. When I say stop, step on the brake as quickly as you can.


You need to step on the brake as quickly as possible, as if you were trying to stop the vehicle in an emergency. The following video shows you what to do.

If you don’t step on the brake fast enough, the examiner will repeat the instructions and let you try the brake reaction test one more time. If you still can’t do it fast enough, then the examiner will refer you to a DOL office for testing.