Washington has the hardest driving test in the US

One way street sign with green tree branches and blue sky

KOMO News recently reported on a study by Siegfried and Jensen, which says that Washington state is the hardest state in the nation to pass the driving test. They based their evaluation on several sources of information, including information from the Washington DOL website and the Washington Driver Guide (PDF).

What the study looked at

The study included the following factors:

  • Learners permit requirements
  • License costs
  • Testing costs, including the knowledge and driving tests
  • Knowledge test difficulty and passing score required
  • Number of attempts to pass the test before you pay another fee
  • Number of graded maneuvers on the driving test
  • Number of graded vehicle control elements on the driving test
  • Number of graded elements related to traffic laws, such as signs, on the driving test
  • Number of graded driver behavior elements on the driving test
  • Number of attempts to pass the driving test before you pay another fee

Based on the descriptions on the website for the study, it appears that this study was quantitative rather than qualitative. This means that they counted numbers of things like driving maneuvers, scoring, and costs and assigned weightings to each one. The methodology doesn’t compare the relative difficulty of the material between the different states.

The bottom line is that you have to know more things, and perform more maneuvers, in Washington than in the other states.

Prepare for the hardest driving test in the US

To prepare yourself for the Washington driving test, the first thing you should do is read and understand the Washington Driver Guide (PDF). Knowing this material will enable you to pass the written knowledge test. You can also take the DOL practice test.

You also need to practice driving. Obviously, you should already know how to drive before you take your test. If you don’t know how to drive, you should take some lessons from a driving school.

Washington driving test prep courses

If you already know how to drive, and want to learn exactly what you need to do on the driving test, you should check out our online test prep course, Washington State Driving Test. We offer two versions of this training, taught by a former DOL Master Examiner:

  • The free course gives you five video lessons in your email inbox. The free course is designed to give you a broad overview of the driving test and introduce the key concepts you should know.
  • The premium course is even better. It has nine video lessons that take you behind the scenes to show you the Washington driving test from an insider’s perspective. You’ll see every maneuver performed, with detailed instructions on what to do and what NOT to do on each part of the test.

Enroll today, and get ready to pass the Washington State Driving Test!