Ohio Driver Maneuverability Test Tips

Updated July 06, 2018

To get your first driver's license in Ohio, you must pass a road test to prove that you can operate a car safely and properly. The Ohio driving test is completed in two parts: the driving test and the maneuverability test. The driving portion tests your basic skills behind the wheel, like backing up and turning, while the maneuverability test assesses your skill in controlling the vehicle. If you pass both of these tests, as well as the written and vision tests, Ohio will grant you a driver's license.

Understand the Test

The Ohio maneuverability test consists of two steps. In step one, you must drive forward through a box made up of four traffic cones. The examiner will instruct you to drive to the right or left of the "point" marker in the centre of the box. The test requires that you stop when your rear bumper is even with the point marker, and that your car remains parallel with the course. In step two, you must return the car to the starting point by backing up past the point marker, and returning to the starting point with your vehicle parallel to the course.

Understand Point Deductions

In order to pass the maneuverability test, you cannot lose more than 25 points from your score. According to the Ohio BMV, points are deducted for stopping to check your progress, hitting the markers, misjudging stopping distance, and not remaining parallel with the testing area. You will immediately fail for knocking down or running over a marker or performing any other dangerous action, such as not checking behind you when you back up.


To pass the maneuverability test, practice. Set up a practice course. See Resources for a diagram of the course set-up. Practice manoeuvring your vehicle around the course until you feel confident that you can pass the test.

Develop a Strategy for Step One

Driver's education instructors recommend the following strategy for controlling your vehicle during the forward motion part of the test. Pull forward slowly, and when your side mirrors are even with the second set of cones, turn in the direction the examiner requests. When the front of your car is even with the point car, straighten the wheel until the mirrors are even with the marker point. Then turn the wheel in the opposite direction, pulling forward until your back bumper is even with the cone.

Develop a Strategy for Step Two

In the reverse portion of the test, look in the side mirror opposite of the way you turned; if you went to the left side of the cone, use the right side mirror. Back up until the cone is about 12 inches from your bumper, and then turn the wheel half a turn and back up. When you see only pavement in your mirrors, straighten the vehicle and slowly back through to the beginning point.

General Tips

During the test, remain calm and focused. Listen carefully to the examiner's instructions and follow them exactly. Go slow; you can probably complete the test without using the accelerator at all. Use your mirrors, and be sure to look behind you when backing up. Keep both hands on the wheel.

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About the Author

An adjunct instructor at Central Maine Community College, Kristen Hamlin is also a freelance writer on topics including lifestyle, education, and business. She is the author of Graduate! Everything You Need to Succeed After College (Capital Books), and her work has appeared in Lewiston Auburn Magazine, Young Money, USA Today and a variety of online outlets. She has a B.A. in Communication from Stonehill College, and a Master of Liberal Studies in Creative Writing from the University of Denver.