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Anyone who has ever gone through the New York road test will tell you that parallel parking always features on the test. The experience is nerve-wracking for anyone who hasn’t mastered how to parallel park for a road test in NY.  Ensure you get a safe and affordable parking space in your neighborhood.

The best you can do is prepare for that day. You can then show up for the test with all the confidence in the world. Read on to learn more about what it takes to successfully parallel park during a road test in NY.

But first:

What is Parallel Parking?

It’s a method of parking a vehicle, ensuring that it’s parallel to the road and in line with other parked vehicles. To achieve this, you need to move past the parking space, keep a safe distance, and then park your vehicle.

Is Parallel Parking On The Driving Test In NY Difficult?

Prepare for anything. Your examiner will expect that you have already mastered how to parallel park. Don’t worry, though. You don’t have to do it like a pro. The most important thing here is just to get your car parallel to the curb.

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Make sure the car is close enough to the curb not to be a hazard or an obstruction. It also goes without saying that you shouldn’t hit anything as you parallel park. You shouldn’t also be too close to other cars.

How to Parallel Park on Driving Test: Video

Here’s a video that shows how to parallel park correctly and pass the road test in NY:

1. Position the Car

Identify a space that’s big enough for your car on the side of the road. The space should be probably between two other parked vehicles.

2. Check Your Mirrors

Check the mirrors before you stop and be sure to signal your fellow drivers. Stop near the car in front of the space, ensuring that your car is parallel to it. Keep a distance of 2 to 3 feet on the side of the other (parked) car.

Check the rear-view mirror, and the right and left side mirror for traffic. After confirming that there’s no vehicle in your blind spot, you should shift the vehicle into reverse.

3. Back up

Start reversing your car gradually, along the parked car’s side. Begin to steer the wheel to the right keeping a good parallel parking distance.

4. Straighten Your Steering Wheel

As your vehicle moves into the vacant parking spot, you should slowly straighten the steering wheel while moving back towards the vehicle parked on the other side of the space.

While maneuvering your car, keep checking the mirrors, front shield, and through the windows, to ensure you don’t hit any of the cars bordering the parking space.

5. Start Steering to the Left

After your vehicle’s front has passed the rear bumper of the car parked in front of you, start steering your wheel to the left.

6. Check the Distance between Your Car and the Other Two Vehicles

before you leave a parking space what should you do

Keep reversing and as you begin to straighten the steering wheel, check your rearview mirror to observe the closeness between your car and the one in the parallel parking space behind you.

7. Adjust the Position of Your Car

Once your vehicle is straight and near the curb, you can now position your car by moving forward so that there’s an equal space behind and in front of your car.

8. Remember to Pay before Leaving

Most parallel parking spots have parking meters. Don’t forget to feed coins into the meter after parallel parking.

9. Put the Vehicle into Reverse

To exit the parking space, you should first put the vehicle into reverse and move slightly back to the vehicle behind you. Be careful while moving back so you don’t hit the car behind you.

10. Steer towards the Left

You can now turn the steering wheel to your left and shift the vehicle forward. Check whether the lane you’d like to enter has traffic. Ensure you’re not too close to the rear bumper of the car parked ahead of you and slowly move out of the parallel park.

Parallel parking is easy when you practice it a couple of times. Our experienced instructors at Pierre Paul Driving School can teach you this entire procedure until you become a pro before your road test. Call us now at 718-576-6277 for a free consultation.

Parallel Parking Summary:

rules for parallel parking on driver's test

Can You Fail Parallel Parking And Still Pass In NY?

Yes, you can fail parallel parking and still pass your driving test in New York.  There are exceptions, though. It is, in fact, safe to say that it all depends on how badly you mess up the parallel parking test. No one is perfect, and many examiners know this.

They also know that you are tense. Hitting a cone or missing out on something minor will not make you fail. The same cannot be said if you hit everything your way or step on the gas pedal all the time when you’re meant to brake.

Your best bet here is to practice. By the time you go for the test, you should be good enough to reverse. Know your left hand from your right hand. Know when and how to indicate. These tips sound obvious.

However, you’ll be surprised at how mastering them will make the whole parallel parking process easy. Once your examiner notices that you can reverse, indicate and brake without a problem as you try to parallel-park, he or she will most likely ignore the fact that messed up a little trying to Parallel Park.

What Should I Expect on my NYS Road Test?

Expect anything. Remember the road signs and the alcohol questions you learned in driving lessons? Well, they matter during the road test. Your examiner will have his or her eyes on you to see whether you observe the rules. The road signs, in particular, are important.

How Do You Parallel Park in a Driving Test?

It’s easy to master the art of parallel parking with practice. Gain the courage and look forward to your parking lessons. Start with positioning the car, checking the mirrors, and keeping a safe distance between your car and the other cars. As a beginner, you need some guiding steps for successful parallel parking.

How Far Do You Have to be From the Curb When Parallel Parking in NYC? 

Keeping a distance of not more than 30cm to the curb is safe. Remember you need to be extra keen since you can’t use the backup camera when parallel parking.

Do You Signal When Parallel Parking?

Yes, that should be the first step as it helps notify the oncoming driver or a driver in the parking space that you want to park your car. Check that there’s nothing behind you before reversing your car. It would be best if you signaled when pulling out from a parking space.

What’s the Trick of Parallel Parking?

Ensure you follow all the parallel parking rules. With confidence and the right parking lot, parallel parking will be easy. Remember to keep the steering wheel angle approaching 45 degrees for easy maneuver.

What’s the 1 2 1 Parallel Parking Technique?

This technique involves turning the steering wheel in a specific sequence – one turn to the left, followed by two turns to the right, and finally, one turn to the left. It is important to note that this explanation assumes that the car will be parked on the left side of the road, and the neighboring vehicle is facing forward.

How Many Times Do You Turn the Wheel to Parallel Park?

1.5 turns are enough to keep the wheel straight, but it depends on how you are mastering parallel parking. It doesn’t matter how many turns you take, provided you keep the wheels straight.

The Minor Details

They matter more than you think they do. Get in the car and strap your seat belts on. Check the mirrors too. Your examiner knows that you can drive. What he or she does not know though is whether you are a good driver or an average one.

Prove the examiner wrong and impress him or her by checking even minor details before starting the car. Push the handbrake down before starting the vehicle, make sure the doors are closed, and so on. Be sure to be fast will all these; you do not have the whole day in the car with the examiner.


Your examiner will most likely be keen on how you brake and accelerate. The trick here is to accelerate and brake smoothly. You should also be able to steer gently.

This should be easy if you have been practicing for some time. Remember to observe speed limits when overtaking.

Signs Matter

There is a simple trick that works like magic – listen to your examiner. Don’t overtake without your examiner’s permission. From then on, it can be easy to be keen on road signs.

Watch out for that bike lane or bus lane. Watch out for speed limit and stop signs too. In a nutshell, use all your senses when you’re behind the wheel.

Your Documentation

For your road test, have all the documents with you. Documents here mean your driver’s license if you have one,  your learner permit, insurance documentation, car inspection stickers, and so on. You can easily be turned down if you do not have any of these documents.

Final Thoughts

You have nothing to worry about. Remember, it is a short test. The best you can do is to listen to the examiner. Then cooperate as much as you can. This is important because a lack of cooperation with the examiner can easily cost you points.

Be polite and courteous too – this is as simple as using the words ‘Thank you and ‘I’m sorry. Don’t under any circumstance, for whatever reason argue with the examiner. Lastly, you don’t have to worry if things don’t go your way. You can still try again and again till you ace the test.

At Pierre Paul Driving School, we teach both teens and adults how to parallel park for a road test in NY, among other driving techniques. Whether you’re new at driving or want to refresh your driving knowledge, we can help. Call us now at 718-576-6277.