California Drivers Test
California Drivers Test
Passing the California drivers test is the final and probably the most essential step in the process of applying for a drivers license, although most teenagers fear the drivers permit test much more. The drivers license test was designed to test virtually every skill required for safe operation of a motor vehicle, not just your ability to go in a straight line. Examiners who perform driver's license tests in California will also be testing your knowledge of the state traffic rules and your ability to follow them. When you practice for California drivers test, try to spend as many hours behind the wheel as possible, the more experience you get now, the easier the test will go.
California Drivers License Test Requirements
There are certain requirements that you need to meet before you can take a drivers test in California. These requirements largely depend on the applicant's age, so for your convenience, we have broken them into two parts.
Under 18 Years of Age
If you are under 18 years of age, you will have to meet all requirements of the California graduated driver's license program. This means that you will need to start by completing one of the California drivers education classes, taking a learners permit test and obtaining a driver's permit. Once you have your permit, you will need to complete at least 6 hours of driving lessons with a professional driving instructor and 44 hours of supervised driving with your parents. The permit must be held for at least six months before you can take a driver test and receive a drivers license.
18 Years of Age and Older
If you are at least 18 years of age, you will not have to follow the graduated license law and complete drivers education courses (although you may do so if you wish, there is no law that stops from receiving extra education) prior to taking the California drivers license test. However, you must still apply for a drivers permit and take a California permit test at the Department of Motor Vehicles. The test covers the state driving rules and you may prepare for it by reading the California drivers handbook and testing yourself with free California drivers practice tests. You will not be able to take the drivers test unless you hold a learners permit or an out-of-state license.
Scheduling The Test, What To Expect
Driver license testing is conducted on appointment-only basis and walk-ins are not accepted. You can schedule your California driving test online at dmv.ca.org or by calling 1-800-777-0133. Make sure to make your appointment well in advance.
It is up to you to provide a vehicle for the driving test, the DMV does not offer vehicles for testing. The vehicle must be properly insured, registered and be in good technical condition. If you use a rental vehicle for the drivers license test, your name must appear on the contract. The vehicle will be checked for the following things:
- two license plates. The rear plate must show current registration.
- both front and back turn signal lights and working brake lights.
- a working horn designed for the vehicle.
- tires with no bald spots.
- adequate brake pressure (you will be asked to step on the brake pedal to see if it works properly).
- a driver’s side window that rolls down.
- a windshield that allows a full unobstructed field of vision.
- two rear view mirrors (one must be on the outside, to the driver’s left).
- driver and front passenger doors that open from both the inside and outside.
- a secured glove compartment door so it doesn't open during the test.
- a passenger seat permanently attached to the vehicle.
- working safety belts, if the vehicle was manufactured with safety belts.
- working emergency/parking brake.
If the vehicle does not meet these requirements, you will have to reschedule your California drivers license test for another date.
You must have your California drivers permit or your out-of-state license with you during the test. Failure to produce one of these documents will also result in denial of the driving exam.
Things that Get Your Failed
We tried to put together a list of things that may get you failed on your California driving test. Keep in mind that this list is not complete and is meant only to give you a fair idea of what you should not do during your driving exam.
- Failure to obey traffic rules or road signs
- Failure to obey school zone rules
- Straddling marked lanes
- Driving too close to pedestrians, bicycles or vehicles
- Driving left to center
- Running off the roadway
- Having an incident or making a contact with another vehicle
- Failing to yield right of way
One of the most common mistakes made by inexperienced drivers is being too cautious. Contrary to the common belief, being overcautious will not yield you any extra points on the driving test, in fact, you'll lose points for impeding traffic.
If you fail your drivers test, you will have to pay the testing fee for another attempt and reschedule the test for another date. Once you finally pass your driving test, you will be issued with a California drivers license. You may be issued with a temporary license while the original is being mailed to you.
If you are looking for a magic trick that will allow you to pass the test, you are unlikely to find it anywhere. The only way to guarantee that you pass the California driver's test is to get as much driving practice as possible. You are more than welcome to use additional guides and study materials provided by the California DMV, such as the Parent Teen Driving Guide, for example. Don't get thrown off by the name - this guide is not only for parents and teens, if you are over 18 years of age, you should read it too, you will pick up a lot of useful driving tips from there.