In America, getting a driver's license is considered a rite of passage. If you're applying for a license for the first time, you will need to pass both a written test and practical driving test. The best way to prepare for the driver's ed test is to practice, practice, practice!
Written Test Review
The California Driver's Handbook is the best source for information on the multiple-choice written test. The written test itself will consider of 46 questions. You must answer 38 correctly to pass.
Make sure you are familiar with all traffic and road signs and lights. Know the difference between solid and broken yellow and white lines:
Yellow lines mark the center of two-way streets. Solid yellow lines cannot be crossed. Broken yellow lines can be crossed. If there is a solid line next to a broken line, you can pass only if the broken line is on your side, and if it is safe to do so.
White lines mean traffic going in your direction. Broken white lines act as lane dividers, permitting drivers to switch lanes when it is appropriate to do so. Solid white lines mean drivers must stay in their lane, and also signify the shoulder of the road.
Remember that the “no zone” refers to the areas around a large truck that the driver can't see. Don't spend more time than you need to in these blind zones. When passing, make sure you have at least 100 feet of clear road ahead – don't pass on hills, around curves, or in a tunnel intersection where you don't know what's coming ahead.
Also, make sure you know the rules regarding blood alcohol content (BAC) and drunk driving. These questions come up frequently on driver's tests. In California, people under 21 may not drive with any alcohol in their system.
For people over 21, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of 0.08% or higher. It's possible to reach this level after 1.5 drinks within an hour. Understand these limitations and adhere to them when you are driving.
Although there are some hard and fast rules, such as stopping or yielding at the appropriate street signs, much of learning the rules of the road comes from being able to exercise appropriate judgment. If you don't have a lot of driving experience, it can be helpful to speak with or even observe a friend or relative who is an experienced driver. Ask about why they do certain things, how they decide when to use a turn signal, or what they would do in emergency situations.
Driver's Test Review
The best way to pass the practical driver's test is to practice as much as you can, whether in an official class or with a licensed driver after you get your learner's permit. On the driver's test, you will need to demonstrate:
- Making left and right turns,
- Stops at intersections,
- Backing up in a straight line,
- Changing lanes,
- Driving in regular street traffic, and possibly even on the freeway.
When driving, it's important to be calm and comfortable behind the wheel. You want to be controlled, whether you're speeding up, braking, or even going straight. Make sure to check mirrors and windows regularly, use turn signals, and always obey street signs and traffic lights.
How to Take the California Driver's Test
Once you feel confident to take your driver's test, you need to visit a DMV field office to apply for your license. When you go, you will need to show identification, such as your passport or birth certificate, and, if applicable, any driver's license or permit previously issued by California or another state.
You will need to fill out a Driver's License Application form. Then, you will meet with a DMV employee who will take your fingerprints and photograph and take a vision test – make sure to bring glasses or contact lenses, if you need them!
You can take the written test the same day you apply. If you pass the test, you may get an interim or temporary license.
The practical driving test is administered by appointment only. You can schedule this appointment
- Online by visiting www.dmv.ca.gov, or
- Over the phone by calling 1-800-777-0133.
To take the driving portion of the test, you will need to bring:
- An appropriately licensed person
- A vehicle
- Proof of registration and insurance for the vehicle, and
- Your driver's permit.
The examiner will ride in the car with you and give you directions. They will observe your driving to ensure you can obey traffic laws and be a safe driver.
Retain a Trusted Personal Injury Attorney for Piece of Mind
Understanding and abiding by the rules of the road is an important way to be a safe driver. The Law Offices of Freeman & Freeman have proudly helped Santa Rosa drivers get to where they need to be since 1975. If you need legal assistance please contact us by calling (707) 575-7141 today.