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California Driver's Permit, Drivers Education, Lessons, Tests

6. California Licensing & Registration

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6. The Permit Test

Your static visual acuity will be tested during the application process. The DMV uses Snellen wall charts and the Optec 1000 vision tester to screen driver license applicants for a best-corrected distance visual acuity of no worse than 20/40. If you do not pass the vision screening standard you will be referred to an optometrist or ophthalmologist to have your vision further tested.

Your knowledge of traffic laws and safe driving practices will be assessed during the application process. Topics included on the written knowledge test include:

  • accident responsibility
  • DUI / drugs
  • driving on freeways
  • lane markings
  • lane usage
  • parking (including on hills)
  • road hazards
  • railroad crossings
  • right-of-way
  • seat belts and child restraints
  • maintaining a space cushion
  • speed and speed limits
  • safe driving practices
  • sharing the roadway with others
  • driving with special vehicles (e.g., school buses)
  • improving traffic flow
  • traffic lights and signals
  • turns
  • traffic signs
  • visual scanning
  • driving in inclement weather

  • The written test for provisional license applicants has 46 questions; a maximum of 8 errors are allowed. The written test for adult original license applicants has 36 questions; 5 errors are allowed. The written test for license renewal applicants has 18 questions, 3 errors are allowed.

    The tests are revised a number of times each year. It is better to prepare for the test by reading the most recent edition of the California Driver Handbook than by studying old versions of the tests.

    The written test is available in over 30 different languages, and is also available on audio tape. If you take a non-English test, or ANY audio test (even in English), you must ALSO pass an additional test of your ability to recognize the meaning of common signs, in English.

    Provisional license applicants who fail the written test are required to wait 1 week before being eligible for a retest. The purpose of this waiting period is to provide sufficient time for the applicant to study The California Driver Handbook .

    If you fail the written test three times, you will have to pay a new license application fee in order to take the written knowledge test again.

    Lesson Summary


    Lesson 6 Quiz

    You will now answer 5 questions to test what you learned during this lesson. You must answer all questions correctly to receive completion credit for this lesson. You may answer the questions as many times as necessary to get them right.

    You should review the lesson material if you don't do well on the quiz.

    1. The best way to prepare for the drive test is to:


    2. If you have trouble reading, even if in English, you may take an audio permit test:


    3. Which of the following is NOT on the permit test:


    4. You will be listed as a "Negligent Operator" if you get:


    5. The "PROVISIONS" of your provisional license include the following, EXCEPT:



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