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

6. California Licensing & Registration

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7. The Driving Test

During the behind-the-wheel driving test, no one except the examiner may accompany you and there may be no animals in vehicle.

For the behind-the-wheel driving test, your vehicle must be in proper working order, which includes:

  • the driver window rolling down
  • the windshield being unobstructed for the driver and examiner
  • having rear-view mirrors
  • the front and back turn signals working
  • the brake lights working
  • tires having adequate tread
  • the foot brake not touching the floorboard
  • a working horn
  • a working emergency/parking brake
  • locating the windshield wiper control
  • locating the defroster
  • locating the emergency flashers
  • locating the headlight switch
  • the passenger door opening from inside and outside
  • the glove box being closed and secure
  • seat belts as manufactured being present and functional.

  • In addition, your vehicle must have a rear license plate with current year and month registration stickers, and you must also be able to show proof of financial responsibility for the vehicle (insurance) and your knowledge of arm signals.

    The behind-the-wheel driving test will assess your understanding of the rules of the road and skill handling the vehicle, and will address:

  • dealing with through and stop intersections
  • control of the vehicle
  • parking lot driving
  • backing up
  • choosing the appropriate speed for conditions
  • judging distances
  • respecting right-of-way
  • your degree of attentiveness
  • your visual-search skills
  • business/urban and residential/rural driving
  • lane changes
  • left and right turns
  • under certain circumstances, you may also have to demonstrate your ability to drive on a freeway or highway

  • Over 200 items are scored on the driving test. You may only make 15 or fewer errors to pass the test.

    If you make a serious driving error on the driving test, you will be automatically disqualified. These errors include:

  • performing an unsafe maneuver for which the examiner has to intervene
  • striking an object or curb with your vehicle
  • disobeying a traffic sign or signal
  • disobeying safety personnel or vehicles
  • performing a dangerous maneuver
  • driving too fast or too slow
  • improper use of auxiliary equipment
  • executing a lane violation

  • If you fail the driving test three times your instruction permit will no longer be valid and you will have to pay a new license application fee in order to take the driving test again.

    The best way to prepare for the test is to take a driver training course and extensively practice the different maneuvers required on the test.

    If you are applying for a provisional license, you must wait 6 months from the date you obtain your instruction permit before you may take the driving test, unless you turn 18 before the end of this 6 month period.

    Provisional license applicants who fail the driving test are required to wait 2 weeks before being eligible for a retest. The purpose of this waiting period is to encourage applicants to gain additional behind-the-wheel practice.

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


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


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


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


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



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