All first-time drivers must pass a California driving test to earn a California drivers license. During the test, a drivers license examiner will sit in the passenger seat and ask you to demonstrate different driving maneuvers. The test takes about 20 minutes.
You may also be required to take a driving test if you have a license from a foreign country, have a vision-related problem, have a limited term license, have a physical condition, have an out-of-state provisional license, or are unable to surrender your out-of-state license.
How to Prepare for the California Drivers Test
To prepare for your California drivers test, you need to practice driving. You should be comfortable performing all the following maneuvers from the California Department of Motor Vehicle’s Safe Driver Checklist.
If you’re under 18, you are required to practice driving under supervision for at least 6 months. You must also complete 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training with a licensed instructor, and 50 hours of supervised driving practice including 10 hours at night.
Make sure you are familiar with the vehicle you will be driving during the test. The drivers license examiner will ask you to locate the following:
- Windshield wipers
- Emergency flashers
- Parking brake (and demonstrate its use)
Taking the CA Driving Test
Bring the following to the DMV with you:
- Your instruction permit or old drivers license
- A licensed driver who is at least 18 years old
You will also need a car for the driving test. The car must have:
- Proof of insurance; if you use a rental vehicle, you must bring the contract showing your name as the insured driver
- Two license plates with current registration
- Working brake lights, turning signal lights, horn, and parking brake
- Tires that do not have any bald spots
- A working driver’s side window and driver and front passenger doors
- A windshield with an unobstructed field of vision