I have taught Driver Education and Driver Training for the last 5 years. This guide will include everything you need from signing up for school, to acing your driving test. Please note that I live and teach in California and your DMV where you live may be a little different. If you follow this guide getting your license will be an easy and rewarding experience.
1. Driver Education
2. Permit Test 15 1/2
3. Driver Training and Driving with parents
4. Drivers License Exam 16
Step 1: Driver Education
First you will have to sign up for Driver Education if you are under 17 1/2. This is a requirement that will allow you to take the written test at the DMV when you are 15 1/2. Driver Education can be completed online or in the classroom as long as it is a certified course by the dmv that fulfills the 25 hours of minimum instruction. Driver education can be completed at any age. In Drivers Education you will learn about the lines, signs, vehicle operation, and laws that you will need to know before you start your Driver Training (Driving in Car).
As soon as you complete your Drivers Education class you will be issued a completion certificate. When you are 15 1/2 you will take this certificate to the DMV along with:
- DL44 Form (application for your license which includes a fee)
- Birth Certificate
- Parent/Guardian Signature (permission)
- Social Security Card or equivalent identification
Step 2: Permit Test
You have successfully completed your Driver Education class and you have all your materials prepared for the DMV. I would suggest making an appointment to test. This will minimize your wait time when you arrive at the DMV.
At the DMV you will also have to:
- Give your thumb print
- Have your picture taken
- Take an eye exam (glasses and contacts are ok)
- Wait in line
The permit test consists of 46 questions and you will need a score of 39 or higher to pass. This test is multiple choice out of 3 and you must answer every single question!
- Have a good breakfast and a good nights sleep
- Study the questions and take practice tests. (people post their tests on the web all the time. Study these!)
- Relax. If you use common sense the test will be easy, just know your measurements!
- Keep your Driving Handbook from Driver Education Class on you to study as you wait for your turn to test.
Step 3: Driver Training
You have successfully passed your Permit Test! Congratulations! You cannot legally drive with your parents just yet. You must have your first professional driving lesson in order for your permit to be validated.
6 hours of Driver Training is required for every person who wishes to obtain a Drivers License. Usually this is split into three 2 hour lessons. Driver Training is 1 on 1 in car training with a licensed instructor. This usually costs around $380 where I live for the 6 hours.
After you have signed up and completed your first lesson your permit is now signed by the instructor and valid. You may now start driving with your parent/guardian or 25 year old person with a valid drivers license. You will need to complete 50 hours, 10 of them have to be at night. These 50 hours are on the honor code.
After you have completed your 6 hours of Driver Training and 50 hours of practice with your parents you are ready for your Drivers License Test.
You must be 16 and have held your permit for 6 months to be eligible to test. This means if you got your permit when you are 16 you still must wait 6 months.
Step 4: Drivers License Behind the Wheel Exam
For the Behind the Wheel Exam You well need:
- Driver Education and Driver Training Completion certificates
- 16 years old
- Parent/Guardian Signature (permission)
- An Insured Car (Proof of Insurance is required *keep in car*)
- All lights, horn, and windshield wipers working
- Know your Arm Signals, where your headlights are, defroster, and emergency flashers!
- PHONE OFF! (Sometimes an automatic fail. This is auxiliary equipment use!)
- Test in the car that you have been practicing in.
- An automatic car is the easiest to pass in!
- The test is quick. 95% of students fail from automatic disqualification. Make you don't do anything that is pictured in the red box above. Remember that "examiner intervention" can be them saying "watch out!" or "you need to check your blind spot". Also, driving to slowly is an automatic fail!
- Don't be nervous, they won't try and trick or confuse you!
Step 5: Passed
Great Job. You now have your provisional license. You have earned the privilege to drive. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me with questions. I teach everyday and would be happy to help. Thanks for reading!