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How Far Ahead Should You Schedule Your Written Exam With the DMV?

California drivers need to take a driver’s license written exam at the DMV before scheduling their road test and getting their license. To take a written driver’s license exam in California, you must first book your appointment with a licensing center. 

Not all DMV centers in California offer licensing and driver exams. Therefore, you must find a licensing center and then schedule your driving test appointment. Scheduling a DMV appointment for basic things, like transferring tags, can take a month or more to book. The wait times for a driving test are not any better and much worse in many cases. 

Before you venture to the DMV to take your written exam, learn more about what to expect and how far ahead you need to schedule your written exam.  



How Do You Prepare for the California Driver’s License Written Exam?

Before you can obtain your driver’s license in California, you must first practice with a driving permit under 18. The only way to get a driving permit is to pass the California driver’s license written exam.

All other California drivers, including people who move from other states to California, must still demonstrate their knowledge of California road laws. Taking a written driving test is not something you should ever take lightly. It would help if you studied the laws affecting California drivers. 

It is essential to maintain good study habits for the written test. Taking notes while studying the California Driver’s Handbook can help you remember what you read. 

Some websites and organizations even offer sample test questions to give you a feel for what to expect on your written driving exam. Even the California DMV website offers sample tests you can use to practice your test-taking skills and enhance your driving knowledge. 

Students can take a practice written driver’s test to help them know what they understand, what they need to study more, and the test format to make the process easier. 

To pass your driving test, you must receive at least an 83%. Out of 46 questions, you must answer 38 correctly. To do so, you must ensure you are thoroughly prepared to take your test. If you study hard and take the practice exams available for you, you should pass with flying colors. However, if you fail your test the first time, you need to wait seven days to retake the exam. 


How Do I Take a Written Driving Test in California?

To take your written driving exam in California, you must first make an appointment. Under normal circumstances, the wait time for a driving test appointment is typically a few days. However, with the COVID-19 restrictions, the DMV does not plan on taking new appointments until the middle of February. 

The DMV does not make any DMV test appointments after 4:30 pm. Furthermore, it is essential to have all of your paperwork and certification in hand before scheduling your appointment. Otherwise, you risk having to reschedule your exam for a later date, which could take weeks.

You may get your driving permit at 15 ½ years of age and your license at 16. Therefore, you may wish to get online to make your appointment for your written test 2 to 3 weeks before turning 15 ½ years of age. If you want to wait to make your DMV test appointment, it may be best to sign on and make it as soon as your reach 15 ½ years of age, allowing you to take the exam about 2 to 3 weeks out.

Once you arrive for your test, the DMV wait time should be minimal since you have an appointment. Currently, no walk-in testing is available. However, if it becomes available, you may wait at the DMV another 2 to 3 hours before taking your written exam. 



When Can I Take my California Driving Test? 

Six months after you receive your permit, if you are under 18, you can schedule your driving test appointment. If you are over 18, you can immediately schedule your driving test appointment after passing your written exam and obtaining your driving permit. 

Make sure you know what to bring to your California road test. Follow this checklist to prepare for your road test on the day of your appointment. Make sure you have the following:

  •     Your permit
  •     Car insurance ID card
  •     Your certificate of Behind the Wheel training (if you are under 18-years-old)

You also want to ensure your vehicle is in perfect working order to pass the exam. Perfect working order means that your car would pass any typical inspection and not receive a ticket for any issues. 

Make sure the following works well in your car:

  •     Seatbelts
  •     Rearview mirrors
  •     Sideview mirrors
  •     Parking brake
  •     Turn signals
  •     Brake lights

Also, make sure your tires are in excellent condition and remove any objects hanging from your mirror or attached to your dashboard. Your testing instructor will not remove items from your windshield, so you must remove them before the test. 


Final Thoughts

Taking your written driving test is the first step toward obtaining your California driver’s license. It can be an exciting and scary undertaking, so make sure you prepare for the test. Then, wait until an appointment opens up. 

To learn more about scheduling your written driving exam, contact the experts at Alliance Defensive Driving School. Our licensed professionals will be happy to answer any questions you have.

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