After completing your driver education, passing your written test, and driving with a provisional instruction permit for at least six months, the California DMV allows you to take the driving test to obtain a California driver’s license.
The DMV also mandates that you:
- are 16-18 years old,
- have completed six hours of documented driver training with a third-party provider (not a parent)
- have completed 50 hours of driving practice with a 25-year-old or older adult with a California Driver License. At least 10 of those 50 hours must be night driving.
Other caveats apply based on your situation. If you are older than 18 but have never had a driver’s license in any other state or country, you can get an instruction permit (and not a provisional instruction permit) until you take your road test. If you do have a driver’s license from another state, you simply fill out a California driver’s license application, submit the required documents to the DMV, and pass the written test.
You can book a behind-the-wheel drive test online or call the DMV at 1-800-777-0133. You have to provide your full name, permit number, birth date, and telephone number. Be sure to have proof that you have insurance as well.
Documents Required for the California Driving Test
Be prepared to have everything you need on your behind-the-wheel test day. Check out this list of what to bring to your driver’s test in California:
Your learner’s permit, with the second page signed by a legal guardian
Your instruction permit is proof that you have been working on learning how to drive and fulfill the requirements to obtain your driver’s license. By attending an exemplary driving school for behind the wheel driving lessons, you can be confident that you will pass the written test and ace the driving test later.
This consists of coverage in case of an accident, injury, or death. Your insurance card should be with you at all times and include your coverage dates, policy number, full name, and address. Most new drivers are covered under their parents’ policies.
Your DL 400D certificate (if you’re 16 and one day less than 18 years old)
The DL400D is your Certificate of Completion of Behind-The-Wheel Training issued by the driving school you used. This serves as proof that during your behind the wheel training, you learned all about how to drive safely and developed your driving skills significantly. If you are 18+ years old, you do not need to bring this.
Prepare Your Car for the CA Driving Test with These Tips
You will drive your own car during the test, and the examiner will check that you have both license plates and are up-to-date on your current registration. The tester will also make sure that it is a safe vehicle, which means:
- working seat belts
- two rearview mirrors
- a working horn
- parking brake
- functional turn signals
- functional brake lights
- tires in good condition
- windows that roll down smoothly
- nothing that blocks the windshield
Want to know how to pass the driving test? Practice. Practice. Practice.
Become an expert on following the speed limit and slowing down in case of traffic and hazardous weather. Turn your headlights on in foggy, smokey, or rainy conditions. Create enough distance between cars in front of you by not tailgating: follow the 3-second rule. Be able to recognize all traffic signs and heed to them at all times. When switching lanes, remember to check your mirrors, signal, and look over the correct shoulder. Whenever you accelerate or brake, be sure to smoothly steer your wheel and switch to the appropriate gears. Brake ahead of time so that there are no sudden movements. Always be fully aware of your surroundings.
A Successful Test and You’re On Your Way!
Once you successfully pass the driving test, you will be issued a temporary license that is valid for 60 days. You can use this until you receive your permanent license within a month.
To learn more about what you should bring to your California road test, contact the experts at Alliance Defensive Driving School. Our licensed professionals will be happy to answer any questions you have.