What to Expect at the DMV?
The DMV drive test is designed to ensure that you are a safe and competent driver before you get your license. In all truth, the DMV wants you to pass your test; they are just there to make sure that you are skilled enough to drive alone without anyone else's assistance.
The California DMV drive test is generally 10-20 minutes in length and is broken up into two portions: residential driving and business district driving. Your test administrator will determine if you are able to make basic driving maneuvers such as: left and right turns, driving around curved roads, stopping at intersections, curbside parking, backing up in a straight line, making lane changes, performing traffic checks, and in rare instances driving on the freeway. At the end of your test, you will be expected to park in the DMV parking lot. In general, parallel parking (other than pulling alongside a curb) is NOT required as part of your DMV drive test.
What to Bring with You?
When you show up at the DMV on your test day, after a good night's sleep and breakfast of course, don't show up empty handed. Before they let you jump into your car and take your drive test, the DMV needs to look your paperwork over. Make sure you bring these things with you to the DMV:
- Signed permit by a licensed driving instructor AND parent or guardian (for minors)
- Your "Gold" certificate stating you have completed at least 6 hours of drivers training with a licensed driving school (DMV Form DL-400D)
- Proof of vehicle registration AND insurance
- Corrective lenses (if you need them)
- Any additional items that may be specified on your learner's permit
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