The Secret DMV Driving Test Tips That No One Tells You

Driving Test Tips are crucial and very important but when you ask a friend or go online, you can get many advice from your friend or you can find many blogs, websites or wikis that tell you how to test DMV Driving Test in your first attempt. But most of these tips or information are not based on real facts because no one is telling the secret recipe or best Driving Test Tips that will make you pass behind the wheel test easily.

driving test tips

Your friend probably passed this test ages ago and he/she will not remember most of the details of his/her first DMV Driving Test experience

If you want to take the old school approach, you can read articles below that will give you enough information about DMV practice tests, written tests, DMV Driver Handbook etc.

Driving is almost same wherever you live. In some countries like United Kingdom and India, the traffic flows on the left, contrary to many European countries and US. Other than that, there are no big, major differences.

Who enters the driving test? Basically, we can put this into three categories.

  1. Newcomers: The people, mostly youngster who wants to get their first driving license.
  2. Senior Drivers: In California, if you are over 70; you have to go to local DMV office to renew your driver license and in some cases, they may want you to take the behind the wheel test again.
  3. Immigrants: This category may include from F-1 students to tourists, legal or illegal any type of immigrants who move to US for a particular reason.

Typically to pass the road test or behind the wheel test, you must not make more than 30 regular errors and zero critical errors.

Check this out the learn what are the regular errors and what are the critical errors:

A typical road test will take around 25 to 30 minutes and the routes for the tests are almost same all the time. There will be an examiner with you while you are driving and here come the very important driving test tips right here.

driving test tips

Driving Test Tips

If you are from another country and immigrate to US, probably you have lots of driving experience in your home country. You may have a valid driving license for a long time and you can consider yourself like a pro driver. But; this is not your home country. This is USA and things are a bit different here.

First of all; the examiners take their job very seriously and they will behave you as if you are decomposing the atom, not driving a car. If you are lucky, you can find a smiling face but mostly when they understand that you are a foreigner, their attitude will completely change and your chance of passing the road test will diminish.

TIP ONE:  Try to get your examiner’s sympathy won’t work.

You can think that you are experienced enough to pass the test at your first attempt. This will be one of the biggest mistake ever that will lead you to fail.

TIP TWO: Your past experience doesn’t count in USA.

I know many people who are professional drivers in their home country and yet, they still failed DMV Road Test. If you just arrived US, you’ll also probably fail because you’ll not have enough data about traffic rules, the signs and other traffic related factors in US.

driving test tips

A simple example is the location of traffic lights. In most countries, the traffic lights will be in front of you, parallel to the white line but in US, traffic lights located on the other side of road. So, if you pass the white line just because to stop in front of lights, you’ll not only fail the test but also, you’ll cause an accident. I know, many of you will think this is a stupid mistake but it may happen. The important bit is you have to familiarize yourself to the surroundings, traffic signs and other major factors.

TIP THREE: Practice the Road Test Route

This is our secret recipe. Or this is a secret most people know but for a reason never use it. DMV offices are very clumsy and process is so slow.

This scene from Zootopia animation very well defines the process in DMV. Don’t mad at them. There 250 million vehicles in US and lots of bureaucracy. But this is also an advantage for you because DMV rarely changes their testing routes. Here is an example below:

If you don’t know the route, you can go to DMV early and observe the examiners. You can follow them but I don’t recommend this because they may think you are some sort of freak. You can get information from your family or friends who took the exam before.

driving test tips

After you learn the route, take a friend that you trust and pretend that he or she is your examiner. You can download the score-sheet here and drive this route unless you make zero mistake. As I said earlier, a typical road test will take around 25-30 minutes. So I recommend you test the route on Sunday first and then a week day because you have to drive while there are actual real traffic just like a normal day.

Don’t Ignore These Driving Test Tips

While you drive;

  • Check the traffic signs in this route
  • Check the speed limits because there may be a school nearby and the speed limit will change automatically.
  • Check any construction sites because rules may vary while you are near a construction field.
  • Check if there are any intersection or blind spots, curves that may prevent your view while driving.
  • Practice everything from beginning to the end with your pseudo examiner and let him or her to be harsh on you.
  • More you practice, more likely you’ll pass the road test in your first attempt.
  • Don’t forget: most successful keynote speakers or leaders practice in front of a mirror before they make their actual speech. This is no different than that. The route is your mirror and the only cure for your anxiety and excitement in the actual, real road test is your experience on the route.

Top 50 bad driving habits that may shorten your life

In US roads, there are more than 250 million cars. This incredible number also brings many problems with it. More cars on the road doesn’t necessarily mean more accidents or car collisions but it means we need to educate more people to avoid more injuries and deaths. Having said that, I did a list of 50 bad driving habits that have the potential to shorten your life

Statistic: Number of vehicles registered in the United States from 1990 to 2016 (in 1,000s) | Statista

Top 50 Bad Driving Habits

According to World Health Organization[1], average road fatalities per 100.000 inhabitants per year is 17.4. US rank is 60th according to same statistics. This is a very big contradiction with United Nations Human Development Index. This index[2] shows how well developed countries in terms of humanly living. In this list US is number 10.

Here is my list for 50 bad driving habits.

1. Talking on a Cell Phone

Bad Driving Habits

Image Courtersy:

This is by far the very first reason of many fatalities in the roads. It is one of the main distraction reasons. According to a study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [3] and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute , when a driver loses attention just only for 3 seconds,  it may lead a serious traffic accidents or near miss. This study shows that 80 percent of automobile accidents involve some kind of distraction that happens in just 3 seconds. Well, it might be boring when the traffic is jammed and you want to play with cell phone but choose one of them; live longer or talk longer?

2. Sending Text Messages

This is one of the other reasons of accidents on the roads. While texting may shift from SMS to WhatsApp and other similar internet based texting services with call and video option, the danger to use a mobile phone for texting didn’t change at all. Texting which is a major distraction factor may increase the risk of a car accident more than 23 times.  The researchers also claims that sending text messages via your mobile phone may create  a true crash epidemic if texting continues to grow in popularity. [4]

3. Trying to Reach a Moving Object

Many of us are familiar with similar scenes from Hollywood movies. While our antagonist or protagonist is trying to reach something in the glove-box, accidents happen. It is a very common reason for accidents that it became a movie cliche as well. For a safe drive, you must give the road your full attention. Drivers that divert their awareness  risk the lives of the other drivers on the road.

4. Looking at an Object or Event Outside of the Vehicle

Well I think any of who reads this article may witness a similar incident while driving. There may be an ambulance near the road because of an accident and almost all drivers slow down to see the crash scene and this one moment may result car collisions. Even if you see an UFO flying over your car, keep your eyes on your steering wheel for safety. To be abducted by an alien might be safer than being dead.

5. Reading a Book or Newspaper

You may an avid read but do you need to read it while driving? Even the novel you are reading is the only one single copy in the world, is it worth to risk your life and others life on the road?

6. Eating  While Driving

Everyone is busy these days. You have no time to eat your lunch and you have to catch up the next meeting on time so you choose to eat while driving. But do you know, eating while driving is also another major factor of distraction. That one moment when you leave the steering wheel to take an apple from your lunch-box may be your last moment. Be careful!

7. Applying Make Up

This scene is also very familiar to many of us. Especially when the traffic light is red, you can think of this short moment is a good opportunity to refresh your makeup. But this is also the moment that you close your eye-sight in front of you or something that prevents you seeing the traffic light. So applying make up also seems one of the important bad driving habits and major reason for distraction.

8. Speeding

You’ve seen many drivers who ignore speed limit and sometimes go over 30 mph over the limit. Speed may kill and traveling above the speed limit is one of the common reasons for accidents. Your reaction time is directly related to your speed. If you go faster, your reactions become slower. It is one of the bad driving habits that has to change immediately. Speed limits were set as a result of scientific research made by traffic engineers. So try to avoid this bad driving habit because even if you exceed the speed limit just 10%, this may cause an accident in a wrong place.

9. Drunk Driving

Each year, thousands of car accidents with drunk drivers cause tragedy and grief, making it one of the top causes of automobile accidents. It is very obvious that when you drink, you’ll lose your sense of vision and hearing and also you’ll lose muscle coordination. This is  a deadly combination for driving a car. In 2007 alone, about 13,000 wrongful deaths occurred in fatal car accidents with drunk drivers. The dark side of driving under influence is that most of the times he drunk driver survives, but tragically, innocent people are usually killed. Quit this very bad driving habit and also if possible quit drinking heavily and learn to drink responsibly.

10. Driving Under Influence of Drugs

Drug may mean many things. We are not only talking about illegal drugs here but some type of prescription medicine is also considered as drug such as depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens. Each drug affects the human brain in a distinctly different way. As we all know marijuana or similar drugs have highly addictive substance that impacts brain’s reaction time, coordination and judgment. Thus usage of these materials will cause accidents.  Well while some form weed is not illegal in California, we only recommend you not to use this substance while driving. We are not living in 70’s when smoking while driving may seem funny as in Cheech and Chong movies.

11. Improper Turns

There are thousands of serious car accident every year that are caused by improper turning. This bad driving habit needs to be changed forever. Wrong turn may put a car directly in front of or into the path of an oncoming vehicle. A simple oversight of looking for the blind spots may prevent you making an accident. Improper turns is one of the major causes of car accidents and often leads to injuries or death.

Here is “Don’ts” of Turns: 

  • Do not turn when there is a no turn on red sign.
  • Do not turn without a complete stop or without yielding.
  • Do not turn when there is red light that says “don’t turn”.
  • Do not forget to use your signals before turning
  • Do not turn having right of way.

12. Running Red Lights

Everyone knows that red means stop. If you don’t stop on red usually, you have a bad driving habit. Running on red is one of the cause of wrongful deaths because it is dangerous and often cause side impact damages to other cars at high speeds.

13. Running a Stop Sign

Stop signs are important part of traffic.  You must completely make a full stop on stop signs. If you have a bad driving habit like not to stop on stop sign, you can be a real threat to other drivers or pedestrians. Also running a stop sign may cost you $238 as traffic ticket in California.

14. Unproper Lane Change

Another bad driving habit is not change lanes properly. Don’t rush to change the lane because there is always a good moment for it. If you don’t change lane safely or zigzagging with your car, you risk other driver’s life. For a proper and safe lane change, you should signal at least 100 feet before lane change, use your turn signal, check your blind spots and proceed carefully.

15. Wrong-Way Driving

Well this is not only a bad driving habit, it is also a lethal game that you don’t want to play. You can mistakenly turn to a street and may pose a big threat other driver’s life. So be careful and check “wrong way” signs always. If you are not a stunt or in a movie, never drive in wrong way. 

16. Tailgating

You may be an impatient driver or in a hurry but this doesn’t give you the right to tailgate to other drivers. What if the driver in front of you breaks suddenly or panics when there is a tailgated car behind his or her car. Remember the 3 seconds rule and always leave at least 3 seconds driving distance between you and the car in front of you. This bad driving habit was a cause of 22 deaths only in 204.

17. Drowsy driving

If you are too tired, too sleepy or too exhausted, this means you are drowsy and probably this will impact your driving skills. Especially at night or very close to down, drowsy driving can cause accidents. You can easily find many news because of people fall asleep at the wheel. Quit this bad driving habit. If you are too drowsy, pull over and have a quick nap. It is better than an eternal sleep.

18. Deadly curves

Some people call them dead man’s curves, but everyone should be careful when approaching a curve. It is easy to lose control of the vehicle along a dangerous curve and this may be deadly. If you have a bad driving habit like speeding up when you approach curves, quit it immediately. Drive cautiously and be safe, you are not in an F-1 race.

19. Street racing

Street race! Come on, this is not a Fast and Furious movie. This is real life and there are no turbo engines, nitros and other fancy gadgets. if you want to die young with a handsome simple, it is up to you. Otherwise avoid this bad driving habit and avoid danger. You can easily risk your life and other people’s life just because of your street racing fantasy.

20. Suddenly braking

This may seem odd but sudden breaks may cause car accidents. This bad driving habit is not only one of the causes of accidents but it is also a bad habit to harm your car’s brakes.

21. Driving without headlights

If you are not a secret spy and have a meaningful reason to hide yourself, don’t turn off your headlights or if they are broken, get them fixed immediately.

22. Accelerating on yellow light

Some drivers may be really impatient and they don’t give enough attention to the traffic lights. There is an order while the traffic lights are working. If it is red and yellow together, this means green light is coming afterwards. But if it is only yellow, this means it is going to turn red, not to green. So when you see a yellow light, you have to slow down. If you accelerate, this means you have a bad driving habit that may cause to tragic accidents which may lead casualties.

23. Parking to wrong spaces

Parking to non-parking areas may not be deadly but it is certainly a bad driving habit. When you park your car to a non-parking zone, it may prevent the traffic flow and may cause other drivers involve in car collisions.

24. Road rage

If you are in unpleasant situation with another driver, it is easy to get angry. But anger brings nothing than harm. By tailgating another driver in anger or speeding past another driver only to pull in front of them and brake, these bad driving habits cause too man car accidents each year. If you can’t keep your calm at traffic, better see a doctor instead of racing and quit this bad driving habit.

25. Driving without a seat belt

This may not be so common in California but in other areas of US may be also in California, millions of drivers use their cars without a seat belt buckled up.  The most reliable method of saving lives and preventing injuries from occurring is to wear a seat belt. Here are some facts that encourage to wear a seat belt while driving.[5]

  • Seat belts can reduce injury and death rates by 50%
  • Adults aged 18-34 are less likely to wear seat belts than those 35 or older
  • Men are 10% less likely to wear seat belts than women
  • 58% of teen drivers killed in crashes were not wearing a seat belt in 2011.
  • Teens have the lowest seat belt use of any other age group

26. Ignoring child passenger safety

This bad driving habit is one of the top reasons of child death in car accidents. In 2015 only, 1,346 children under age 15 were killed in motor vehicle crashes. That’s more than three children every day. Properly securing children in safety seats goes a long way in keeping them safer.

A reminder:  Child Passenger Safety Week is Sept. 23-29, 2018

27.  Ignoring Traffic Signs

Do you blow through stop signs or fail to yield when it’s required of you?  Those signs are there for a reason, and even if no one’s around, you should obey them. You never know when a car or pedestrian might come out of nowhere, or even a cop!

28. Not Checking Blind Spots

Blind spots are implicitly dangerous, but not even trying to check them is more dangerous. Drivers who have a bad driving habit may not have a tendency to start moving over into other lanes and nearly colliding with other cars. This may be a reason for  anxiety and distraction, Quit this bad driving habit and check your mirrors before changing lanes, and don’t forget to check blind spots with moving your head right or left. [6]

29. Merging improperly

How many times have you been on a freeway on-ramp and found yourself behind someone who doesn’t understand how to merge? These slow drivers not only slow the flow of traffic, but also they put others in danger. There are also some drivers who are in a hurry. They act as if they are in a racing and try to put themselves in front of other cars. This is also wrong and a bad driving habit.

30. Not using turn signals

Believe me there is a reason why car makers invent turn signals. If you don’t tell other people where you’re going, how can you expect them to know? Changing lanes or turning without signaling throws others off, and it could put you in harm’s way. If you don’t turn on your signal while slowing down, other cars behind you get caught off guard.

31. Cutting other cars off

You may be in a hurry but believe me, everyone in California is in hurry. So cutting other cars off is not a solution to make you arrive early to your destination. Cutting off is a dangerous and bad driving habit. When you jump in front of another car, you increase the risk of being hit from behind because maybe the other driver is not paying attention.  Don’t put yourself in this situation! What a bad driving habit!

32. Driving with headphones on

Listening to music on your car radio can be distracting enough. If this is not enough for distraction, you can wear your headphones. But doing so, you make it impossible for yourself to hear important noises like horns, alarms or emergency vehicle sirens. This is not only a bad driving habit but also it is illegal in most states.

Bad Driving Habits that may damage your car

Bad Driving Habits

So far we reviewed bad driving habits that may cause direct impact to your life or other people’s lives. But there are other bad driving habits which have a bad impact on your car’s health. So if you car is healthy, then this means you’ll be healthier and you’ll be able to avoid nasty situations while driving. [7]

33. Resting your hand on the shifter

Unless you’re actively changing gears, there’s no reason to touch the shifter. Resting your hand on the shifter places weight on the transmission’s bushings and synchronizers, causing internal wear. Keeping both hands on the steering wheel, and only taking one off to switch gears, is the best idea. This is bad driving habit that can damage your car.

34. Not using the parking break

Neglecting to use the parking brake forces the entire weight of your vehicle to rest on the parking pawl, which is one little piece of metal within the transmission. Doing this could cause the parking pawl to eventually wear out and break, making “P” on your shifter effectively useless. Use the parking brake every time – there’s really no reason not to. You can get rid of this bad driving habit.

35. Hauling unneeded weight

You may not drive a Lotus, but the phrase “simplify, and add lightness” applies to every car. We’re not advocating stripping out sound deadening or removing the back seats, but you should clear out unneeded cargo from your car. Every pound of extra weight impacts fuel economy and handling, plus causes extra stress on suspension, brake, and drive-train components. Give your interior and trunk a thorough clean so you’re only carrying the essentials.

36. Keeping small amount fuel on tank

Sometimes the cost of a full tank of gas doesn’t fit into your budget, so you only add a gallon or two at a time. Most drivers don’t know that this can lead to costly repairs further down the road. Modern fuel pumps are cooled by being submerged in fuel, so driving with only a small amount of fuel causes it to heat up and wear out more quickly. Keeping your gas tank at least a quarter full helps prevent this.

37. Hard starts and stops

This one’s a no-brainer. Mashing on the gas can be fun, but uses significantly more fuel than gradually applying throttle. Sudden stops are sometimes necessary, but cause faster wear to the brake pads and rotors. Looking ahead, planning ahead, and pressing on the pedals smoothly is the best strategy. So always try to avoid this bad driving habit.

38. Revving the Engine When It’s Cold

It’s not a bad idea to let the engine idle for a minute or two after a cold start. This helps it warm up and gives the oil some time to circulate. However, you should resist the urge to rev the engine when it’s cold. Sure, the exhaust sounds great, but revving it when it’s cold causes abrupt temperature changes that can damage components. It also causes undue wear on parts of the engine that haven’t been lubricated by thorough oil circulation. Your engine will sound better, and rev more smoothly, once it’s had a chance to warm up.

39. Riding the Clutch

You’re at a stop light in your manual transmission car. You’re pressing on the clutch, ready to drop it as soon as the light turns green. All that time spent waiting with the clutch in damages the pressure plate, release bearing, and release arm. Riding the clutch causes its surfaces graze against each other, wearing them down and opening the possibility for sudden failure. It’s better to be stopped with the clutch out and shifter in neutral, only pressing the clutch and engaging gear when the light turns green.

40. Switching From Reverse to Drive Before Stopping Completely

When you’re trying to fit into a tight parking spot, it’s common to shift from reverse to drive while still slowly rolling backwards. This habit should be avoided at all costs. Doing so places strain on the drive train when it’s suddenly forced to move in the opposite direction. Simply take that extra moment to make sure you’re completely stopped before switching from reverse to drive.

41. Dragging the Brakes Downhill

Driving down a steep hill can be daunting, so you rest your foot on the brake pedal to be ready to slow down at a moment’s notice. This causes strain and heat to build up in the brake system, wearing out components like brake pads and rotors. Instead, you should shift into a lower gear when you’re driving downhill. This will cause engine braking, which helps slow the car down through natural drivetrain decompression. You’ll find that engine braking can be as effective as regular braking in maintaining your downhill speed.

42. Ignoring Warning Signs of Your car

It’s easy to ignore those little squeaks, intermittent rattles, or other unusual noises your car makes. Those sounds are warning signs that something’s wearing out or about to go wrong. Don’t wait to find out the cause of the noise, or it may make itself abundantly clear at the worst possible time. If your car is making strange sounds or giving you other warning signs, it’s important to inspect the issue right away.

Here are some bonus facts about bad driving habits

43. Driving too fast for the weather conditions

When the weather gets bad, slowing down is the best way to avoid an accident. This goes back to that physics thing. Unfortunately, not everyone gets that. All-wheel drive isn’t an excuse for driving fast in inclement weather. When the road surface is slippery, a 3,500- to 5,000-pound vehicle will probably skid if you need to slow down in a hurry. According to the Federal Highway Administration, 24 percent of all vehicle crashes are weather related. That’s a good reason to slow down and leave a little space between your car and the one in front.  [8]

44. Drafting tractor trailers

Following closely behind a tractor trailer can increase your fuel economy. That doesn’t mean you should do it. Drafting works for NASCAR drivers, so it makes sense that a 4,000-pound car can “hide” in the low pressure zone behind a 13-foot-tall, 80,000-pound big rig. Back in 2007, the MythBusters even proved that it worked. But they also pointed out that following closer than 150 feet behind a truck is really dangerous. Even that distance gives a driver less than two seconds to react if the trucker suddenly slams on the brakes. Other things to consider are that truck drivers can’t see what’s directly behind them, and the relationship between trailer heights and car hood heights is a recipe for decapitation.  [9]

45. Failure to yield the right of way

One of the leading causes of accidents, hands down, is failure to yield the right of way. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that it’s the top cause of accidents among drivers aged 70 and older, particularly on freeway merge ramps. In Uncommon Carriers, his book about long haul truckers, John McPhee points out that space cadets in the merge lane are a constant source of teeth-grinding anxiety for the people driving 80,000-pound big rigs. Another facet of failure to yield that’s more prevalent in cities is running stop signs and red lights. Drivers coming from other directions expect the intersection to be clear when the light on their end turns green. Once again, predictability is good.

46. Disregarding the speed limit

Though posted speed limits vary by state, use the following ranges as a general guide if you don’t see a posted limit:

  • Residential area: 15-30 mph
  • Undivided road (rural): 40-55 mph
  • Divided road (rural): 55-70 mph
  • Freeway: 55-65 mph

These last 4 bad driving habits are unique to California.

So if you want to add more to my list; feel free to contact me. 

47. The California Cut

You’ll see this lethal maneuver every time you drive on the freeway: what happens is that someone realizes that the next freeway exit is theirs, and that they’re way over in the fast lane, with less than one hundred meters to the exit, or they’re just tired of driving in the rightmost lane and decide to get into the fast lane several lanes over.  [10]  The usual solution is the “California Cut” — a multi-lane cut across the traffic, making a beeline for the exit or the fast lane, cutting an oblivious swath through fast moving traffic. This causes (at best) screeched tires, heart-stopping swerves, and traffic problems for everyone around the lane-cutter. Why couldn’t they wait for the next exit? Who knows?

48. Assault stereos

If you’re new to America you might be astonished by the common use of violently loud car sound systems in urban and suburban areas. These things can shake other cars from across the road, and closing the windows won’t make the noise go away. Assault stereos are easily audible whole city blocks from the source; many Death Cars have assault stereos. When a car equipped with an assault stereo comes up behind or beside you, there’s little you can do but try to let it get well in front of you, and hope you don’t end up behind or beside it at the next lights.

49. Death Cars

Death cars are large, usually old and battered, American cars driven by young males, sometimes sub-teenage, nearly always unlicensed or uninsured, who have nothing to lose by causing traffic havoc or accidents. You develop a sixth sense for death cars after a while, but as with most of these things, there’s not a lot you can do when one’s coming at you on the wrong side of the road at forty miles an hour. Your best bet is to avoid known Death Car areas  and steer clear of any large old American cars, especially ones weaving along the road at high speed. Death Cars  are guaranteed not to stay around if they cause or are part of an accident. Death Car drivers are likely to be armed; it’s best not to argue with them.

50. Self-righteous or clueless cyclists and skaters

Places like Berkeley, Santa Monica, San Francisco, Oakland, Venice in L.A. or Palo Alto have a high proportion of people who suddenly become transformed by the act of riding a bicycle or skateboard. Mostly the transformation is fairly harmless, but in quite a few cases the person becomes either unbearably self-righteous, or under the impression they’re invulnerable. Typical symptoms of this are cyclists and boarders monopolizing entire traffic lanes in heavy fast-moving traffic or  running red lights or stop signs without even slowing down then abusing you for not screeching to a halt for them when they run the red light directly in front of you.












California Driver License will have a new look

Driver’s License in California will have a new look starting 22 of January, 2018 due to security reasons. So don’t forget your
DMV License Renewal. This new REAL ID measure came because of Airport Security Reasons. Beginning October 1, 2020, the federal government will require your driver license or identification (ID) card to be REAL ID compliant if you wish to use it as identification to board an airplane or enter military bases and most federal facilities.

Features of the new license include:

DMV License Renewal

Photo: California DMV

  • A golden bear with a white star in the upper right– all REAL ID licenses must have this white star to show they are compliant.
  • A pale, color image of a forty-niner miner with fruit orchards and mountains on the right side.
  • Golden poppies (California state flower) in the lower left under the photo and sailboats to the right of that.
  • A large image of the state of California running through the middle background.
  • A new font for California header at top.
  • Not visible in the image above, but under ultraviolet “UV” light will be images of the Golden Gate Bridge and Coit tower.
  • Below is an image of the current, but soon to be dated California Driver license.


DMV License Renewal

DMV License Renewal

“Current DMV License” Photo: California DMV

According to a DMV spokesperson, when renewing your current license or applying for a new REAL ID compliant one in coming years, you will need to:

  • Make an appointment to visit a DMV field office on or after January 22, 2018.
  • Provide proof of identity, such as a U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport, employment authorization document, permanent resident card or foreign passport with an approved form I-94.
  • Show a California residency document.
  • Present proof of your Social Security number.
  • A name change document, such as a marriage certificate or divorce decree, may be needed.

California DMV License Renewal is an important change but there is no need to rush into a DMV field office. A valid California driver license or ID card can be used to board a commercial flight or enter secure federal facilities until October 1, 2020.

Here is DMV’s Official Statement:

Beginning  October 1, 2020, the federal government will require your driver license or identification (ID) card to be REAL ID compliant if you wish to use it as identification to board an airplane or enter military bases and most federal facilities.

The California DMV will provide a federal compliant REAL ID driver license or ID card as an option to customers beginning January 22, 2018.

If you have a U.S. Passport, passport card, military ID, or another form of Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) approved identification, these documents will still be accepted to board an airplane.  Federally compliant identification will also be required to access military bases and most federal facilities.

The federal REAL ID Act of 2005 was passed in response to the events of 9/11.  For more on the REAL ID Act, visit the Department of Homeland Security website.

Source: DMV

More News from DMV California

DMV California licensed 800,000 undocumented immigrants

On the day that California officials implemented a controversial law that allows undocumented residents to obtain driver’s licenses, DMV offices throughout the state were packed with immigrants looking to take advantage of the opportunity.

Two years after the implementation of AB 60 on Jan. 1, 2015, an estimated 806,000 undocumented residents have received driver’s licenses, according to Department of Motor Vehicles statistics this month. About 14,000 of these licenses were issued in November alone, the DMV said.

Read more at News Source:

DMV prepares for sticker shock of losing inspection tag

In less than nine months Texas windshields are going to start looking different, and Department of Motor Vehicles officials are gearing up to avoid a sticky situation when car owners transition from having two state-required tags to one.

As of March 2015, vehicles registered in Texas will no longer need separate vehicle inspection and registration stickers. State lawmakers last year nixed the inspection sticker, citing the potential to reduce fraudulent tags.

Read more at News Source:

Nevada DMV Ordered Workers To Register Non Citizens to Vote

Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske has discovered that DMV employees have been ordered by superiors to register non citizens to vote. Furthermore, an unspecified number of them have actually voted.

Cegavske wrote to the head of the Nevada DMV expressing her concerns and ordering the DMV to end that practice. Here is part of the letter she sent to DMV director, Terri Albertson:

Read more at News Source:

Apple Receives Permit From California DMV to Test Self-Driving Cars

Apple has been granted a permit that enables it to test autonomous vehicles on public roads in the state of California, according to the California DMV website (via Business Insider).

Apple was added to the list of permit holders that are allowed to participate in the Autonomous Vehicle Tester Program in California on Friday, joining companies like Google, Tesla, BMW, Honda, Ford, Nissan, and more.

Read more at News Source:

California DMV Ordered to Overlook Identity Theft by Illegals

llegal aliens may enjoy a free pass on identity theft due to a new investigative policy at California’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

The policy, issued last year and effective as of Jan. 1, 2015, directs DMV investigators to overlook identity theft by applicants “who may have attempted to obtain or been issued a license or ID card previously through submission of false information.”

Read more at News Source:

Laguna Hills DMV Driving Test

Laguna Hills DMV Driving Test route starts in front of DMV office in Laguna Hills. The driving test lasts around 15 to 20 minutes, according to traffic conditions. In this article, I’ll give some tip and advice how to pass your Laguna Hills DMV Driving Test without making any critical errors. Here is the map that shows the route.

laguna hills dmv driving test

Laguna Hills DMV Driving Test Route

Practice the route before actual Laguna Hills DMV Driving Test

As shown in the map, your examiner will start your first after the Pre-Drive Checklist that occurs in front of DMV lot.

Driving Performance Evaluation Score Sheet

After this first control, the examiner will get on the car with you and you are ready to go. But before going with examiner, it is a good idea to cruise on this test route few times to better understand the road conditions, the speed limits and the traffic lights. If you are familiar with the test route, it will be easier to pass the driving test. Otherwise you may be surprised and forget what to do when the examiner tells you to do something.

Some tips and advice

If you tour the route few times, not only you’ll get familiar with the environment, but also you’ll learn possible road hazards as well. In this route particular route, the speed limit for main roads such as Moulton Pkwy, the speed limit is 45 miles per hour. But when you turn to Santa Vittoria Dr, it is going to be 30 mph.

Laguna Hills DMV Driving Test

Also in the Mill Creek Dr, while the speed limit is 30 mph, there is a school (New Vista School) at the end road and the speed limits drop to 25 mph. So don’t forget to slow down when you see the school sign.

Laguna Hills DMV Driving TestThere is also a right turn before you finish your route at the intersection of Lake Forest Dr and Moulton Pkwy. At the intersection, there is no specific light to turn right. You can turn on red but beware of the left hand-side of this road while the cars are coming. There is sharp curve and it can force to make a mistake if you think that the road is empty and you turn right. So be careful when you return right and be %100 sure that your left hand side is completely empty.

Laguna Hills DMV Driving Test route is not that difficult if you drive carefully. When you change lanes, don’t use only your right and left mirrors but also turn your head to your left for blind points. The examiners will check you whether you use your head or not.

Driving Performance Evaluation Score Sheet

In order to get a Driver License, you have to pass DMV Driving Test which is also known as “Behind The Wheel Driving Test”. Your DMV Driving Test will be based on the Driving Performance Evaluation Score Sheet. There are certain areas in this score sheet that you should never fail. You can see an actual score sheet below.

Driving Performance Evaluation Score Sheet

Driving Performance Evaluation Score Sheet Sample

Driving test has two categories.

  • Pre-Drive Checklist
  • Critical Driving Error

To pass the Driving Test, you must have no more than 3 errors marked for items 9-14 under PRE-DRIVE CHECKLIST and no marks in the CRITICAL DRIVING ERROR section and no more than 15 errors marked for the Scoring Maneuvers.


  1. Driver WindowDriving Performance Evaluation Score Sheet
  2. Windshield
  3. Rear view windows
  4. Turn signals
  5. Brake lights
  6. Tiers
  7. Foot Brake
  8. Horn
  9. Emergency /parking brake
  10. Arm signals
  11. Windshield wipers
  12. Defroster
  13. Emergency Flasher
  14. Headlights
  15. Passenger Door
  16. Glove Box
  17. Seat Belts


Driving Performance Evaluation Score Sheet

  1. Intervention by examiner
  2. Strikes object/curb
  3. Disobeys traffic sign or signal
  4. Disobeys safety personnel or safety vehicles
  5. Dangerous maneuver
  6. Speed
  7. Auxiliary equipment use
  8. Lane violation

Driving Performance Evaluation Score Sheet is very critical to pass Behind the Wheel Test. If you fail this test, you have two more rights to get the driving test again. But for a new driving test, you have pay $ 7. If you fail all three driving tests, you have to start over and take the written test once again.

How to get a DMV appointment in California?


12 important tips to buy used cars

How to choose a user car before buying it? Which points are important to buy used cars? In United States, every around 45 million used cars exchange hands. This is an enormous number. If you don’t know how to choose your new but used car, have a look at these important tips.

Here are 12 important tips to buy used cars:

buy used cars

12. How much money do you have?

There are millions of car out there, ranging from one thousand to one million dollars .Keep in mind that a used car is not a new car. Let’s assume that you’ll pay ten thousand dollars to a used car. You have to consider extra money for additional costs such as tires, maintenance and so on. Also there will be a different insurance cost. In addition to that, your used car may spend more gas because simply it is old.

11. Narrow your potential candidate list

There are lots of brands and hundreds of different models. So what car are you looking for? What is your target? We know that in United States, especially Honda and Toyota used cars have more appeal. But this also means, they are more expensive than other used cars. So it is a good idea first to make a shortlist of at least 3 brands and maybe 6 models of these brands as a starting point.

10. Compare prices by using different options

You can buy a used by simply using websites such as, or You can used car sections of any new car dealers. You can find used cars in the independent used car lots or if you can find a used car from its owner. Probably, the lowest price will belong to private parties. So before making your decision, it is a good idea to match the prices from different sources.

9. Try to find used cars near your area

Today used car websites provide many options such as car’s odometer, features, price and location of course. It will help you save money and time if you look for cars which are closer to you. Maybe you can find a cheaper car in another state but probably it is not a good idea to travel between states just to buy a used car.

8. Check the vehicle history

A car’s history is important. The downside of buy used cars is you’ll never 100 percent sure about what happened to a used car since it hit the road first. Even if you buy the car from a close friend or a family member, the vehicle might have an ugly past. So as an early step, it is good to check vehicle’s history by using Carfax or AutoCheck. You can learn whether the odometer has been rolled back or car had a salvage title before. You can use car’s vehicle identification number AKA VIN and/or license plate to check car’s history. If you are lucky enough, you can talk to car’s previous owners or mechanic who checked the car before.

7. Talk to seller first

Before seeing the car, you can have a nice conversation with the owner or seller of the used car to understand why they sell the car. Sometimes dealers do not put every detail on their ads, so you can get more information beforehand. So it is better to make the negotiation later on even it is sometimes tempting do the negotiation in early stages.

6. No rush, first test the car

buy used cars

Test drive is a good way to understand car’s condition. Sometimes your dream car may have issues like not enough space for passengers or for kids. Or even you can bang your head while getting out of the car. Sometimes the odometer may show less numbers but the car’s interior may look old. You can understand whether the ex-owners of the car treated this car badly or in a good way by looking at the leather, fabric, the condition of windows, mirrors etc. It is also good to make an eye-check to understand the conditions of tires, air-condition system, headlights, brakes and so on.

5. Take an opinion of a third party

Ideally, it is good to have a mechanic inspect before buy used cars. Also if you have a friend, who is good at inspecting, you can have him or her to check the car or make the test-drive. A second eye always an added value. An inspection will not cost you much but probably it will protect you from future losses. Also if it is a CPO car, there’s already been an inspection and a warranty is in place, so there is little reason to take it to a mechanic.

4. Negotiate the price

Negotiation might be a burden for some people. But don’t forget that maybe the other party hates negotiation as well. So if you are not too rich, it is better to negotiate. You can first check all the price points that you get from internet and you can decide an average point. So you can use this as your target price point. If the seller price sounds good, you can go for it and buy the car.

3. Complete the paperwork

If you are at a dealership, you’ll sign the contract in the finance and insurance office. There, you will likely be offered additional items, such as a warranty, anti-theft devices, prepaid service plans or fabric protection. Review the dealership sales contract thoroughly. In most states, it lists the cost of the vehicle, a documentation fee, possibly a small charge for a smog certificate, sales tax and license fees.

If you are buying a car from an individual owner, make sure the seller properly transfers the title and registration to you. Before money changes hands, ask for the title (the pink slip) and have the seller sign it over to you. Rules governing vehicle registration and licensing vary from state to state.

2. Check due registration fees before buying

Your car might have some past-due registration fees. So if possible, check with your DMV to make sure there are no past-due registration fees you’d be responsible for should you buy the car.

1. Don’t forget the insurance

Whether you buy from a dealer or a private party, make sure you have insurance for the car before you drive it away. You can check other tips to buy used cars. You can take your friend’s opinions or check the used car websites or forums, read more about your desired cars before buying it. It is important to have different opinions before coming to conclusion.

Are you really a defensive driver?

Everyday in the roads, tons of collisions, car crashes, accidents happen. There are many reasons of these accidents but one of them is on top of the agenda. It is called “Human error”.  That is why “Defensive Driving” is crucial. As we humans, often neglect to rules, ignore laws and other drivers and do not improve ourselves to be better drivers.

Interesting fact about Defensive Driving

Defensive Driving

Recently a survey made by UK based newspaper Telegraph. Results are not surprising maybe but can explain why human error is a big factor in traffic accidents.  According to the Survey;  % 79 of people claim to be safe drivers and ascertain that they do their best to follow all rules of the road. But no matter how confident you are in your driving skills, you’re never far from risk.

So here is a simple test to understand whether you are really good at defensive driving or not. If you say yes to all of those questions below, you can consider yourself as a defensive driver.

Do you trust other drivers too much?

There is saying “Never trust anyone, even this person is your father.” I don’t know who said this first but it has some truth in it, especially when it comes to traffic. One of the common mistakes that drivers do is to trust other drivers. . This leads to one of the most common mistakes drivers tend to make. For example, if the other driver flashes with their headlamps at you and implying that the road is safe to proceed, you shouldn’t trust this signal. Because you never know what does this mean actually. It may mean “I am here” or “^Come on through”. So better be cautious!

Are you observing your surroundings?


Your answer should be a strong “YES”. Defensive driving is all about being observant, anticipating problems and planning ahead.  It is not only checking your side mirrors, it is expecting something bad may happen at the road.

Are you aware of indicators

Just because the car in front of you is indicating left, doesn’t mean it will actually turn. Or while you are driving in the fog, you can’t trust the car in front of you because the driver has the same limited view like you. Wait and see whether the driver will make a left turn or just stop.

Do you create a safety bubble for defensive driving?

For a good defensive driving, you should always keep enough space for surprises, so that you can easily make your move when the accidents come to you. Always remember that however hard you are concentrating on the road, the person coming towards you might be messing with their phone, fiddling with the car stereo or just generally distracted. You can never be sure they’re going to do the right or safest thing.

Are you pulling over in case of doubt?

Never compare yourself to other drivers. This also means never race with others. Someone behind you may drive like a formula 1 driver. This means he is either a maniac or a real formula 1 driver. So it is better to play it safe and avoid putting yourself in a dangerous position.

Are you tailgating?

The simple answer for a good defensive driving; DON’T TAILGATE. To be patient while driving may extend your lifespan. So when you tailgate, you are taking many risks including a fatal injury.

Read more about Defensive Driving

DMV Turkish Test

In order to get California Driver’s License, you have to pass the DMV written test. You can take this test in different languages. This is DMV Turkish Test. The questions are derived from actual Turkish paper tests in previous DMV tests.

DMV Driving Test in Turkish

California DMV Written Driving Test in Turkish, Kaliforniya Sürücü Sınavı

Talimatlar: Sınavı almadan önce Kaliforniya Sürücü Kitapçığı’nı çalışınız. Her soru için arasından seçeceğiniz üç yanıt vardır. Bir yanıtı seçtikten sonra yanıtın yanındaki kutuya X işareti koyunuz. Sınav sırasında konuşmayınız, kitap ya da not kullanmayınız ve sınavınız değerlendirilmeden önce sınav odasından ayrılmayınız. Yoksa, sınavdan başarısız not almanıza yol açabilir ve durumunuz askıya alınabilir ya da iptal edilebilir.


Leaderboard: DMV Driving Test in Turkish

maximum of 36 points
Pos. Name Entered on Points Result
Table is loading
No data available


Read this article before using smartphone while driving

Smartphones for sure are lifesavers. With their increased capacity in terms of processors, storage capacity so on, you can use a smartphone like a real laptop. But there is a downside of this story. A recent study showed that smartphones caused fatal accidents more than ever in United States. An article recently published in Bloomberg showed the horrible details of Smartphone caused fatal car crashes.

Over the past two years, after decades of declining deaths on the road, U.S. traffic fatalities surged by 14.4 percent. In 2016 alone, more than 100 people died every day in or near vehicles in America, the first time the country has passed that grim toll in a decade. Regulators, meanwhile, still have no good idea why crash-related deaths are spiking: People are driving longer distances but not tremendously so; total miles were up just 2.2 percent last year. Collectively, we seemed to be speeding and drinking a little more, but not much more than usual. Together, experts say these upticks don’t explain the surge in road deaths.

For further reading, go to original source. 

Top 28 Defensive Driving Tips That Will Save Lives

For some of us, driving is just going from point A to point B. But for others, it is a pleasure. If you heard the term “Defensive Driving” for the first time, read this article carefully. If you know it, then it is a good opportunity to check what you have learnt so far.

28 tips for Defensive Driving

You can’t control the road conditions, you can’t control the weather. But it is up to you to control your vehicle. Defensive Driving lets you do that.  Here are most common 28 tips for “Defensive Driving“:

1. Stay focused always

Distraction is your enemy and the 101 of safe driving starts with focusing. You always have to pay attention the road and your vehicle. A research says that most collisions happen because of distraction. Drivers under 20 are the most prone to distractions.

2. Always buckle up

Seat belts reduce risk of injury in a crash by 50 percent. I don’t say it but National Safety Council says. If you drive very very slowly, it doesn’t matter, buckle up. If you are just waiting in the car and waiting for someone, just buckle up. Buckling up will not kill you but not to buckle up may.  Between 2004 and 2008, 75,000 lives were saved by seat belts. This is an incredible number.

3. Every driver is not a good driver

You may be a perfect driver with zero penalty points on your driver license. But keep in mind that not every driver is a good driver. So don’t count on other drivers and expect them to make mistakes.

4. Don’t drive too fast

Speed is fatal, lethal and it is your enemy. Speed may increase your adrenaline level but at the same time it reduces your chance of living a healthy and long life. According to US Census, 33 thousand fatalities reported due to speeding in 2009.  Another research says that if you drive faster than average, it only gives you maximum 5 minutes advantage to reach your destination. Do you think is it worth to die for 5 minutes?

5. Use safety devices

Recent cars have more safety instruments. New technologies may save your and your kids’ life.  Large airbags, booster seats etc. Invest in the right child restraints and seat belt adjusters for your family, and don’t forget to use them.

6. Doubt is not your friend

Rule is simple, if you have doubt, just yield to other driver. If you know you have the right of way, but another motorist seems to disagree, give in. Better to lose a bit of time than to get caught in a collision.

7. Stop! on Red

Most intersection collisions happen because of red light. Of course it is you who are responsible not the red light. There may be some glare from setting sun or you may be in a hurry. The best practice is to slow down before each intersection, and evaluate the situation. Never try to race the yellow light.

8. Always signal in advance

Confusion is the enemy of safe driving. Make your lane changes and turns predictable and smooth, and always signal in advance. “Nationwide, neglected or improper turn signals cause 2 million car accidents a year,” says Richard Ponziani, who conducted a recent study for the Society of Automotive Engineers. Failure to signal can invalidate your insurance claim after an accident, which means you will be financially responsible for any damage caused.

9. If you are not Mad Max,  forget Road Rage

Road rage is not just an urban myth. Since you don’t know who might be behind the wheel of that vehicle that just cut you off, it’s safest to back away and overlook the offense. Road rage has led to murder over trivial offenses in all 50 states. Getting even could get you killed, not to mention the innocent drivers in your vicinity. If you suspect that another driver may be drunk, stay away, and alert the authorities as soon as it is safe to do so.

10. Do not tailgate

Tailgating leads to rear-end collisions, and you will be the one to foot the bill for the repairs. 1/3 of all traffic accidents are caused by tailgating, and could be prevented with proper distance. Allow at least two or three seconds of lead time in good weather, more in bad weather.

11. Monitor your blind spots

This is especially true of large vehicles, such as tractor-trailers. The rule of thumb for Defensive Driving is that if you can’t see the driver in the truck mirror, he can’t see you either. Accidents involving semi- trucks often prove fatal for the driver of a car.

12. Never drive drunk

Even an over-the-counter cold medication can alter your response times, so assess yourself honestly before deciding to drive. The average drinker can only metabolize one drink per hour. One drink equates to 12 ounces of beer, or 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits. If you are under the influence of any mind-altering substance, stay away from the wheel. Everyday 28 people die daily in the U.S. from drunk driving accidents.

13. Be cautious if it rains

Defensive Driving

When the roads are slippery, especially in a heavy downpour or the first thirty minutes of a storm, your braking times increase. Turn off cruise control. Add extra space between your vehicle and other vehicles. Slow down as much as is feasible. Learn to detect and react properly to hydroplaning.

14. Prepare for snowy weather

Slow down, and use snow chains if you see snow accumulating on the highway, but do not use chains on ice. If you live in an area where snow and ice are common, invest in winter snow tires. Always turn off your cruise control if you suspect ice may be present.

15. Inflate your tires appropriately

Properly inflated tires make for safer handling, and blowouts can cause an instant loss of control. So inflate your tires appropriately, and change them when they are worn if you want to be good at Defensive Driving.

16. Use your headlights wisely

Anytime visibility is impaired on winding roads, during fog, rain, snow, or low light, make sure you can be seen by turning on your headlights. Only use your high beams in low-traffic areas, and turn them down for oncoming drivers.

17. Maintain your vehicle

Regular oil changes and fluid checks can save you from surprise breakdowns on the road. If your car becomes disabled on a busy highway or interstate, the National Safety Council recommends that you try to pull over in the breakdown lane, if possible. Remember to use your turn signals, and watch for fast-moving cars. If you have parked a comfortable distance from traffic, lock the doors and wait for help. You are close to traffic! Then exit the vehicle, and find a safe place to stand, away from the side and rear of the car. If you cannot reach the breakdown lane, and your car is stopped in traffic, leave the vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so, and wait for help in a secure location on the side of the road.

18. Respond safely to tailgaters

If someone is following too closely, add twice as much space between your car and the car in front of yours. This increases your ability to see and prepare for a collision. Then carefully and gradually decrease your speed to slightly below the speed of surrounding traffic, and try to move into a right hand lane, to let the tailgater pass. Do not hit the brakes suddenly, unless you are forced to do so to avoid a collision.

19. Keep a steady pace

Sudden increases and decreases in speed, unexpected lane changes, and unpredictable stops make it hard for other drivers to anticipate your actions. Be predictable and avoid surprising anyone around you.

20. Look far ahead of your vehicle

Keep your eyes far down the road, and expect problems before you come to them. Look for erratic drivers, slow traffic, intersections, and highway debris.

21. Take a defensive driving course

Many defensive driving classes are available online and in your area. This can make a great gift for a young family member, or you can use it as a preventive exercise for yourself.

22. Carry emergency equipment

Carry emergency equipment. – a jack, spare tire , flashlight, first aid kit, flares. You never know what you’ll need in case of emergency and do not think that “it ain’t happen to you”.

23. Lock your vehicle

To be a good Defensive Driver, you should at least have one car. So always lock your vehicle and  take your keys with you when you leave it.

24. Be extra careful near schools

Streets near schools often have reduced speed limits during school hours. Speed limit is 15 mph instead of 25 mph that are designated by signs with flashing lights. Though this limit may seem excessively low when you do not see any children, small kids can hide easily or make sudden movements.

25. Inspect your vehicle before ride

It’s important to inspect a vehicle, whether it’s a company truck or your own car, before hitting the road. If a driver notices an under-inflated tire or an oil patch before heading out, it can save time and annoyance and possibly prevent an accident.

26. If you are sleepy, don’t drive

You want to reach your destination as soon as possible but if your eyes give emergency alert, do not insist driving. Just pull over your car and take a quick nap at least 20 minutes. Being late is better than being dead.

27. Don’t use handheld devices while driving

It is illegal in most states using handheld devices while driving. Many modern cars have advanced Bluetooth systems that allow for hands free speech. You can adjust your car before hitting the road. Also don’t text while driving.

28. Consider your physical condition before driving

A driver’s physical well-being is also important because hearing, vision, and fatigue can all affect your
driving ability. So it’s important to take stock of these factors before driving: Have you got your glasses with you? Did you have breakfast this morning? Did you get enough sleep?

Conclusion: Defensive Driving is a life saver technique for you, your loved ones and other people on the traffic. If you want to learn more advanced tactics, you can take a daily course and you can learn some advanced methods just like race drivers do.

DMV Behind The Wheel Test Scoring Criteria

You must prepare DMV Behind The Wheel Test.  Before you begin your driving test, the DMV examiner will ask you to show some vehicle and driver safety items. If an item listed in the checklist on your vehicle doesn’t pass the requirements, your test will be reschedule again. Some items even may make your driving test counted as unsatisfactory which means failure.

This is the Pre-Drive Checklist  and it is important have all of them in place and working properly.

DMV Behind The Wheel Test Scoring Criteria

Driver Window

DMV Behind The Wheel Test

The window on the driver side must open. You’ll be asked to open the window if the window is closed.


DMV Behind The Wheel Test

The windshield must provide a full unobstructed field of view for you and the examiner.

Rear view mirrors

DMV Behind The Wheel Test

The vehicle must have at least two mirrors. One must be located outside on the left side of the vehicle. Other mirror may be located inside center or outside on the right side of the vehicle.

Turn signals

DMV Behind The Wheel Test

Turn signals on the front and back must work.

Brake lights

DMV Behind The Wheel Test

Both brake lights must be operational.


DMV Behind The Wheel Test

Each tire must have 1/32 inch tread grooves and two major adjacent tread grooves.

Foot brake

DMV Behind The Wheel Test

There must be at least one inch of clearance between the pedal and the floor board when the pedal is depressed.


DMV Behind The Wheel Test

Your vehicle’s horn must work and people are able to hear it from 200 feet away.

Emergency/Parking brake

You must show the examiner how the parking brake sets and releases.

Arm signals

You must correctly demonstrate arm signals for left turn, right turn and slowing down or stopping.

Windshield wipers

DMV Behind The Wheel Test

You must correctly locate the windshield wiper switch.


You must correctly locate the front windshield defroster button.

Emergency flashers

You must correctly locate the emergency flasher switch.



You must correctly locate the headlight switch.

Passenger door

The front passenger door must open and close properly.

Glove box

You must securely close the glove box door.

Seat belts

Your car must have seat belts and they must work properly for you and the examiner.

These are the important facts for DMV Behind The Wheel Test Scoring Criteria Pre-Drive Safety Check. If you want to learn more about top 10 Behind The Wheel Mistakes check our article.

Practice Driving Test

If you are required to take a driving test, you may be wondering how you can prepare to pass your test. You are driving for years but many seasoned drivers drive out of habit, not really paying close attention to how they actually drive. You may not be aware that you developed poor driving habits that cause you to be an unsafe driver.  Practice driving test is essential before you enter the test.

Review DMV information

practice driving test

You can use resources online at DMV official site or by calling 1-800-777-0133 or at any DMV field office. These booklets include;

Have another driver go with you on a practice driving test

  • Ask a trusted driver to sit in the passenger seat and observer your driving.
  • Do not be offended by what your observer tells you.
  • Listen carefully to your observer’s remarks on your driving.
  • Consider what your observer tells you if he/she feels your driving skills have deteriorated to a point that it is no longer safe for you to drive.

Practice many times!

Practice driving test

After you identify your mistakes, practice performing them correctly. Ask your observer to go over driving maneuvers and/or situations with you that you may have found confusing.

You may want to consider a professional driving class. Mature Driver Courses classroom instruction on defensive driving and California motor vehicle laws. You consider taking behind-the-wheel driver instruction from a licensed driving school.

Practice driving test is very important. The more you practice, the less you make mistakes. A list of approved Mature Driver Improvement Programs may be found at the DMV website at under the Mature Driver Improvement Programs link.

Driver tests are given to first time driver license applicants and other individuals who require a driving test. The purpose of the driving test is to determine whether you:

  • have ability to operate a vehicle safety
  • exhibit safe driving habits
  • can apply traffic law knowledge in actual practice
  • can compensate for any physical condition; loss of limb, poor hearing, vision condition.



DMV Driving Test

Challenge yourself with real questions before the actual challenge!

DMV Driving Test

DMV Driving Test

According to California law, if you are under 18 years old, you will get a test of 46 questions. To pass the test, you must at least answer 38 of the questions correctly. This means, your passing score must be 85%.

If you are over 18, you’ll get 36 questions. To pass the test, you have to answer 31 questions correctly. If you fail you can take it again, in 15 mins later.

Good Luck!

Leaderboard: DMV Driving Test

maximum of 43 points
Pos. Name Entered on Points Result
Table is loading
No data available

How to get a DMV appointment in California?

How to get a DMV appointment in California?

DMV Appointment is your first step to get a Driver License in United States. While every state has slightly different practice, we’ll focus on how to get a DMV appointment in California. I also want to share my experiences.

Check DMV Offices

Firstly, you have to check your local DMV office. You can do it either visiting the official DMV website or just you can check link in our website. This is important in terms of logistics. Because if the local DMV office is closer to you, you can get there easily. But keep in mind that in California State, DMV offices issue more than 2 million driver licenses per year. Some of them are renewals. This means, it is better you check the local DMV offices work load.

Online DMV Appointment

You have two options. You can either visit local DMV office nearby or you can get an online appointment from DMV website. DMV official website is too complicated.

If you are not good at browsing on the internet, here is a quick link for you to get DMV Appointment. 

As you can see on the snapshot, there are four options to select. So if you don’t have a driver license, you’ll click on “Office Visit Appointment”.

In this section, The Appointment System will ask you some questions. The first thing is to choose local DMV office. You can choose any of the office in the borders of California. But the nearest one is the ideal one typically.

Tip: Check at least 3 different offices nearby. Their work load is different. While one of them may give an appointment 1 month later, the other one may give to a closer date like 10 days later.

So choosing this option gives you easy access. There are two lines in DMV offices. One line is for people who come without appointment. I’ll come to that later. The other one is for people who get an online DMV Appointment. If you don’t like to wait in line for a long time, your choose should be “Online Appointment”.

DMV Appointment

Other options are “Behind the Wheel Drive Test.” I’ll come to that later also. If you are a commercial driver, then choose the third one.

You can also check or cancel your previous appointments if you forgot the exact appointment date.

You only need to enter your first name, surname and phone number that you have entered while you took your online appointment. It will show you the appointment date. It is that simple.

Here is a snapshot of “View or Cancel Appointment” tool.

Normally, if you are lucky, you’ll get your online appointment in three weeks time. If you don’t want to wait that much, you can go to nearest local office.

DMV Visit Without Appointment

So you think that you are in urgency and need your Driver License as soon as possible. You can visit local office. But you have to consider the long waiting time. It may take up to 3 to 4 hours before an officer finally check your papers.

TIP: DMV office hours start at 8 a.m. So It is better you go to office at 7.30 a.m. Otherwise probably you’ll wait on the queue till 1 p.m.

DMV Appointment

Never ending queue in Laguna Hills DMV Office

You also choose a pair of comfortable sports shoes that will make your feet less ache during your long waiting period.

DMV Appointment

So the main advantage of online appointment, you are not waiting in this queue. There are two entrances in every local DMV office. One is for people who come without appointment. The other one is for people who did an online appointment.

The officers are taking one person from never ending queue and one person from online appointment queue.

TIP: Check your papers before coming to DMV office. Otherwise you need to print them out again and it will cost you time and money.

You have to have original photo ID and proof of residency. What does this mean?

Legal Presence in USA

If you are applying for a Driver License or Identification Card for the first time then there are two options:

  • If you are a US Citizen, you can show your birth certificate or Passport. They only accept the originals of the documents.
  • If you are not a US Citizen, your foreign passport with photo ID will work for you.

Proof of Residency

You should bring at least two documents that will prove that you reside in US.  Any two of listed items will be enough:

  • Electric Bill
  • Gas Bill
  • Phone Bill
  • Your contract with the landlord

Your current address must be written of these documents clearly.

If you are a foreigner and you have F1, F2, B1, B2 or similar visa types, then you should additionally bring related papers with you.

TIP: If you are an F-1 student, don’t forget to bring your original I-20 document and I-94 document. You can download your I-94 status from this address. Print it out and keep a copy with you.

Sample I-94 form

When it is your turn, an officer will check your papers. If your papers are okay then you’ll get a queue number. The second wait time is around 45 minutes to 1 hour. So if you go to office as early as like 8 a.m., this means you’ll wait till 11 a.m. So after that you need to wait 1 more hour. You can follow your number from the boards.

When finally it is your turn, another officer will make a quick eye test for you. There are small white boards behind the officers. Numbers or letter are written on these boards. If you use lens or glasses, it is better to inform the DMV officer. Otherwise if you fail the eye exam, you’ll waste your day.

After the exam and other procedures, you’ll give finger print and they’ll take your photo.

INFO: This photo will be final and you have no chance to change it later. It’ll appear on your Driver License or ID card. So better go DMV Office well dressed, shaved and with make-up. Or get ready a horrible picture on your DL.

Your final stage will be written exam. You are free to choose any of the computers. The exam is ready for you. You just need to enter your finger print to access the exam. It will automatically start. You’ll learn whether your pass or fail at the end of online written exam.

If you pass, your next step will get an DMV Appointment for Driving test.

You need to wait at least 24 hours to take an Behind the Wheel Drive Test appointment. After you click on the correct button, this screen will come out. All you need to do is fill out the form and wait your Driving Test date.

If you pass the written test, DMV will give you a temporary permit. Your permid ID is written on this paper. You should enter it correctly to the form above to get an appointment.

What is the minimum age in California for driver license?

Typically, if you are at the of 16, you can obtain a driver license but the age may vary from state to state. While minimum age to obtain a driver license is 14 years 3 months in South Dakota, it is 17 for New Jersey state. Before getting an DMV appointment in California, you should know that the minimum age in California is 16 but there are some restrictions for minors.

First of all, a driver license holder who is at the age of 16, can not drive any passenger below 20 years old. Also, it is forbidden for the restricted driver license holders to drive from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.



What to do in a California car accident?

Accidents happen so it’s a good idea to know a head of time what you are required to do if you are involved in a crash in California.

Do you know what to do in a California car accident?

First and foremost you must stop. And if anyone is hurt you are required to get help. In addition you must give your name, address, and vehicle registration number to others involved in the accident.

California has close to 250,000 vehicle crashes every year and most common cause is careless driving, which means the driver was not driving taking into account curves, width of road, traffic, corners, the grade of the road (steepness), and other conditions that effect driving.

Don’t Leave the Scene

If you leave the scene of an accident that involves injuries without providing your information your license may be revoked.

Report the Traffic Accident

Any car accident that involves injuries or property damage over $500 must be reported. In these situations you should call the local police department, sheriff, or the California Highway Patrol. If an officer investigates the accident they will file a report.

Don’t Block Traffic

If traffic is being blocked by your car you must move it. If you can’t move it yourself, you are required to get help or call a tow truck. Your car should never block traffic in any situation.

Ticket and Traffic Court

Many accidents are caused by a driver that broke traffic laws. If that is the case then an investigating officer will file charges against the offending driver. If you are charged in a traffic accident you will have the opportunity to explain what happened in court. Then the traffic court will decide what the penalty is. In many cases you will be required to complete a Traffic Collision Avoidance Course (TCAC).

Traffic Collision Avoidance Course

A TCAC course is a California traffic school course designed to remind drivers of safe driving techniques. It can be completed online, in a classroom, or with a video. When you complete your TCAC course you will receive a certificate from the course provider that you must deliver to the court.

The California Drivers Association offers a TCAC traffic course online and on video. If you would prefer to attend a classroom then look in your local yellow pages under driving instruction.

Auto Accidents with an Unattended Vehicle

If you hit a car, truck or other vehicle that is parked with no one it you must inform the owner. Leave a note with your name, address, and license plate and report the accident to local police, sheriff, or Florida highway patrol.

How many car collisions happen in California?

California is one the biggest states of United States. Estimations show that 39,5 million people live in California state. As of 2015, there are 14,5 million registered cars in CA. Only 230,976 of them are owned by public authorities.

There endless roads and highways in California but do you know how many car accidents happen in California and how many people have died in car collisions?

According the statistics between 2005 and 2014, total number of fatal collisions are 30,731. Total number of people died in these collisions are 33,744.

This means in every fatal accident, 1,1 person has died in state of California. But the good news is; every year since 2005, number of fatal collisions seem to be declining.

Fatal Collisions in CA from 2005 to 2014

When we look at the injury numbers, the overall picture is not good enough. At the same period, 2,5 million people were injured in car collisions. This numbers proves how important is to be a good driver and obey the traffic rules even sometimes they bother us.

While in 2005, the death rate according to mileages made by vehicles were 1,31; in 2014 this number dropped to 0,93. This is the good news from California state roads.

In California, most accidents happen to be in fall, namely starting from September, collision numbers seem to be increasing during winter season.

How to obtain car accident report in California?

Do you know how to obtain car accident report in California? Here are some tips and tricks:

If you involve in a car accident in California, first thing to do is to report DMVCalifornia. But before informing DMV, there are some conditions:

  1. Property damage in each of cars must be higher than 1.000 USD ( This limit was 750 USD before but has changed after January 1, 2017)
  2. If anyone was injured in this car accident including minors
  3. If someone killed in the accident.
  4. none of the above, you don’t need to inform DMV

Car Accident Report

how to obtain car accident report

Make a report to DMV within ten days. You should remember that each driver must make a report separately. It doesn’t matter whether you caused the collision or not.

You have to send the report to the address below. You can find the address on the Traffic Accident Report.

Department of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 942884
Sacramento, CA 94824-0884


  • Traffic Accident Report (SR 1) PDF

What else you should do?

Do not panic and leave the scene without exchanging your name, address and VIN number with the other driver that involved the accident. Better you take a photo of the accident scene and be careful not to block the traffic. You can move your car after you take the pictures. If you can’t move it by yourself, you can call a tow truck.

Better you take a copy of car accident report that we gave the link above and keep it in your car.

What if you hit a car, parked in the street? Do you need car accident report as well?

If you hit a car, truck or other vehicle that is parked with no one it you must inform the owner. Leave a note with your name, address, and license plate and report the accident to local police, sheriff, or California highway patrol.

Driver License

You are excited to ride your car but you don’t have your California driver license yet. Here are the easy steps that leads to obtain a driver license in California:

Eligibility to obtain California Driver License

You must at least be 15½ years old to be eligible. If you are under 18, you need your parents or guardians approval.

You can then get an appointment from DMV website or you can visit the nearest local DMV office. If you want to get the driver license a.s.a.p., visiting local DMV office is a much better choice hence if you try to get online appointment, DMV will arrange an appointment 2-3 weeks later at earliest if you are lucky enough.

California Driver License

DMV Office

You need some papers that proof your identity, residence, etc. Here is a list of items you need:

You need to fill out “Driver License or Identification Card Application”  aka DL 44″. There is no option to fill this card online but you can call DMV and order it by mail or you can fill it out when you visit local DVM office. Too see a sample of DL-44 card, click here.

California Driver License fee

You have to  pay application fee which is  $ 33 for non-commercial class c California Driver License. Click here for all other Driver License/Identification Card Application Fees.

If you are under 18, you’ll take 46 questions, if you are over 18, then you’ll take 36 questions. You need to to score 85 over 100 points in order to pass the test. If your native language is not English, you can take the test in your mother tongue.

Here is the list of other languages:

Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Cambodian, Chinese, Croatian, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Persian/Farsi, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Samoan, Spanish, Tagalog/Filipino, Thai, Tongan, Turkish, and Vietnamese.

Proof residency for Driver License

You must provide at least 2 documents to proof your residency in California. Your lease contract, your home utility bill, your school or employment documents may proof your residency.

Vision Exam

DMV officials check your vision and if you are qualify, you are ready for the test. If not, you can be guided to use eye-glasses.

Driver Test Sample

Go to the local DVM office as early as possible. After you fill out the application form and pay the fee, you’ll take the written Driving Test. To test yourself click here.

If you pass the test at your first try, DMV officials will take a photo of you. If there is nothing suspicious related to your documents (Such as F1 visa requirement etc.), you’ll get your license in 2-3 weeks by mail. It may take up to 3-4 months because of other security checks.

DMV will give you a temporary permit till you get your original driver license. You also have to take on wheel driving test. After you complete test, you need to take another appointment for behind the wheel driving test. You can set the appointment online. Click here for online appointment.

There are some tips and trick not to fail behind the wheel driving test. Click here for the tips.

California driver’s license issue date

California driver’s license issue date might be difficult to find on your driver license. If you look at the driver’s license card carefully, you can see that your California driver’s license issue date is written on the right bottom corner of your card, marked as ISS.

California Driver's License Issue Date

In the sample California driver’s license card, you can see ISS is September 30, 2010. So this is your official issue date. It is the abbreviation of Issue Date, shortened as ISS. And here how the reverse side of Driver License looks:

California Driver's License Issue Date

What is DD on California Driver’s License?

There is also other abbreviations on the card. On the left of ISS, you can see “DD”. If you wonder what is DD on California driver’s license?
California Driver's License Issue Date

DD stands for “Document Discriminator” which shows your drivers license number and also these numbers indicates which DMV you got your license from.

What does RSTR stand for?

RSTR stands for “Restrictions”. There are various restrictions which can be placed on a driver’s license. Most common example is, some drivers must have prescription glasses when driving.  If you have any restriction codes listed, you probably should already know what they mean. If not, log onto the DMV website, and there should be some easy explanation. It is not worth making a trip to the DMV. You can try internet and find your RSTR.

Register to DMV for a better service

Click this link for easy registration

There are some online services and applications in DMV that requires registration. In order to get a better service you can register. DMV will allow registered users personalized access to additional services.

If you want to check information regarding below, you have to register:

  • Driver Record
  • Vehicle Record
  • Change of Address
  • Driver License/Identification Card Renewal
  • Traffic Accident Report – SR1 Eform
  • Vehicle Registration Email Reminder Program

In order to become a registered user, what you need is:

  • Valid email address
  • Driver license or identification card number
  • Last four digits of your social security number