Do I have to take any written or driving tests to obtain a CA driver license? California

It depends. Everyone new to the state must take the written test to get a driver license. Only those who are from another country or who have never had a drivers license before must also take the driving, or road, test.

California Drivers License Written Test Requirements

Any new CA resident or new driver must take the written test. This means you have to study the California Drivers Manual first. The questions are based on this manual and are 49 questions long. To pass, get 36 correct.

It’s a good idea to study as much as you can before you go in. Use the California free practice tests, on the DMV Web site, or buy longer test from online drivers ed companies. These companies also make practice tests based on the drivers manual and what is covered in drivers education classes.

Remember to make an appointment to take your written test, using either the online system or the phone system.

CA Driver License Road Test

If you’re from another country, or you’ve never held a drivers license, then you must also take the road test or driving test.

You cannot take the driving test on the same day you take the written test. After you take the written test, you’ll get a learners permit. Then:

  • Practice driving with a licensed driver age 25 or older until you’re ready to pass the driving test.
  • Make sure you have adequate insurance coverage by calling your car insurance agent. You must show proof of insurance before you take the driving test.
  • Schedule an appointment to take the driving test. You may not take the road test without an appointment.

 The DMV gives you three tries to pass the road test, but you have to wait two weeks in between each try. Most people pass after 50 hours of driving practice. Fewer hours than that, and drivers usually fail.

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