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Preparing for Your Test

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Vocabulary of a Road Test

All instructions during the road test will be in given in English; therefore, for the safety of the examiner and the permittee, an understanding of the following list of words and phrases commonly used during a DMV road test will be expected.

The Day of the Test

Refer to the Road Test Checklist and the Road Test Information and Procedures Brochure for all requirements and a list of documents needed for the test and your first license issuance.

Permission to Use a Vehicle

If the registered owner of the vehicle being used to perform the road test is not present, a notarized letter or Vehicle Use Authorization form, acknowledging that the vehicle may be used for the road test, must be completed by vehicle owner/corporation president (corporately owned vehicle) and notarized. This documentation must be presented at the time of the road test.

Termination of the Road Test

The following actions will be cause for termination of the Road Test:

  • Any motor vehicle violation as defined in Title 31 of the Motor Vehicle Code
  • Collision
  • Dangerous actions
  • Leaving the designated roadway
  • Dangerously inexperienced drivers
  • Lack of cooperation with the License Examiner
  • Equipment failure
  • Erratic operation of the vehicle

All terminated road tests will be considered a failed test. A road test fee will be due for the next scheduled re-test.

What should I practice to prepare for my road test?

Steering: Steer smoothly whether you are driving straight ahead, turning or backing up.

Acceleration: Accelerate smoothly and moderately. Don't race the engine or cause it to stall.

Braking: Bring the vehicle to a stop gently. Start braking well before your stopping position to avoid abrupt stops. Make sure you stop your vehicle in the proper position of the lane.

Clutch/Gears: Always be sure your vehicle is in the correct gear. With either an automatic or a manual transmission, shift into the proper gear at the right time without "grinding" the gears.

Speed: Obey the posted speed limit, of course, but also adjust your speed properly due to weather, road, visibility, and traffic conditions.

Following distance: Keep an adequate "space" cushion between your vehicle and those you are following. Use the "three second rule" described in the Driver's Manual. Be sure to increase your following distance in poor weather or visibility.

Traffic signs, signals and markings: Know the meanings of signs, signals and pavement markings, and obey them consistently.

Stopping position: If a stop is required, stop your vehicle before it reaches an intersecting street. If stop lines or crosswalks are present, stop before crossing them. If your view is blocked after stopping behind the crosswalk, move up until you can clearly see your way, then stop again if necessary.

Lane selection and position: Keep your vehicle in the proper traffic lane, especially when preparing to make turns. Don't allow room for another vehicle to pass you on the side that you are turning toward.

Communication: Let other drivers and pedestrians know which way you want to go. Use your directional signals or horn consistently and at the proper times.

Observation: Look for and identify potential problems or hazards in the traffic around you - not just straight ahead, but behind you and on either side. Check your mirrors frequently, but be sure to look over your shoulder behind you when changing lanes or backing up.

Anticipate and react: Anticipate possible driving errors by others and be ready to react safely to make up for their mistakes.

How much driving experience should I get with my Learner Permit?

If you are under age 18, before you take your road test and are issued a provisional license, you must:

  • Wait at least six months from the date you received your learner permit to perform your road test
  • Have a minimum of 50 hours of supervised practice driving with at least 10 hours at night (after sunset)
  • Provide a notarized affidavit of the 50 hours of supervised driving
    • Affidavits may be notarized by DMV staff if a birth certificate is provided and a parent is present

Although it is not required, we highly recommend that all drivers of all ages have this amount and type of practice. We also recommend that you take a driver education course or professional driving lessons.