California Written Knowledge Test
Who Must Take the Test?
In general, written and vision tests are always required when you apply for an original driver license or upgrade to a different class of driver license.
If you are less than 18, but at least 15 years and six months, and applying for a provisional permit, you need to take the written test on traffic laws and traffic signs. There are 46 questions on this test. To pass, you must correctly answer 38 questions. If you fail, you must wait one week before taking it again. You have three chances to pass the test.
If you are over 18 and applying for an original driver license, the traffic laws and sign test consists of 36 questions. If you pass, you will be issued a permit if you have never been licensed before. As long as you have a permit, you must drive with an accompanying adult who is 18 years of age or older and have a valid California license.
A renewal test has 18 questions.
If you have a license from another state, both the knowledge test and the road test can be waived.
Computerized Tests with Touch Screens
Previously the DMV gave the knowledge test on paper. The new computer version randomizes the questions just like on our practice tests, which means that no two tests are exactly the same. Instead of marking the correct answer with an "X", the applicant now just taps the correct answer on a screen. The computer tests are available in English and Spanish.
Computer tests speed up the exam process, but it is also a lot easier to misread and make a hasty decision.
Make an Appointment?
To save time when you are ready for your test, make an appointment online at www.dmv.ca.gov or call during normal business hours.
Do Not Cheat!
Remember, the use of any testing aids is strictly prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, the use of cell phones, cheat sheets, and the California Driver Handbook. If any testing aid is used during the written test, the written test will be marked as a failure. An action may also be taken by the DMV against your driving privilege or the driving privilege of anyone else who assists you in the examination process.
Are You Ready for Your Drivers Permit Test?
Read the state Driver's Manual or Handbook. All real permit test questions are based on the material in this manual. Get familiar with all areas and learn the laws and rules presented. Pay special attention to facts that are bolded or highlighted.
Give yourself plenty of time. Start preparing at least two weeks before the real test.
Take several of our driver permit practice tests to make sure you are ready for the real examination.
Our Practice Tests
Our permit and license practice tests contain 25 questions. You must correctly answer 20 questions to pass (80%). This is a common passing score in most states. You should, however, aim for a score of 90% or more on a permit practice test.
Read all questions and answers carefully. You will see many DMV test answers, but do NOT focus on memorizing exact phrases - focus on understanding! The practice permit test questions may be repeated with several different alternatives and different wording. Real DMV permit test questions are created the same way.
All questions are multiple-choice or true/false. Only one alternative is correct and acceptable. If you see All of the above, None of the above, or similar as one alternative, make sure you evaluate all alternatives carefully.
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