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Test Takers Failing the Driver Knowledge Test

California DMV

Immigrants Struggling with the Driver Knowledge Test

California DMV ( now releases the test pass rates for the driver knowledge test under AB60. It is discouraging news for all who wants to get their first driver’s license or permit in California. Or, as one test taker puts it: “Everybody fails this test. It is just not fair!

In California, the new driver’s license law known as AB60 went into effect in January, 2015. This law allow undocumented immigrants (non-visa status) to apply for a California driver’s license. An applicant must prove identity and that he or she has been living in California during the last six months.

So far, more than 115,000 applicants has taken the written driver knowledge test. In the coming years, California DMV estimates that more than 1.5-million people will take the test to get their official California driver’s licenses under the new law.

Test Pass Rates for the Driver Knowledge Test

The test pass rate among new tests takers are very discouraging. On the Spanish driver knowledge test only one out of three test takers pass, according to numbers released by On the English test the passing score is 54%. Which means that only one out of two pass their first driver knowledge exam.

In Nevada, which implemented a similar law, it is even worse. The passing score among Spanish speaking test takers is a mere 30 percent (less than one out of three).

Is the Driver Knowledge Test too Difficult?

If you are an illegal immigrant who has been driving without a license, you want to take the opportunity and get an official driver’s license. You also want to pass this knowledge exam with ease.

Driver’s Prep have free practice tests available in English. More than 1,000 questions for California and currently 600 questions for Nevada. We suggest that you get a copy of the California or Nevada driver handbook. Read this booklet carefully. Then, take several practice tests at Remember, you need a large pool of question to really make sure you cover all areas. You will only find this at Driver’s Drep, nowhere else. Remember, there is no need to pay for permit practice tests or give up any of your personal information.

Check out the limited sample tests at the official and at as well.


When taking a sample test at,, or, make sure you understand both the questions and the answers. Read the comments carefully and compare with the handbook. Everything is there for a reason!

Practice Permit Tests in Spanish

Currently, we only have practice tests in the English language. We will provide these test in Spanish later this year. Let us work together to get better Test Pass Rates in 2015!


Weekly statistics from is found here: News Release 2015

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  1. I took all five practice tests on California’s government web site. Cumulatively, I got in the mid to high 90% range. There were only a very few very state specific questions I got wrong (right for my state). The thing is, I live in Florida. I have never looked at a California drivers manual. Why are so many failing? What are they being asked? What is so difficult about this? Prepared? Strictly speaking, I wasn’t for the California practice tests, but I did well.

    I’ve taken practice tests for Florida,Virginia, Connecticut, Georgia, Ohio,Iowa and Nebraska and passed them all handily without studying their manuals. I, of course didn’t ace them as they all had a small handful of questions about penalties and limits that are state specific.

    The GMAC National Driver’s Test, of 7 or 8 years ago, was a no brainer. Still about one in four adult licensed drivers failed it. Why?!

    The only thing I can come up with to reconcile all this is to postulate that the real tests are orders of magnitude more difficult. Given what happened to me when I moved to Florida in late 1989, this wouldn’t surprise me. Out of 40 questions, there were maybe 5 sign questions, The rest were really obscure insurance law questions (you would be amazed at what you can pull out of Florida’s title XXIII chapter 324.)
    Then I had to back in to a parking space from 90 degrees, not looking back or using any mirrors. Yes Virginia, all this really happened. To this day I am still furious with them for that

    A vehicle traveling at 70 mph has ____ foot-pounds of kinetic energy

    In 2008, what color vehicle had the highest accident rates?

    On a road with a posted speed limit of 55 mph, how much distance do you need to pass another vehicle?

    At an uncontrolled intersection, who must yield where yielding is required
    the vehicle arriving later than the other
    the vehicle on the left of the other vehicle arriving simultaneously
    the vehicle turning left with on coming traffic that arrived at the same time
    none of the above

    Or other questions never addressed in the manual or statutes, that reflect the authors opinion, making you guess at the ‘best answer’. The test algorithm is designed to detect guessing by marking wrong any submitted answer. I’ve seen all these types of questions.

    • Philip, thanks for your input. Your comments are always interesting and taking seriously by our team!

      Let me just briefly go over some of your statements/examples:

      • “A vehicle traveling at 70 mph has ____ foot-pounds of kinetic energy”

      This kind of questions don’t exist in any official state DMV test today. If you see it on a practice test? Ignore it.

      • In 2008, what color vehicle had the highest accident rates?

      If you mean that it is just based on color and not based on an illustration, I seriously doubt that this question ever existed, since nobody (as far as I know) keep this kind of records.

      • questions never addressed in the manual<

      Question not addressed in the manual don’t really exist on real tests. But they may exist on practice tests. From time to time we (Driver’s Prep) have a few of these, since the contents of the manual changes.

      Facts, however, should still be covered by statutes.

      If it is an opinion (safe driving practices sometimes fall in this category), it is never one single person’s opinion, but based on statistics, which is often supplied by NHTSA and carefully considered before entered in a driver’s manual.

      But then again, as we all know, nothing is 100% foolproof.

      The team behind Driver’s Prep have several examples where state manuals differ in their recommendations. None of them are significant, but may confuse the casual reader comparing the manuals.

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