It is not legal to drive without a valid driver license. Every state in U.S. has different rules and regulations for motor vehicles. Even though the basic rules are the same you must verify with the regulations of the local Department of Motor Vehicles in your area. This article focuses on the California State DMV procedure.
There are two steps involved for getting a driver license. First is the written exam and the behind the wheel test (also known as a road test).
The written test is a test of traffic laws, road signs, and driving safety rules. You will get a book (driver’s handbook) to study for this exam. Study it thoroughly. There are 46 questions on the test. A passing score is at least 39 correct answers. You have three chances to pass the test. You are allowed to take a retest in one visit. If you fail three times, you must wait 7 days before taking the written test again. No written tests are administered after 4.30 pm on regular business days.
The basic procedures:
Step 1 Written Test
Visit a DMV office (make a prior appointment for a faster service).
Submit the completed application form, along with the fee. No copies are accepted.
You need to give a thumb print and have your picture taken.
Provide your social security number, and proof of your date of birth.
Pass a vision test
Take the written test.
You will get a temporary permit. If you have never been licensed before, you may use this permit to practice driving. During all the driving sessions, you must be accompanied with an adult who must be 25 years of age or older and holds a valid state license. It is illegal for you to drive alone. You can also take classes from some Instructor. Once you are comfortable in driving take an appointment for a behind the wheel test (road test).
If you have moved to U.S. from India, you will be required to take a driving test. If you already have a license from another state, the driving test can be waived.
Step 2 Driving Test
To take your driving test, you need to make a driving test appointment by calling a toll free number 1-800-777-0133 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
You must provide the following at the time of the driving test:
Provide proof of financial responsibility
California Insurance Requirements
Like the written test, you must pass the driving test in three chances. If you fail three times, it means that you must practice. Make an appointment once you are fully prepared. For each additional driving test you must pay a $6 fee.
The test normally takes 10-15 min. It is a 100 points test, and minimum 70 is passing. This criteria is subject to change. After you pass your driving test you will be issued an interim license valid for 60 days. You will receive a new photo license in the mail.