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California Practice Permit Test

Want to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge? Taking a California DMV practice test will help you prepare for your driver’s exam.

A California permit practice test will familiarize you with California road signs you’ll encounter, and ensure you pass your exam the first time around. All of our practice tests are equipped with complete answer explanations, so you’ll always understand the questions you got wrong.

Answer the practice questions below to start your driving journey, and help you pass your test on the first try.

California DMV Exam – Quick Stats


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California Permit Practice Tests

Begin your preparation by using one of the free CA DMV practice exams linked below. Our practice exams include answer explanations that will help you better understand key concepts. The exams are 100% free and require no registration.

California Road Signs

Concerned about road signs for your upcoming exam? We’ve got you covered. You can use our CA road signs practice test to focus strictly on the signs of the road.

About the California Permit Test

The California permit driving test is made up of 46 total questions. Of those 46 questions, individuals will need to answer 38 of those questions correctly to pass the exam. This comes out to a minimum passing score of 83%.

Individuals must be at least 15.5 years of age to take the California permit test. You can expect to follow these steps before and after taking the California permit test:

  1. Fill out DL 44 form online
  2. Provide proper documentation
  3. Get picture taken and provide thumbprint
  4. Pass a vision test
  5. Pass a knowledge test
  6. Pay the fee ($33)
  7. Complete a driver’s ed course (if under 17.5)
  8. Get your permit

Documentation Required

When applying for your permit at the California DMV, you will need to provide proof of your name, age, and address. Typical documents you can use include:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Passport
  • Social Security Card
  • 1099 Form, W2 Statement or Paystub
  • Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of Citizenship

Please be sure to check the Official California DMV Site for complete details.

In addition, you will typically need to have a parent or guardian present if you are under the age of 18.

After you receive your learners permit, you will need to complete some general requirements to get your full driver’s license. In the state of California, you will need to complete 30 hours of drivers ed classroom hours and at least 50 hours of supervised driving hours.

California Driving Test FAQs

To obtain a California driver’s permit, you must provide the appropriate birth date/legal presence documents and your social security number, you must also be fingerprinted and photographed, pay the application fee, and you must pass the California driving laws test.

If you are under eighteen years old, you must also have written approval from one or both of your parents.

Minors in California are able to apply for a permit when they are 15 and a half years old. However, this will require you to take a mandatory driver’s education course.

To avoid the driver’s education requirements, you must be at least 17 and a half years old.

Only documents issued by a county or state with an official seal will qualify as acceptable birth date/legal presence documents. You must provide the original document—photocopies will not be accepted.

Examples of these appropriate documents include a U.S. birth certificate, a U.S. passport, an armed forces ID card, a naturalization certificate, or a permanent resident card. Other (but less common) documents include a marriage or domestic partnership certificate, adoption papers containing your legal name, change of name documents (must have your name both before and after legal change), or dissolution of marriage documents.

To obtain a California driver’s permit, you will have to take a vision test, a written test about California driving laws, and a behind-the-wheel driving test. Your vision test can be taken with or without corrective lenses.

Your behind-the-wheel driving test will require an appointment, and no exams are given after 4:30 pm to ensure that applicants have enough time to finish their tests.

If you are 17 and a half years old or older, you are not required to attend any sort of driver’s education courses. If you are under 17 and a half years old, you must provide proof that you have successfully completed or are currently enrolled in a driver’s education course.

Your driver’s education course will provide you with a certificate confirming your completion or enrollment in their program.

The restrictions on your permit will vary depending on whether or not you have reached your 18th birthday. For those over eighteen, you must be accompanied by a driver eighteen years or older with a valid California driver’s license. You will not be permitted to drive alone with only a driver’s permit.

For minors, you will not be permitted to drive until your driver’s education instructor validates your permit with a signature. You must always be accompanied by a parent, guardian, spouse, driving instructor, or adult aged 25 years or older.

The California DMV written exam will contain a total of 46 questions pertaining to the traffic laws, road signs, and safe driving practices within the state of California.

For the driving section of your test, you will be required to locate and use your vehicle’s controls correctly—including the parking brake, headlights, windshield wipers, emergency flashers, and defroster.

On the written test you must answer at least 38 questions correctly to pass the exam. It is up to the discretion of the test administrator to determine whether you pass or fail the driving portion of your permit test.

The application fee you pay entitles you to take your driving tests up to three times within a twelve month period.

If you fail all three attempts or do not complete the test within the twelve month limit you will be required to pay another application fee—granting you another three attempts in twelve months.

The California DMV provides you with a number of resources to study for your permit test. Applicants preparing for the test should familiarize themselves with the information contained in the online brochure How to Prepare for Your Driving Test provided on the California DMV website.

This will provide you with a checklist of preparations for the test. There are also several practice tests that applicants can access through the California DMV website as well. Even though driver’s education courses are not mandatory for applicants aged 17 and a half or older, you should consider enrolling in one if you are particularly concerned about your success.

The application fee for the California driver’s test is $33. As mentioned earlier, this fee is good for a twelve month period and up to three attempts at the test.

The requirements for a learner’s permit are similar to those of a full-fledged driver’s license. You must have the appropriate birth date/legal presence documents, you must pass the written examination of California driving laws, and you must have parental approval if you are less than eighteen years of age.

Once these requirements are fulfilled you are eligible to receive a California learner’s permit. You may obtain a full driver’s permit any time after being issued a learner’s permit as long as you can successfully pass the behind-the-wheel driver’s test.

You can take your driver’s test at any local branch of the DMV that offers driver’s license services. You will only need an appointment for your behind-the-wheel driver’s test, although scheduling an appointment for the written test is a great way to save time during your trip to the DMV.

However, it should be pointed out that no tests, regardless of appointment, will be administered after 4:30 pm to ensure that applicants have plenty of time to complete their examinations.

Gianni Evangelisti
Gianni has been working in the test prep industry for 6+ years. Gianni has created test prep materials across multiple different exam categories.