DMV Practice Tests in California

SUMMARY: DMV Practice Tests in California

If you're applying for your CA driver's license or permit, taking a practice test may help you pass the DMV written exam. Various types of practice tests are available, including those for teenagers, CDL applicants, and new to state residents.

Continue reading this page to learn more about California driver's license practice tests.

Benefits of California Practice Tests

Passing your California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) written exam is not an easy task, even if you have a driver's license from another state. Taking a practice test beforehand will help you:

  • Get used to the format of the actual DMV test.
  • Become familiar with the language used in the test.
  • Practice answering your questions in a multiple-choice format.

You want to make sure you're ready to take your DMV written exam, since if you fail, you'll need to visit the CA DMV office again to retake the exam. See " Passing Your DMV Written Exam" below for more information.

Available Online Practice Tests

We offer a variety of DMV practice test packages tailored to the type of California driver's license you are applying for:

  • Learner's permit practice test:
    • For new drivers applying for a CA driver's permit.
    • Includes questions about basic road rules, safe driving techniques, and parking regulations.
  • Driver's license practice test:
    • For new to state residents. (You must pass the written exam even if you have a driver's license from your previous state.)
    • For adult drivers applying for their first driver's license.
    NOTE: Also available in Spanish (Examen de practica para la licencia).
  • Motorcycle license practice test:
    • For drivers applying for a motorcycle endorsement on their CA driver's license.
  • Commercial driver's license (CDL) practice test:
    • For drivers applying for a CDL.
    • Includes questions relating specifically to commercial vehicles.
  • CDL endorsements practice test:
    • For drivers applying for a specific endorsement on their CDL.
    • Includes questions relating to your chosen endorsement, such as a school bus driver endorsement.
  • Road signs practice test:
    • Focuses on California road and traffic signs and tests your knowledge of what they mean.
  • Driver's prep test:
    • Presented in video format lasting about 1.5 hours.
    • Includes chapters on defensive driving, safe driving techniques, and sharing the road.
  • California DMV study guide:
    • Printable PDF that you can take with you to study.
    • Includes practice questions, basic road signs and their meanings, and how to apply for your CA driver's license.

Types of DMV Questions to Expect

Your California DMV practice test will contain a variety of questions similar to those you may come across when taking your actual written exam.

The answers to your DMV exam questions can be found in the California Driver's Manual.

Example Questions

1. You must use your seat belt:

a. Only if your vehicle was built in 1978 or later.
b. Unless you are riding in a limousine.
c. If the vehicle has seatbelts.

(Answer: c)

2. When the road is slippery after rain, you should

a. Take your time when turning and stopping.
b. Test the traction on your tires when going up a hill.
c. Drive closer to the car in front of you.

(Answer: a)

Taking Your CA Written Exam

Once you've had enough time with your practice tests and feel confident enough to take your written exam, you're ready apply for your CA learner's permit or driver's license.

NOTE: If you're 17 1/2 years old or younger, you will need to have completed a Driver's Ed course before applying.

Make an appointment to take your written test and bring the following with your to the CA DMV office:

  • Proof of your identity and legal presence in the U.S.
  • Payment for the $45 fee.
  • Proof you have completed a driver's education course, if applicable.

Other documents may be required, a complete list can be found on our following pages:

Passing Your DMV Written Test

Once you've taken some California DMV practice tests, passing the actual written exam should be easy.

If you fail the written test, don't worry, the CA DMV gives you 3 chances (within 12 months) to pass.

You will need to wait at least 7 days before attempting the test again, which you can use to complete more DMV practice tests.

NOTE: If you fail 3 exams within 12 months, you will need to start the application process again, which includes paying the initial $45 fee.

Once you've passed your knowledge exam, you will be issued a CA learner's permit or driver's license.

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