On the day of your test. You should arrive 10 to 15 minutes early.  Park where you can, remember students can not drive unattended.  You will need to check-in.  bring with you:

  • A licensed driver
  • Vehicle registration Current & Valid
  • Proof of Financial Responsibility
  • Student's Driving Permit, with 2nd page sign by their Parent, or guardian
  • Student's Certificate of Completion of Driver Training 
  • A Test Vehicle that will pass the dmv safety inspection


Many people take their driving test when they have not sufficiently prepared, or have not practiced enough, or have not practiced the right way. Others get very nervous because they don't know what to expect. Remember, the DMV examiner will ride with you only to make sure that you can drive safely and obey traffic laws. They want you to pass, and you can expect to be treated with respect, fairness, and courtesy during the entire examination process. Your driving test will last about 20 minutes. The test consists of basic maneuvers you will encounter while driving such as: left and right turns, stops at controlled and uncontrolled intersections, straight line backing, lane changes, driving in regular street traffic, and in some cases driving on the freeway.

Test Vehicle Requirements

​The vehicle you use for your driving test must be safe to drive. Before the test, the examiner checks for:

  • two license plates. The rear plate must show current registration.
  • both front and back turn signal lights and working brake lights.
  • a working horn designed for the vehicle.
  • tires with no bald spots.
  • adequate brake pressure (you will be asked to step on the brake pedal to see if it works properly).
  • a driver's side window that rolls down.
  • a windshield that allows a full unobstructed field of vision.
  • two rear view mirrors (one must be on the outside, to the driver's left).
  • driver and front passenger doors that open from both the inside and outside.
  • a secured glove compartment door so it doesn't open during the test.
  • a passenger seat permanently attached to the vehicle.
  • working safety belts, if the vehicle was manufactured with safety belts.
  • working emergency/parking brake.

What Can I Expect During My Drive Test.

The Class C driving test is used to determine your driving competency. You must provide a vehicle that is safe to drive and insured. When you appear for your driving test, the driving test examiner will ask to see your instruction permit(s), driver education and driver training completion certificates (if you are a minor), and proof of insurance for your vehicle.

Your driving test begins with a vehicle safety check. This pre-drive inspection demonstrates that you are familiar with your vehicle and that your vehicle meets the DMV's minimum safety requirements. You will be asked to identify and/or demonstrate parts of the vehicle commonly used in driving. If your vehicle does not meet the minimum safety requirements, your driving test will be rescheduled.

You will also be asked to demonstrate the arm signals for right and left turns, and for stopping or slowing down. The examiner will ask you to drive out of the DMV driving test line and the driving portion of your test will begin. Your examiner is an observer only and will only speak to give you instructions ahead of time on what driving maneuvers you are to perform. He/she will not try to trick you or ask you to do drive illegally. Your examiner will be marking your score sheet during your driving test.

On the road, your examiner will be looking to see whether you:


  • Check traffic, including pedestrians, by your head and eye movements as well as using your mirrors.
  • Signal before you pull into or out of traffic, make a turn, or change lanes.
  • Drive at an appropriate and legal speed: not too fast and not too slow.
  • Leave adequate space between your vehicle and other vehicles.
  • Maintain good control of your vehicle.
  • Obey all traffic laws.


During your driving test, your examiner will ask you to perform certain critical skill test maneuvers that include:


  • Backing your vehicle.
  • Driving through intersections (controlled, uncontrolled, and stop signs).
  • Completing left and right hand turns.
  • Completing left and right lane changes.
  • Driving in residential and business areas.


If you make a critical driving error (CDE), you will be given an unsatisfactory test score (failure). A CDE is a dangerous or potentially dangerous driving maneuver. Examples of critical driving errors include:


  • Driving at least 10 mph over or under the speed limit.
  • Failing to look over your shoulder when pulling into traffic or changing lanes.
  • Running a red light.
  • Failing to use windshield wipers when necessary because of rain.


When you return to the DMV, your examiner will inform you whether your driving test was "satisfactory" (pass) or "unsatisfactory" (fail). He/she will also go over your score sheet with you, and explain any mistakes you made and stress areas that need improvement. If your driving test is unsatisfactory, you must reschedule for another day and pay a retest fee when you want to take another driving test.

Study the Parent-Teen Training Guide to help you with practicing your driving skills and the California Driver's Handbook to familiarize yourself with the laws of the road.

Review the "How to prepare for your driving test" brochure for additional information. 

What To Expect!

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Surf's Up Driving & Traffic School 2017
A State of California Licensed Driving School 4449
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Your Driving Test

DMV Wants You to Pass

Many people take their driving test when they have not sufficiently prepared, or have not practiced enough, or have not practiced the right way. Others get very nervous because they don't know what to expect. Remember, the DMV examiner will ride with you only to make sure that you can drive safely and obey traffic laws.

Your driving test will last about 20 minutes. The test consists of basic maneuvers you will encounter while driving such as: left and right turns, stops at controlled and uncontrolled intersections, straight line backing, lane changes, driving in regular street traffic, and in some cases driving on the freeway.

DMV wants you to pass your driving test. Study the pamphlet "How To Prepare For Your Driving Test" as well as the "California Driver Handbook."  Relax and do your best.