The long wait is finally over and you can begin learning how to drive. But where do you start? It would be ideal to familiarize yourself with the driver’s education process. The DMV is the place that issues both your driving permit, which lets you practice behind the wheel, and your driver’s license, which officially sanctions you to drive. To get each of these items, you must pass certain tests. For the driving permit, there is a written examination, and for the driver’s license, there is a behind-the-wheel test. If you have mastered the skills required to succeed on these exams, then you will be on your way to driving.
To learn the knowledge to pass the written permit test, you are required by state law to take driver’s education, or Driver’s Ed for short. Driver’s Ed is offered in many different locations. If you are currently in high school, there is likely a class offered during school hours that not only is free, but will also give you high school credit. Another option is taking the course through a private instructor in your area. Recently, taking Driver’s Ed online has become popular, as it offers you the convenience of learning at your own pace from home. Regardless, all Driver’s Ed courses teach the same thing. You cover topics ranging from vehicle operation, to the various driving courtesies, to driver safety.
Once you are over 15 1/2 years old and have gone through driver’s education, you can sign up to take the permit test. The examination will quiz your understanding of basic traffic laws and road signs. Should you fail, you must wait one week before taking the exam again. If you pass, you will receive a piece of paper that entitles you to practice behind the wheel with a parent, guardian, spouse, or adult over 25 years of age who has a driver’s license. In addition, you must have the paperwork that notes you have signed up to take behind the wheel training through a private institution.
In driver’s training, you will get to be physically behind the wheel as an instructor leads you through the basics of driving. Your first lesson will encompass familiarizing yourself with the various automobile controls, such as the steering wheel, gas pedal, and most importantly, the breaks. The instructor typically sits in the passenger seat, and often times have his or her own set of breaks to use. Some trainers even have their own steering wheel that overrides yours in case of emergency. There will only be six hours of official training that you will receive, so your parents will play a large role in teaching you how to drive. Take the opportunity to get behind the wheel whenever possible.
Once you are ready and are over sixteen, you can take the behind-the-wheel exam. During the exam, California DMV personnel will sit in the passenger seat and give you instructions to drive around town. They will watch to see if you follow the basic requirements of driving, such as staying within the speed limit, paying attention to driving signals, and being courteous to others. Once you pass, you will be issued an official license to drive. It is important to realize that there are many restrictions on this license if you are under age eighteen, so you ought to familiarize yourself with these rules. Should you disobey or incur any other violations, you will be fined and given a ticket, which can possibly be removed from your record through traffic school. Safe driving!