The process of obtaining a driver’s license in the state of California (perhaps in other states everything is similar) is similar to obtaining a license in Russia, but it takes surprisingly less time. It consists of two stages: passing the theoretical exam and passing the exam for driving. There are a number of positive features: all exams can and should be recorded by phone or via the Internet, the test for driving a car takes place on your car, there are no exercises on the site with elements of balancing act (starting on the rise, acceleration, braking, etc.).
Before surrendering, you should study the rules and features of the road traffic, as well as practice driving on local roads, if you have a valid driver's license. Before passing the theory, you can test your knowledge with the help of numerous online tests. One of the most convenient: PermitTestPractice.com, in which all the questions go in a row and you can go through the whole theory in one test.
Passing the theoretical exam
When you feel ready, you need to go to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website and select the department (section "Offices") where you want to take the theory. Then make an appointment in this department (section "Online services"), specifying "Apply for, replace, or renew." As the goal and choosing a convenient time on the next page. Then print a confirmation page or simply rewrite the application number.
About 10 minutes before the appointed time, come to the selected DMV department, remembering to bring your passport with a visa and a Social Security Card (SSN) if you are entitled to receive it (for relatives, you do not need an H4 card). In the office you will see a long line to one of the windows. Next to this window there are two tablets indicating which queue is by appointment (by appointments) and which is without. You signed up (!), So first of all, which is usually several times shorter. In this window you need to submit a printout of an appointment and say that you want to get a driver's license category "C" (Tse). In response, you will receive a ticket with a queue number and an application form on self-copying paper (several copies) with the fields marked with a marker that you need to fill out.
You go to one of the many tables along the walls of the office and fill out a questionnaire, then follow the appearance of the queue numbers on the monitors and go to the window that is indicated for your number. In this window, paperwork takes place. You will present your passport with a visa, as well as a Russian driver’s license, if any, and a DMV employee will make copies. You also need to undergo a medical examination - a vision test: there are plates with Latin letters hanging at the windows, you will need to read the line named by the employee first with two eyes, then closing one eye in turn. In the process of paperwork you will be asked if you want to pass the theory in Russian or in English - we advise in English, then you will understand why. Also in the same window you will need to pay a driver's license - DMV accept cash, checks and debit (ATM) cards. In 2012, the amount was $ 31, it is listed on the DMV website.
Next, they will give you some papers and pull them into a separate window, there will be an ordinary queue (or maybe it will not). In this window, you need to do three important things: take a picture (smile!), Scan the thumbprint on your right hand and write down a signature sample. The signature remains to be left on the device, similar to the terminal in the store, while you can make as many attempts as you like, so practice until it works out beautifully. Try to fill in the whole rectangle, otherwise the signature on the rights will be quite small, although this is not important.
Then in the same window you will be given an examination sheet, a pencil and you will go to a slightly fenced off area of the office where you will take a written exam. The rules of the exam are simple: if you pass the test in English, then you need to answer 36 questions (3 possible answers, one of which is correct), making no more than 6 errors. If you take the test in another language (for example, in Russian), then a separate sheet with 20 questions about the translation of road signs will be added to these 36 questions to be sure of your understanding of the basic English language with which these signs are written. However, you still need to make no more than 6 mistakes in total, answering 56 questions. In addition, the translation of questions in places is amazing and leaves no chance to understand which answer was correct in the original. That's why we strongly recommend taking the theory in English - after passing the online tests it is not at all difficult.
Time for the test, it seems, is not limited, the main thing is that you should not use any auxiliary tools and materials (phone, books, etc.). Having answered all the questions, you are sent to another window (they will tell you his number when they give the examination sheet), where you submit the sheet and the rest of the paper. The employee will check the answers using the template (the sheet with the drawn squares is exactly the same as the squares on your sheet) and calculate the wrong answers. If there are not more than six, you have passed the theory. If you already had the rights of another country (for example, Russian), you will receive a temporary certificate for 90 days, if there were no rights before, you will be issued a one-year training certificate, it allows you to drive if another driver is nearby with a California driver's license .
After you feel prepared enough, you can try to pass the Behind-the-wheel driving test - a practical exam. To do this, you must pre-register, without an examination this exam is not accepted. This can be done through the DMV website or by telephone (in particular, not everyone can record through the website). Useful advice: it’s usually difficult to get through, but you can leave your phone number for a call back - when the operator is free, they will call you back at the specified number and you can sign up for a practical exam. For the record you need to have the number of the training driver’s license obtained after passing the theory, and also indicate your date of birth and contact phone number. In the future, through the site, you can check the application for the exam and cancel it if necessary.
15-20 minutes before the appointed time, you need to arrive at the DMV office in a car where you will take the exam. A prerequisite for admission to the exam is the complete serviceability of the car (lights, wipers, power windows, horn, etc.), as well as the presence of insurance that covers damage to third parties and persons in the car (the inspector who will take the exam). When recording, they will tell you which window you need to turn to, usually this is the window where fingerprints are photographed and scanned. There you will present an insurance certificate and a certificate of registration of the car, these documents will be checked and you will be issued permission to admit to the exam.
Next, you need to line up for an exam in a DMV courtyard by car. After passing the queue, an inspector will approach you, who will take the exam. First, there is a test of your knowledge of the car: you will need to turn on the turn signals, headlights, press the brake, show where the alarm, glass heating, parking brake, sound signal turn on, when the examiner commands. Then the inspector gets into your car in front of the passenger seat and you make an examination trip. On the instructions of the examiner, you will be reconstructed from one strip to another, turn at intersections, and in one of the places you will be asked to park at the curb and drive a short distance in reverse. Your mistakes are noted in the examination sheet. Errors are divided into critical and ordinary. Critical errors include:
- the intervention of the examiner in driving
- hitting an obstacle or curb,
- failure to comply with traffic signs or traffic signals,
- speed violation (exceeding more than 10 mph),
- non-compliance with the instructions of road personnel (construction workers, etc.) or special vehicles,
- dangerous maneuver
- misuse of accessories
- driving in the wrong lane.
Common errors include:
- wrong lane selection before and after turning,
- rebuilding or turning without control over the mirrors and over the shoulder,
- inability to control the movement in reverse
- braking errors, stopping when not required,
- improper use of signals,
- Errors in granting the right of way.
The exam is considered passed if you have not made a single critical mistake and made no more than 15 ordinary ones (in addition, each turn and passage of the intersection is considered separately, the same mistakes can be made several times).
Tips for passing the exam:
- Watch carefully for traffic signs that set speed and lane traffic. Nobody will ask you to turn where it is impossible, but you yourself will have to choose the right lane for the turn.
- When reversing, try to get away from the curb. Inability to drive a car while reversing is a common mistake, and hitting a curb is critical.
- Be sure to look over your shoulder when turning and rebuilding, and also turn around and look through the rear window when reversing.
- Take your time and watch the cars and pedestrians when leaving the DMV site - this is also included in the exam.
After returning to the DMV parking lot (the examiner will tell you the place marked "for cars after passing the exam") you will be given an examination sheet and, if the test is successful, they will tell you which window to go to get your driver’s license. You will be issued a temporary certificate, which is valid for 90 days, but already allows you to drive without restrictions. You will also need to check all the data (surname, date of birth, address), after which a driver’s license card will be sent to you by mail to the specified address.