Drive Test PreP

It is extremely rare for our students to make 15 errors on the DMV Drive Test, In Fact, The Most Common way Applicants fail their Drive Test is an Automatic Fail. Below is a list of ways you could Fail your test.

    • wait behind the limit line
    • wait for them to clear completely 
    • continue to look for other Pedestrians, while waiting for another to cross
    • scan every corner and slow to see around parked cars
    • before going over the line make sure the pedestrian does not want to cross again
    • do not allow a pedestrian to wave you on
  • SMOG (signal, mirror, over-shoulder, go): 
    • you must check your mirror and blindspot prior to moving over into the Bike Lane or turn lane, up to or away from the curb, or any type of merge situation
    • stay straight until you have finished you SMO then Go into the appropriate lane
    • on Right Turns you must be close enough to the curb so that a Bike cannot fit between you and the curb
    • DO NOT pull out in front of another vehicle
    • if another vehicle has to slow down for you to join THEIR roadway, then it is a fail
    • After Stopping behind the limit line for 3 seconds & scanning for Pedestrians, Then you may inch you vehicle forward at a recommended 1 MPH. Keep your Head turning left and right and left again as you move forward. Stop Gently if you see another car within a block of you. If you do not see another vehicle approaching, then you may continue to join traffic. Get up to speed efficiently but not too fast and be sure to be looking up the road the way you are turning for Parked cars or People who may not see you
    • It helps to lean up on the Steering Wheel while you are Looking Left, Right, and Left again
    • if the examiner has to assist in any way, then you fail your test
    • approach turns and stops slow and safe to help the examiner feel more comfortable
    • show the examiner you patience and how well you pay attention
    • must turn into the lane closest to the curb on all right turns
    • do not switch lanes when there are two lanes turning in the same direction
    • do not make a lane change in an intersection
    • do not stop in froth of a fire station
    • you MUST use the BIKE LANE for every right turn
    • never stop in an intersection and block traffic
    • you MUST use a turn lane if there is one to use
    • stay in your lane
    • it is a fail if you do not fully stop at Stop Signs
    • some examiners will fail you for California stops
    • stop signs often hide behind trees, cars or bushes
    • be sure to check your speed often and adjust right away 
    • keep your speed at the speed limit if possible
    • don't drive faster than is safe for weather or road conditions
      • 5-10 mph slower in the rain
      • half the speed limit in snow
      • slow to crawl if ice is present
      • drive Slow around or through Pot Holes or over Speed Bumps
    • follow the general speed rules if their is no max speed limit sign posted
      • 25 mph unless otherwise posted in Business and Residential
      • 55 mph unless otherwise posted on Rural country roads or Highways
    • obey warning signs for turns
    • always pull over for an Ambulance, Fire Vehicle or Police Officer
    • do not forget to SMOG
    • do not pull over in an intersection
    • always obey safety personal and road construction workers
    • do not drift, skid to a stop, burn rubber, take turns dangerously, or approach intersections dangerously
    • basically drive safe and keep a large space cushion around your car



​​​Be Prepared for Behind the Wheel Drive Test. Be Sure to go through the Vehicle Check List a least a day before your test.  DMV will not allow you take the test if the car you are using is not up to par.

1. Park in the Front Parking lot of DMV 20 minutes prior to the test

2. Walk in and sit down, some one will call your name.  You do not need to grab a Number.

3. Bring your Permit, Gold Certificate, Insurance, and Registration into the DMV and hand it to the DMV employee. You do not have to pay for the first three test attempts. You already paid when you got your permit.

4. Whoever goes with you to the DMV must have an ID saying they are no longer a provisional driver. They might check 

5. While you go over paperwork, your parent will be sent out front to take the car around back, where you will start.  

6. Once the paperwork is finished, you will be sent out the back door.  You will have a couple minuets to set your Seat and Mirrors.  Remember to set the Parking Brake as well if your parent forgot. 

7. The Examiner will walk up to your window, You should have the window down already so he/she does not have to knock. they will have you turn the key to the power position, but do not start the car. The examiner will then go over the Pre-Drive Checklist and inspect the car. He will then hop in and hopefully put his seat belt on.  If not remind him. 

8. He will go over a few things about the test then have you start the car and take off.  Before you take off be sure to check your entire surroundings.  You will be required to scan the DMV parking lot and also Signal to exit the parking lot.  Remember to check your mirror and blindspot. Then exaggerate your scan for Pedestrians prior to going over the sidewalk.  Good Luck 


The Drive test

Drive Test Tips

AUTO Fails



55 1st Street, Lakeport, CA, United States

DMV License # E4760

Point Deductions

1. Driver Window must roll down

2. Windshield must be free of Large Cracks 

3. Rearview Mirros must be in working order

4. Turn Signals must be in working order

5. Brake Lights must be in working order

6. Tires can't be bald or flat

7. Horn must honk

8. Emergency Brake Demonstration

9. Arm Signal Demonstration

10. Windshield Wipers Switch

11. Defroster Switch Front and Rear

12. Emergency Flasher Switch

13. Headlight Switch

14. Passenger Door Must Open 

15. Glove box must close

16. Seat bels must be worn