The content of the California Department of Motor Vehicles driving test consists of driving scenarios that a prospective licensee must successfully execute, such as backing a vehicle, driving through intersections and business and residential areas. Applicants who commit even one critical driving error automatically receive a failing grade.
The California DMV driving test only applies to applicants for a non-commercial Class C license. An instruction permit, driver education completion certificate and proof of vehicle insurance are mandatory prerequisites to taking the driving test.
The test begins with a vehicle safety check. A candidate must be able to identify parts of the vehicle frequently used in driving and to demonstrate that his vehicle meets minimum DMV safety requirements. If the candidate's vehicle fails to meet minimum DMV safety requirements, the driving test must be rescheduled.
The examiner asks the candidate to perform arm signals for right and left turns and for slowing down and stopping. The candidate then drives out of the driving test line at the examiner's behest, which commences the actual driving portion of the test.
Completing left and right lane changes, left and right turns, driving through intersections, obeying traffic laws, and driving at an appropriate and legal speed are other items on the test. Critical driving errors that result in a failing grade include running a red light, driving at least 10 miles per hour over or under the speed limit, and failing to activate windshield wipers when necessary.