Written Tests

It is important to read the DMV’s California Driver Handbook before taking a written test. But here are some additional suggestions to help you successfully pass the test the first time:

  • Review the California Driver Handbook and take the sample tests. Review DMV’s Driving Knowledge Tutorial (it requires high speed Internet access). The written tests are based on general rules of the road and safe driving skills. DMV’s written test may contain driving situations that you have never encountered in your own day-to-day driving.
  • You may want to make an appointment for late morning or early afternoon when the office is not so busy.
  • Try to remain calm and relaxed.
  • The renewal written test has only 18 questions. Take your time and read each question carefully. Do not read anything extra into the question; there is only one correct answer.
  • The test is available in English and many other languages. If you take the written test in a foreign language, you must also take a traffic signs test.
  • The English language written test is available in large print. There is also an audio version and a video version (American Sign Language).
  • All test questions are based on the California Driver Handbook.
  • If you fail your test, don’t worry! You have two more chances to take the test before another application and fee are required. If this happens, DMV recommends that you again review the California Driver Handbook and the sample tests before taking another written test.
    1. Sample written tests
    2. Written test languages
    3. Alternate written test formats