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DMV Written Test Tips

Rock’s Tips for the DMV’s Written Test:

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  • Study the current DMV’s California Drivers Handbook – especially the parts discussing NUMBERS such as the maximum speed limits: 15MPH in alleys and uncontrolled railroad crossings; 25MPH in residential, school or business districts, unless otherwise posted. Note the difference: Illegal vs. legal.
  • Do READ and answer EACH and every QUESTION one time only. If you mark two answers as “correct” you will not get credit for either answer. If you fail to answer a question, that will count against you just the same as if you marked a wrong answer. So answer the questions.
  • Do finish the written examination in a reasonable amount of time. This is an easy test, because there are only three possible answers for each question. But it is also a difficult test because you must miss no more than three questions out of 18; or six out of 36. Beware crosswalk vs. sidewalk.
  • You must accept as a fact, everything following the word “if.”Here are some other words and phrases to give extra consideration:


Be prepared to…
Under no circumstances
Look over your shoulder
Unless absolutely necessary

  • Pick the best answer from the three provided on your test sheet. This is a “multiple choice” exam – not a “fill-in-the-blank” test. Don’t fight it.
  • If you are not sure which the correct answer is, try to eliminate the two answers that appear to be the most unlikely candidates for right answers.
  • If you get frustrated, tell yourself: “This is fun! I like it!”


  • 24 Hrs to notify CHP/Police of injury accident.
  • 10 days to notify DMV injury or $750 or more property damage accident.
  • 5 days to notify DMV of sold car.


White: Can stop just long enough to pick-up or drop off passengers or mail.

Green: Can park for a limited time only (as indicated by sign or paint).

Yellow: Can stop no longer than posted for freight or passengers.

Red: No stopping. No standing. No parking.

Blue: Parking for disabled person with placard or disabled license plate only.


At corner (because there is a “crosswalk” whether or not it is painted there).
“Double” parking (next to a car already parallel parked by the curb).


  • .08% = Minimum BAC for DUI (Blood Alcohol Concentration)
  • .01% = Minimum BAC for DUI if under 21 years old.
  • -0-% BAC if under 18 years of age. (Zero tolerance for 16 & 17-year-olds.)
  • Under 18-year-old in vehichle? No one smokes.
  • 18 inches = maximum distance from curb when parallel parked.
  • Child under 8 years old or under 4’9″ tall MUST be in child safety seat.
  • Child under 16 but 8 years or older MAY use EITHER seatbelt OR safety seat.
  • Every 2-5 seconds: Check your mirrors–all three of them.


Boating, water skiing, etc. “DUI” still goes on Driving Record at DMV.
Cargo extending more than 4 feet from back of vehicle must display red flag or lights.
Broken signal light at intersection = treat it as “stop signs” for all directions.
Three second following distance rule.” How far back you remain from the car ahead.
Stay in the middle of your lane— “like a slot car.” No weaving over the line.
LOW BEAMS & WIPERS in Rain, Snow or Fog.

  • Parking Brake: Use it. Always. On. Off. (Don’t forget it at start/finish of test.)
  • Full stops. (“One, two, three” while firmly on the brake pedal.)
  • Pedestrians!! Yield to them.
  • S.M.O.G. … Don’t forget the “over my shoulder” part. Work on this.
  • Speed counts! (Can’t go too slow. Can’t go too fast. Go “just right.”)
  • No unnecessary stopping. Or slowing.
  • Can’t stay stopped (and confuse other drivers). Go when you should go.
  • The DMV is not testing what you “know” during the “performance” test.

GOOD LUCK! Keep working on these items and watching your video.

By Rock Kendall

Los Angeles

10250 Constellation Blvd., Suite 2300
Los Angeles, CA 90067-6251

San Francisco

4 Embarcadero Center, Suite 1400
San Francisco, CA 94111-4164

Laguna Hills

23276 South Pointe Drive, Suite 216
Laguna Hills, CA 92677-1251