What To Bring To Your Drivers Test In California: The Complete Guide

Getting your drivers license is an exciting milestone, but the road test can also be nerve-wracking. Making sure you bring the correct documents and materials can help ease some of that test-day anxiety. This comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know to be fully prepared when you show up to the DMV for your driving exam.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The main things you need to bring to your California driving test are your instruction permit, proof of insurance for the car you’ll use during the test, and corrective lenses if required. You’ll also need to bring a licensed driver aged 25 or older to accompany you in the car for the driving portion of the exam.

Documents You’ll Need to Bring

Your California Instruction Permit

One of the most important documents you’ll need to bring to your driver’s test in California is your California Instruction Permit. This permit is issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and serves as proof that you have completed the necessary requirements to practice driving.

Make sure to bring your permit with you on the day of your test, as you will be required to present it to the examiner.

Proof of Insurance

Another crucial document you must bring to your driver’s test is proof of insurance. California law requires all drivers to have auto insurance, and you will need to show proof of this coverage during your test.

Make sure to carry your insurance card or a copy of your insurance policy that clearly indicates your coverage details. It’s always a good idea to check with your insurance provider beforehand to ensure you have the necessary documentation.

Other Acceptable Forms of ID

In addition to your California Instruction Permit and proof of insurance, you may also need to bring other acceptable forms of identification. The DMV typically requires two forms of ID to verify your identity, such as a valid passport, birth certificate, or Social Security card.

It’s important to check the DMV website or contact your local DMV office to determine the specific identification requirements for your driver’s test.

Remember, it’s crucial to have all the necessary documents with you on the day of your driver’s test. Arriving without the required documentation can result in your test being rescheduled or even canceled.

So, make sure to double-check the DMV’s requirements and gather all the necessary documents ahead of time to ensure a smooth and successful testing experience.

Items to Bring for the Drivers Test

Face Mask

As we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to prioritize safety during your driver’s test. In California, it is mandatory to wear a face mask during the test. This is to ensure the safety of both the examiner and the test-taker.

Make sure to bring a clean and properly fitting face mask to your test appointment. If you forget to bring one, you may not be allowed to take the test and will have to reschedule.

Corrective Lenses

If you normally wear glasses or contact lenses for vision correction, it is crucial to bring them to your driver’s test. The examiners need to ensure that you can see clearly and have good visual acuity while driving.

Without your corrective lenses, you may not meet the visual requirements and may not be able to take the test. Remember to double-check that your lenses are clean and in good condition before heading to your test appointment.

Closed-Toe Shoes

While it may seem like a minor detail, wearing closed-toe shoes is actually an important requirement for the driver’s test in California. Open-toe shoes, such as sandals or flip-flops, are not allowed as they do not provide adequate foot protection.

Closed-toe shoes, such as sneakers or loafers, are recommended as they provide better grip and control while operating the vehicle. So, make sure to choose your footwear wisely on the day of your test.

Remember, these are just a few of the items you need to bring for your driver’s test. It is always a good idea to check the official California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website for the most up-to-date information and requirements.

Being prepared and having all the necessary items will ensure a smooth and successful experience during your driver’s test.

What to Expect During the Drivers Test

Vehicle Inspection

During your driver’s test in California, you can expect to undergo a thorough vehicle inspection. The examiner will check the condition of your car to ensure it is safe and roadworthy. This includes examining your tires for proper inflation and tread depth, testing your lights and signals, and checking the functionality of your brakes.

It is important to make sure your vehicle is in good working order before arriving for your test to avoid any unnecessary surprises.

Basic Maneuvers

In addition to the vehicle inspection, you will also be required to demonstrate your ability to perform basic driving maneuvers. This may include parallel parking, three-point turns, and lane changes. The examiner will be looking for your ability to execute these maneuvers safely and efficiently.

It is crucial to practice these maneuvers beforehand to build confidence and improve your chances of passing the test.

Driving in Traffic

One of the most important aspects of the driver’s test is your ability to navigate through traffic safely and responsibly. The examiner will assess your skills in merging, yielding, and maintaining a safe following distance.

They will also observe your ability to respond to various traffic situations, such as traffic lights, stop signs, and pedestrians. It is essential to stay calm and focused during this portion of the test and to follow all traffic laws and signals.

For more detailed information about what to expect during your driver’s test in California, you can visit the California DMV website. This website provides a comprehensive guide to the driver’s test process, including specific requirements and tips for success.


Arriving prepared and knowing what to expect can help take some of the stress out of your road test day. With your permit, ID, and other required materials, you’ll be ready to show the examiner your skills and driving know-how. Remember to stay calm, drive carefully, and follow all traffic laws. If you do, you’ll soon be holding your very own drivers license. Good luck!

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