Day 115: Licensed to drive (almost)

I’ve been slowly chipping away at my setup tasks for the U.S. Its a longish list that seems to never end and only gets bigger. One of the big things was getting my drivers license.

I really wanted to get my license so I can drive in the future. Today I went to the Californian DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) and passed my written driving text exam! So I’m 50% of the way there. To do the behind the wheel test you need to do the written test first. Ironically, its not actually written. You stand in front of a touch screen computer and push some buttons.


My pic of the DMV and waiting line!

My experience is cramming for the test for a 1.5 days. As usual, my study pattern is leave everything to almost the last minute. So I started studying on the plane ride back from Austin, Texas. I got to spend about 1 hours reading through the drivers manual which i downloaded from the DMV website. Go here.  I also spend last night cramming some more for a few hours and doing some practice tests online.

The practice tests are here:

The trickiest parts were for
*turns for one way streets
*turning in general since its the opposite direction to Australia
*trying to convert distances from feet into metres. I eventually gave up and memorised the numbers since they were the same. But fairly easy
*understanding the various lines – double lines, single broken line, etc…

Overall the test was pretty easy if you spend say 2 days prepping. I probably spent 6 hours in total over 2 days. I got 3 questions wrong and skipped one about motorbikes. There seemed to be like 50 questions in total and it went pretty fast. Glad to say that I passed – on my first attempt! You get 3 attempts on the day.

My tip is to take your time, read through the questions slowly and skip the ones that don’t make sense to you. Most of the questions are pretty obvious.
Now that I have my instruction permit, this means that I can now take instructions from someone over 18. Anyone want to lend me their car and sit there whilst I drive? 🙂

I’d also recommend booking a time in advance. When I got there at 8.30am, there was already 100 people in the line waiting. So def book an appointment!

I feel like I’m 16 again and on my red P’s – the provisional license you get in Australia. Look out world, I’ll soon have my license!

I’m out like my American P’s,

p.s. I’ll probably be driving around San Mateo, Redwood City and Mountain View if you want to avoid an Australia trying to figure out the turns and roundabouts 🙂

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