International Student Life

Getting a Driver’s License at the California DMV

April 1, 2010

Many IEC students are interested in the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Why are they interested in the DMV? The reason is they want to have a driver’s license, and they have to go to the DMV to get it. However, many students don’t know much  about the the DMV, for example how to get a license. How long does it take to get it? I’ll write about my experience.

First, if you go to the DMV, you will see a line, and you should stand in line to get a number from the receptionist. Then, you should wait for your number. It takes an hour in general. If it’s your turn, you can go to the window shown on a kind of electronic display, and you will register and have simple eyesight test. Next, you will take a license picture. Here’s a tip: Don’t wear a cap when you go to the DMV. Next, you will have a paper test.

You can choose to take the paper test in your language if you are Korean, Japanese, Chinese or Spanish. You will have three chances. There are three different types of test. If you pass the test, you will get a temporary license, which lets you can buy and drive a car. You also can make a reservation for driving test.

Here are a few important tips. First, don’t go to The DMV late, especially after 3 o’clock. If you are at the DMV at this time, you can’t finish everything. They close The DMV at a fixed time even though there are waiting people. Therefore, if you don’t finish the test or get a temporary drivers’ license, you have to go to the DMV again. In the case of temporary driver’ license, you have to pay money for it.

by Jang Won Suh

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