By Zach Bergevin,
After 15 years of biking around town, many students find themselves ready to add another mode of transportation to their repertoire. For some Davis High students who have or will have access to a vehicle in the near future, a driver’s license is the key to their new ride.
The majority of students at Davis High will first be eligible to initiate the process of obtaining a driver’s license in their sophomore year. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, prospective drivers must be at least 15.5 years old for a learner’s permit.
The first phase of getting a license is passing a driver’s education course. There are three viable options to choose from for the initial driver education course: an online course, an in-classroom instructional course and a parent-taught course. Technology and convenience has made the online courses the most popular, according to the California DMV.
One of the most successful online courses that trains young drivers is iDriveSafely, in which students work through a series of videos and tutorials that teach technique and safety. After completing the modules for each unit, prospective drivers will be periodically quizzed on the content to ensure mastery. The California DMV requires online courses to be at least 25 hours long, which iDriveSafely splits into eight chapters, culminating in a 50-question final exam with a passing score of 80 percent.
After completing the course, students will print a certificate of completion in which they will bring to the DMV when obtaining their permit. Students will make an appointment at the local DMV and submit proof of identification, California residency and complete the DL 44 form.
At the DMV, an application fee of $33 covers the cost of three attempts at the written test within the year. To pass the written exam for a provisional permit, prospective drivers must miss no more than eight questions out of 46 multiple choice. After passing both the written exam and a vision test, the local DMV will issue students a provisional permit to hit the road.
From the date of receiving a permit, the California DMV requires students to undergo at least six hours of professional driver training and 50 hours behind-the-wheel with a licensed adult, 10 of which must be at night.
Once a student completes the previous steps, the end is in sight. All that is left is to schedule the behind-the-wheel test with the DMV and pass to be issued a provisional driver’s license and have the state’s seal of approval.