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Drive Test-Santa Clara

Discussion in 'New to Bay Area' started by itsdhara, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. itsdhara

    itsdhara New IL'ite

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    Has anyone recently given the behind the wheels test at Santa Clara DMV?
    If yes,how is the test? what do they look for? do we have to parallel park?
    Please let me know ,it would help

  2. SocalMommy

    SocalMommy Senior IL'ite

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    Hello Itsdhara,
    I don't live in Santa Clara but I have been through a drive test and passed it the first time. But, the night before the test, I had the exact same questions that you posted.
    Parallel parking is by far the trickiest and the challenging part of a drive test. Even seasoned drivers might find it difficult sometimes. So, don't worry too much about just that one aspect of your drive test. Your examiner has a checklist of items that he/she uses to judge your driving. They check if you know the car controls, your hand signals, the gas pedal Vs the break pedal etc. before starting on a route. Once you start your actual drive test, they look for your control on the car, your control on your surroundings-whether you are stopping for pedestrians etc. and how well you are obeying the traffic signals and the speed limits. I guess they allow 10 mistakes. Anything over is a retest. I am not sure though. But just think positive and don't worry about parallel parking. Even if he does ask, try and if he sees you are struggling, chances are he will just ask you to try something else. He is as concerned about his safety and the safety of the other cars as you are.
    Just maintain your cool and show off your confidence. You will pass the test with ease. Good luck.
  3. chandy939

    chandy939 Silver IL'ite

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    Hi itsdhara,

    I gave my drive test at Santa Clara in Nov.

    I would recommend you practice driving around the area.The main points they look for is

    Before they sit in your vehicle they will ask you about the car features-light,wiper,froster.Then Hand Signs.
    While driving

    1.Stop Sign
    2.Lane Changing
    3.Unprotected Signals (there r few in benton)
    4.Parallel Parking-As in they will ask u to stop at the cub and drive straight behind.

    Unless they ask you to take a turn don't ask "shud I continue straight".The lady sitting with me was snobbish and I was sure she'd fail me...but I passed in first time:wow

    There are videos on youtube by CaliforniaDMV.Watch those videos.It will be easy...be confident.I would really suggest you to drive around Homestead,Benton n surrounding areas.

    All the Best.
  4. indianinbayarea

    indianinbayarea New IL'ite

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    Hi Dhara

    As far as I know, no parellel parking. That's good because parallel parking is difficult and you can't do it unless you have lot of practice. Also in california they don't do test drives on freeways.

    When you arrive in DMV, the instructor will ask you the various controls of the car - Lights, high beam, low beam, hazrd lights ( emergency lights), fog lights, AC, defroster, handbrake( emergency brake) etc.
    Then the hand signals ( left turn, right turn and slowing down) Make sure you know this. My wife failed her test because she did not know her hand signals and we had to give the driving test again

    The actual driving test will not be more than 10 minutes. Just be attentive. Before that when you actually drive, make sure you are checking all the windows and adjusting it. Sealbelt etc. The person will see this if you are doing this.

    Don't take tension. It will be smooth. Just be confident and drive as per the speed limit. When he/she asks you to change lanes, make sure you give signal few seconds in advance and look over the shoulder and then change lanes. Dont accelarate by giving jerks and don't stop giving jerks.

    Be cool and it will be alright. If you have learnt driving from local driving school, make sure you contact them. They mostly know the route where the DMV person takes the test so that you can practice that route.
    1 person likes this.

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