Driving License for dummies

Often students do not get their license in time because they are not sure exactly how to. Small tips and steps can ease the stress of the process. 


Getting your driving license in an important milestone in every teenagers life. Driving allows more freedom to go where you want. It is an easier and quicker mode of transportation compared to walking or riding a bike, leaving parents with less carpool stress. However, only about 24.5% of tennagers earn their license at 16 years old. Why? It’s often not  because they can’t afford it, or they are scared of driving, but simply because they don’t know how to. Here are some tips and steps to getting your driver’s license.

The first step in the direction of a license is receiving a learner’s permit. A learner’s permit is a restricted license given to a person who is learning to drive, but has not yet been verified to drive without adult supervision. There are a variety of online programs that read over the basics of driving: the mechanisms of a car, traffic laws, and road safety. After each section is covered, a practice test is provided to ensure that the applicant understands the content. After passing all practice tests, a final exam is given. If passed, the program sends a certificate which proves that the applicant has completed their first step of training. 


After receiving the certificate, it’s time to take your permit test at the local DMV. To take your test, bring your Certificate of Completion of Driver’s Education, your birth certificate, social security card, and the application fee. If you are under 18 years old, bring a signed Driver’s License Application. The permit test is a series of scenarios that must be passed. To ensure that you have a better chance at passing, use the practice tests on the online programs. Don’t worry if you don’t pass the first time. About 35% of people don’t pass their first try. You will have to wait at least two weeks to take the test again, make sure you make another appointment for this. If your passed, congratulations! Now you get to take your photo and are given your learner’s permit. 


The second step to getting your driver’s license is completing 60 hours of driving practice and an additional 3 lessons from a legitimate driving school. It is illegal to drive by yourself without supervision from a person over 25 years of age. Some highly regarded driving schools located in Santa Maria include Cindy’s Driving School, Curbside Driving, and Drive2Pass Driving School. Each lesson ranges from $40-$100. If you need more help with driving, these schools offer extra lessons. After 6 months from when you received your permit, you can take your driver’s test. 

Santa Maria DMV is almost always guaranteed to be full. Make an appointment months in advance. Bring your permit, car insurance, and Behind-the-Wheel completion certificate (your driving teacher should  provide it). Because it always busy, the tests are often quick and driving instructors grade easily. It is recommended to take the test after lunch, when rush hour is low and instructors are in a better mood. Some instructors are more strict than the others.You should wear closed-toed shoes and be polite. Do not wear sunglasses, make conversation, or do anything without them telling you to do so. If you didn’t pass, make another appointment and repeat. If you passed, you are given a temporary license. The actual license should arrive in the mail about two weeks later. 


Drive safe, Spartans!