The Driving Academy FAQ's

Driver Training

Once I received my driver's license, are there any restrictions I have to follow?

f you are a legal adult, 18 years old or older, there are no restrictions. If you are under the age of 18, for the first year (12 months) or until you turn 18, whichever is sooner, you cannot drive between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., and you cannot transport passengers under theage of 20 at any time unless you are accompanied and supervised by a licensed driver 25 years old or older. In addition, until you turn 18 (regardless of supervision) you cannot use a cell phone while driving-even with a hands-free device. And remember: Text messaging ("texting") and driving is illegal at any age in the state of California.

How do I contact the California Department of Motor Vehicles (CA DMV)? How can I get more information about the CA DMV and its hours, locations, and services?

That's easy! The DMV can be reached by telephone at (800) 777-0133 or by visiting CA DMV online at dmv.ca.gov.

I can't find the answer to my driving-related question. Can you help me?

Absolutely! The Driving Academy is here to help, whether you're one of our students or not. Call us at (800) 585-6395 anytime during normal business hours, or email us at info@DrivingAcademyUSA.com

Are there any exceptions to the above-mentioned restrictions?

Yes. When reasonable transportation is not available and it is necessary for you to drive, the law grants the following exceptions of minors to drive between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. or to transport an immediate family member(s) (including parents and siblings) unaccompanied and unsupervised. The law requires that you must carry a note explaining why you must drive and when the necessity will end.
Medical necessity: The note must be signed by your physician and contain a diagnosis and probable date of recovery when the driving necessity will end.
Schooling or school-authorized activities: The note must be signed by your school principal, dean, or his/her designee, and include a reason the school or school authorized t activity and probable date when the activity will end.
Employment necessity: The note must be signed by your employer and verify employment and probable date your employment will end.
Immediate need of family member: The note must be signed by your parent or legal guardian, and include the reason and probable date the necessity will end.
Emancipated minor: No documentation is needed for this exemption. However, you must have already declared yourself emancipated by completing a DMV form and by providing Proof of Financial Responsibility (SP1P) in lieu of your guarantors' signature when you applied for your instruction permit.

Can I rent a car from a car rental company in order to take the CA DMV behind-the-wheel knowledge test?

No, the CA DMV requires that your name appears on the rental contract, and since most rental companies will not rent to persons without licenses who are under the age of 25, you are out of luck. However, why not consider The Driving Academy's car? Use our driving school car to take the DMV behind-the-wheel test. After all, you may have practiced in our car, and therefore, you're already familiar and comfortable with it. It's easy, convenient, and makes perfect sense! THe Driving Academy's DMV service consists of:

  • Scheduling your behind-the-wheel test appointment with the DMV
  • Picking you up one and one half hours before the test for a thorough review
  • The use of our car for the test
  • Finally, taking you home with your new license (we hope!)

What are the consequences for failing the behind-the-wheel road test? How many times can I take the road test?

You simply take it again and again until you pass-as many times as it takes! However if you fail the road test three (3) times you will need to repay the DMV fee, provide all needed documents, and take (and pass!) the written test again. If you are under the age of 18, you will also need to wait at least two (2) weeks before taking the road test again.

What do I need in order to take the DMV behind-the-wheel road test?

If you are 18 years old or older, you will need the following items: your learner's permit, current registration, proof of insurance of the car you are going to use for the test, and the owner's permission to use the vehicle. The car must be in good working order, which includes functioning turn signals, brake lights, headlights, and windshield wipers; no cracks or breaks on the windshield; windows and doors that open, etc. If you are under the age of 18, in addition to everything listed above, you must have your learner's permit for at least six (6) months and a Certificate of Completion of Behind-the-Wheel Driver's Training (OL-238 Gold Certificate). You can find out more at dmv.ca.gov/dl/checklists/minor.htm.

Consider using our driving school car to take the DMV behind-the-wheel road test. After all, you may have practiced in our car, and therefore, you're already familiar and comfortable with it. It's easy, convenient, and makes perfect sense! The Driving Academy's DMV service consists of:

  • Scheduling your behind-the-wheel test appointment with the DMV
  • Picking you up one and one half hours before the test for a thorough review
  • The use of our car for the test
  • Finally, taking you home with your new license (we hope!)

It is proven that when a student takes his or her behind-the-wheel test with the help of a driving school-certified instructor, he or she has a much higher success rate of passing the road test on the first try than with a family member or friend. You have enough to worry about- leave making the appointment, ensuring the car is in good working order, and bringing proof of insurance to us. We'll do it all!

What is the next step after completing the behind-the-wheel program with The Driving Academy? Do I need to make an appointment for the behind-the-road test with the same DMV office that issued my learner's permit?

If you are 18 or older, simply schedule an appointment for the behind-the-wheel test with any DMV office. If you are under the age of 18 and have your permit for a minimum of six (6) months, you are ready to take the DMV behind-the-wheel road knowledge test. Regardless of age, you can take the road test at any DMV location, and yes, an appointment is required. You can book an appointment with the DMV online at: dmv.ca.gov/foa/clear.do?goTo=driveTest&localeName=en
or call the DMV at (800) 777-0133.

Very important:

Be aware that the issue date of your new/duplicate permit will now be different from that of your previous version. The original issue date does not automatically transfer to the new/duplicate permit. Therefore, if you are under the age of 18, you must make sure that the DMV clerk stamps, signs, or initials the original issue date of your permit. If not, all records of the original permit will be erased, and you will then be required to repeat the six (6) month wait based on the date of your new/duplicate permit.

What should I do if I misplace, accidentally deface, or destroy my learner's permit?

Simply complete a DMV DL-44 form, go to the nearest DMV office with your parent or guardian, and request a duplicate. There is no charge for a duplicate learner's permit.

Do I need my CA DMV issued learner's permit in my possession every time I drive?

Yes, your learner's permit is exactly like a driver's license-you must have a DMV-issued permit to drive with us or anyone else. It is illegal to drive without it, and The Driving Academy will not perform any driving lessons with a photocopy, facsimile, or faxed copy of a permit.

Where will I be picked up and dropped off once I've scheduled my behind-the-wheel lessons?

As long as you are within our service areas, we will pick you up and drop you off anywhere you like, whether it's home, school, work, or a relative or friend's house. Please let us know your preference(s) when you call to book your appointments.

Once I book a behind-the-wheel driving lesson, how do I cancel it if need be?

To properly cancel a driving lesson appointment, including DMV services, students or their parent/guardians must call The Driving Academy at (805) 494-5334 during normal business hours and speak to a representative at least 24 hours prior to the appointment(s). If a student does not properly cancel, is not properly prepared, or is a no-show for his or her driving lesson appointment, a $50.00 fee will be charged to reschedule the missed appointment.

What are the Driving Academy's service areas?

We proudly serve most of Los Angeles and Orange County. If you are unsure as to whether we service your area, please call us at (800) 585-6395. We can service any area but an out of service are charge may apply.

How many hours of behind-the-wheel instruction do I need? Do I need to record/log/keep track of my behind-the-wheel practice hours?

If you are under age 18, a minimum of 56 hours of behind-the-wheel experience-10 of those hours should be at night-is required by the CA DMV before you can acquire your driver's license. Although it is not required to keep a log of behind-the-wheel practice time, it is highlyrecommended. You can use the log provided in the California Parent-Teen Training Guide (DL-603), which can be obtained free of charge from any CA DMV or our office.

Driver Education

Is The Driving Academy certified and/or licensed? Does The Driving Academy's online course meet California DMV requirements?

Yes, The Driving Academy is licensed by the California DMV. In addition, we are fully insured and bonded. We not only meet, but also exceed the California DMV requirements. When you finish our California online drivers education course, you will receive a Certificate of Completion of Driver's Education (Pink Certificate/DL-400C). 

What is the next step after obtaining my learner's permit from the CA DMV? How do I make an appointment for a behind-the-wheel lesson?

Your permit is not valid until you (1) complete a minimum of a one hour behind-the-wheel lesson with a California certified instructor, and (2) that same instructor signs your CA-issued learner's permit. We recommend scheduling an appointment with The Driving Academy before you start driving with anyone else! Call us at (800) 585-6395 during normal business hours and we'll be happy to schedule the first available appointment. Please keep in mind that depending on both your and our instructors' schedules, there may be a few weeks' wait. If a student does not properly cancel, is not properly prepared, or is simply a no-show for his or her driving lesson appointment, a $170.00 fee will be charged to reschedule the missed appointment.

What are the consequences of failing the DMV written knowledge test? How many times can I take the DMV written test?

You simply take it again and again until you pass-as many times as it takes! However, if you fail the test three (3) times you will need to repay the DMV fee, and provide all needed documents again. If you are under the age of 18, you are required to wait at least one week before taking the test again.

Once I pass the California DMV written knowledge test and receive my learner's permit, do I have to take another written test to get my license?

No. However, there are two instances when you will have to retake the DMV written knowledge test: first, if you let your permit expire (it's valid for 12 months from the date you applied for it), and second, if you fail the DMV behind-the-wheel road test three (3) times.

Do I need to make an appointment with DMV to take the written knowledge test and obtain a learner's permit?

No, an appointment is not required for the written test. However, without an appointment you may have to wait up to an hour and sometimes more. Please note: The DMV does not administrate written tests after 4:30 p.m.; therefore, we recommend arriving before 3:00 p.m. if you don't have an appointment. The Driving Academy advises our students to always make an appointment with the DMV no matter what type of transaction. If you decide to make an appointment with the DMV, visit 
dmv.ca.gov/foa/welcome.do?localeName=en or call (800) 777-0133.

What is the next step after completing the online driver's ed. course? What do I need to do if I'm under the age of 17½?

Your next step is to get your learner's permit from the California DMV! If you are under the age of 17½ but at least 15½ years old, after completing our online course you will receive a completion certificate DL-400C (Pink). You must complete all the required information including your true full name, social security number, and date of birth on the Driver's License or Identification Card Application (DMV form DL-44), which is available at any DMV office. We will mail the DL-44 form to you along with your certificate. The DL-44 form must be signed by both parents (even if they are divorced, unless one them has sole custody) or your legal guardian(s). You will need to provide the California DMV proof of your date of birth and legal presencein the form of an original or certified copy of your birth certificate (Hospital, photo, or faxed copies are not accepted). Other acceptable documents are a valid US Passport, US Passport Card, or US Military Identification Card (active or reserve duty, or dependent of a military member). See the official DMV checklist at: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/checklists/permit_under18.htm

What happens if I fail the online driver's ed. course?

Since our online course is designed to be straightforward, clear-cut, and easy to understand, it is highly unlikely that you will fail. However, in the unlikely event that does happen, then you can simply take all or any part or unit of the course, including the final exam, over again until you do pass. This benefit can also help you in reviewing for the DMV written knowledge test. Remember, you have six (6) months to complete our course from the date of purchase. If it has been more than 6 months, call us at (800) 585-6395 or email us at info@DrivingAcademyUSA.com to get reinstatement information.

What does The Driving Academy's online driver's education course consist of?

You must completely read all 10 units of the course, watch all videos, and take and pass the quiz at the end of each unit, as well as the final exam, earning an 80% passing grade or better. You must do so in sequential order; in other words, you will not be able to skip ahead to the next unit until you finish reading and passing the present unit and complete the quiz. Remember, you have six (6) months to complete our course from the date of purchase. If it has been more than 6 months, call us at 800-585-6395 or email us at info@DrivingAcademyUSA.com to get reinstatement information.

Once I sign up for your online driver's ed. program, how long will it take me to complete it?

The Driving Academy's online driver's ed. course allows you to log on from any computer, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In other words, our online driver's ed. program is self-paced. You can read as fast or as slow as you like, watch the videos, and take the quizzes and final exam at your own pace. In fact, The Driving Academy strongly recommends that you take your time to read and absorb all the materials, as this will make taking the exams much easier. Based on an average pace of reading, after watching all videos, and passing all tests, our course is designed to take at least twenty five (25) hours as the California DMV requires. Most students complete the course in about 4 days. Remember, you have six (6) months to complete our course from the date of purchase. If it has been more than 6 months, call us at (805) 494-5334 or email us at info@DrivingAcademyUSA.com to get reinstatement information.

 

What is the age at which I am allowed to start a driver's education course?

Although the California DMV does not require that you be a specific age to start taking driver's education, you are required by the State of California to be at least 15½ years old to legally obtain your learner's permit. The Driving Academy strongly recommends that you start at the age of 15, allowing you adequate time to study, learn, and comprehend the entire materials in our interactive online driver's education course. In addition, you will be able to easily remember what you've learned right before taking the written test. This online course, along with the California DMV Drivers handbook (DL-600), will significantly help you prepare and pass the DMV written knowledge test. If you are enrolled in our Integrated Program, you can start your driving lessons with one of our licensed driving coaches at 15 years and zero months of age.