Frequently Asked Questions

Common questions about the process of getting a license, whether you’re a teenager or an adult.

How do I get my Driver License before I turn 18?

This is the procedure for getting a Driver’s License before you turn 18:

1. DRIVER EDUCATION CLASS

Complete Driver Education class at Roadrunner Driving School and receive a Driver Education Completion Certificate.   (There is a reissue fee if you lose a certificate.)

 2. LEARNER’S PERMIT 

If you are at least 15 1/2 years old, you may go to the DMV and take the written test. The test is 46 multiple choice questions, and you can miss 8 and still pass. An appointment is not required to take the written test, but if you prefer to have one, call the DMV at 800.777.0133, or schedule online at dmv.ca.gov.

FOR THE DMV WRITTEN TEST, YOU MUST PROVIDE:

  • $32.00 application fee.
  • California Drivers’ License Application Form (DL44). You can get this form at Roadrunner Driving School, or at any DMV office.
  • Birth Certificate or Certified Copy. The DMV will not accept photocopies or hospital issued birth announcements. If you were born in Sonoma County and cannot find your birth certificate, call the County Recorder at 707.565.2645. If you were born in another country, you will need to provide appropriate documentation to show you are a legal resident of the U.S.
  • Social Security Number. The card is not required, just the number written on the DL44.
  • Driver Education Completion Certificate (blue for class room or pink for online)

CALL 546-3238 TO SCHEDULE YOUR FIRST DRIVING LESSON.

State law requires that drivers license applicants under the age of 18 have at least 6 hours of Driver Training with a DMV certified instructor.  (Three 2 hour sessions)

PRACTICE DRIVING BETWEEN LESSONS

You must practice driving between lessons with a California licensed driver over the age of 25 years. This person must be seated next to you, awake and not under the influence of drugs and or alcohol. Practice must include no less than 50 hours of drive time, including 10 hours at night. Keep a written log of your driving hours. Note the date, drive time, and type of driving done, such as, downtown, rural, freeway, rain, fog, night time.

Do not just drive to school and back and in familiar areas over and over again. New drivers need exposure to new situations to help them develop their visual search pattern, timing and judgment, and ability to anticipate other roadway users. Driving takes practice, just like math,sports, music, art or any other skill. The 50 hours practice are crucial for new drivers to develop their ability to drive safely. After your third driving lesson, you will receive a  Driver Training Completion Certificate (gold).  (There is a reissue fee if you lose a certificate.) 

4. DRIVER’S LICENSE

When you have completed six hours of Driver Trainng and at least 50 hours of practice,  have had your permit for at least 6 months and you are at least 16 years old, you are eligible to take the DMV driving test. You may schedule the test up to 45 days prior to the date you want to test.

FOR THE DMV DRIVING TEST YOU MUST PROVIDE:

  • Your Permit – second page signed by instructor and parent/guardian
  • Driver Training Completion Certificate (gold)
  • Proof of Insurance for the car being used for the driving test
  • Current Registration for the car being used for the test

May I take Driver Education before I reach the age of 15 1/2?

Yes, but you will be covering a lot of material during this course. Most students prefer to take the class close to when they take the DMV written exam, so the information is fresh in their mind. At the end of class, you will keep your study materials and books, so you will be able to review.

I’m 17 1/2 years old. Do I have to take Driver Education and Driver Training?

No. You don’t have to take Driver Ed or Driver Training to get your permit, but you will not be able to get your Driver License until you are 18 years old. You must pass the written test at the DMV and you must practice driving at least 50 hours including 10 at night. Your insurance company may offer a discount if you voluntarily complete Driver Ed and Driver Training. Insurance companies know that professional driving instruction combined with 50 hours of supervised practice reduces the crash, injury and death rate of newly licensed drivers and other roadway users.

My first driving lesson is today after school and it just started raining. Will I still have a lesson?

Of course! Lucky you. Learning to drive in the rain may seem scary, but what a great opportunity to develop your skills and confidence. Your instructor is there to teach, guide and reassure you. Remember, instructors have a brake on their side to assist the learning driver. Safety of the student and other roadway users is a tremendous responsibility and an inherent part of the instructor’s job. Conscientious and professional driving instructors are keenly aware that their careers, their reputation, and the reputation of the school they represent depends on their ability to avoid crashes and traumatic situations that could be a huge setback for a learning driver. In light or heavy traffic, rain or shine, night or day, anything can happen. Anything that occurs during a driving lesson can become part of the learning experience.

What if I’m worried I won’t be able to pass the DMV behind-the-wheel test?

If taking the DMV drive test has you in knots, maybe you’re not quite ready to get a license and drive unsupervised. Do not schedule your drive test until you have the skill and confidence to change lanes and merge in slow or busy conditions, back your car safely, determine right of way in any situation (ex: at stop controlled intersections, uncontrolled intersections, turning right on red, left against solid green, merging, entering traffic from a side street dealing with road hazards). You should be able to do these things even in areas you’ve never driven before. Think it over. Do you have the necessary skill to prevent causing a crash, or to recognize and avoid an unsafe situation caused by another roadway user?

You may say, “I’m only going to drive to school and home until the end of the year.” You are most likely to crash in areas you drive the most.

A collision will cost a lot more than an extra driving lesson, renewing your permit, or a few more hours of practice. Take more time to develop your skills and confidence.

Our driving instructors assess your abilities and help you with skills that need improvement during each lesson, but six hours is not enough time to qualify any new driver to drive alone. Use the log we provide to write down the hours you practice driving with you parent and the type of skills practiced. This will help you track your progress.

**Passing the DMV Drive Evaluation does not prove that you have all the necessary skills and experience to be a safe driver. It means you demonstrated the most remedial level of skill accepted by the state of California to attain a driver’s license. You will not have to drive on the freeway, parallel park or complete a three point turn during the test.

The efforts of this driving school, parents, and the DMV are worthless if you pass the DMV driving test and then make poor choices when you drive unsupervised. Honor the privilege you’ve earned. Set a goal to be the best driver you can. Be proud every day you drive safely and courteously.
(A future employer may request a copy of your DMV record as part of the hiring process. Your DMV record reflects if you’ve been responsible in the past.)

If you feel more nervous than enthusiastic about learning to drive, don’t worry. We’re here to help you develop your skills and confidence. We want Roadrunner students to feel as comfortable as possible even when they make mistakes and have questions to ask. We look forward to working with you.