Bottom Line: Immigrant Drivers Need To Study

by Lisa on January 09, 2015

This week marks the first full week that noncitizens can apply for a California driver’s license. The California DMV released initial numbers on January 6 and pass rates are not looking good.

As of Tuesday, January 6:

  • Pass/Fail Statewide Average for English Tests: 54% Pass/46% Fail
  • Pass/Fail Statewide Average for Spanish Tests: 36% Pass/64% Fail

What should drivers be doing to study for the test?

1. Get the California Driver’s Handbook In Your Language

The manual for the drivers test is available directly from the CA DMV website in English, Spanish and many other languages. Click here for the English drivers handbook or click here for the driving manual in Spanish.

2. Take Sample Tests to Ensure You are Ready.

Sample tests are available for free on in English and Spanish. Additional study resources are also available directly from California’s DMV website.

3. Make an appointment to ease the stress of the day.

Follow common sense test preparation on the day of your test. Get plenty of rest, have a good breakfast or meal, and do what you need to do to be calm while taking the test. Plenty of studies have shown tired, hungry and nervous test takers do not perform as well as possible on tests.

What To Do If You Fail

If you do fail, California allows the test to be taken up to 3 times before requiring and additional fee.

Test takers are frustrated. Tony Lee wrote an article for where he interviewed one such test taker and covers what CA did to prepare for the upcoming wave of Spanish applicants. Click here for the complete article.

Many are concerned about the low pass rates. Cindy Carcamo of the LA Times reported, “Daisy Vieyra, a spokeswoman for a statewide coalition of immigrants’ rights advocates called Drive California, said there is room for improvement but also pointed out that California did much better than Nevada, which implemented a similar driver’s license program. There, an estimated 70% of applicants failed the written test in the first few days.”

Click here for the complete LA Times article.

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What Are You Studying For?