Passing the driving test is an important milestone for anyone looking to get their driver’s license in California.

If you’re wondering how many wrong answers you can have on the driving test in California, the answer is not straightforward.

Here’s what you need to know about the California driving test and how many mistakes you can make:

The California Driving Test

The California driving test is a requirement to obtain a driver’s license in the state. It is designed to assess the knowledge, skills, and abilities of individuals when it comes to operating a motor vehicle. The driving test is administered by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and is divided into two parts: a written test and a practical test.

What Does the Driving Test Include?

The written test consists of 46 multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as traffic laws, signs, and rules of the road. To pass the written test, you must answer at least 38 questions correctly, which is an 83% passing score.

The practical test, also known as the driving test, is designed to assess your driving skills. It includes a pre-drive check of your vehicle, a test of your basic driving skills, and a test of your ability to safely navigate traffic. During the driving test, you will be evaluated on your ability to obey traffic signals and signs, use proper turning and passing techniques, and safely merge into traffic.

How is the Driving Test Scored?

The driving test is scored on a point system. You can accumulate up to 15 points during the test before you fail. Points are deducted for each mistake you make, such as failing to check your mirrors or not using your turn signal. The number of points deducted depends on the severity of the mistake. For example, failing to stop at a stop sign is an automatic failure of the test and results in a deduction of 5 points.

To pass the driving test, you must receive a score of 75% or higher. This means that you can accumulate no more than 6 points during the test. If you accumulate 7 or more points, you will fail the test.

It’s important to note that even if you make a mistake during the test, you can still pass as long as the mistake is not serious enough to result in an automatic failure or the accumulation of too many points. So, don’t worry if you make a small mistake, just stay calm and focused, and do your best to pass the test.

If you’re looking for more information on the California driving test, you can visit the California DMV website at

How Many Mistakes Can You Make on the California Driving Test?

The California Driving Test is a critical step towards obtaining a driver’s license. It evaluates your knowledge of traffic laws, your ability to control the vehicle, and your awareness of the road. As a result, it’s essential to understand how many mistakes you can make on the test.

The total number of mistakes allowed on the California Driving Test is 15. However, not all mistakes carry the same weight. Some errors are considered more serious than others and can lead to an automatic failure.

The types of mistakes that can lead to an automatic failure

While 15 mistakes might seem like a lot, it’s important to note that some mistakes can lead to an automatic failure. These include:

  • Running a red light or stop sign
  • Causing an accident
  • Driving too fast or too slow
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Refusing to follow the examiner’s instructions

It’s crucial to avoid these mistakes at all costs, as they will result in an immediate failure of the driving test.

Tips to avoid making mistakes on the driving test

Here are some tips to help you avoid making mistakes on the California Driving Test:

  • Practice, practice, practice: The more you practice, the more comfortable and confident you’ll feel behind the wheel.
  • Focus on the road: Pay close attention to the road and traffic around you, and avoid distractions like your phone or the radio.
  • Obey traffic laws: Follow all traffic laws, including speed limits, traffic signals, and road signs.
  • Communicate effectively: Use your turn signals, check your blind spots, and communicate with other drivers on the road.
  • Stay calm: Don’t let nerves or anxiety get the best of you. Take deep breaths and stay focused on the task at hand.

By following these tips and taking the driving test seriously, you’ll be well on your way to passing the California Driving Test and obtaining your driver’s license.

Preparing for the Driving Test in California

Passing the California driving test may seem daunting, but with the right preparation, you can increase your chances of success. Here are three tips to help you prepare:

  • Taking a driving course: Enrolling in a driving course can help you learn the rules of the road and gain the skills you need to pass the driving test. Many courses are available online or in-person, and some may offer behind-the-wheel training as well.
  • Practicing with a licensed driver: Before taking the test, it’s important to practice driving with a licensed driver who can provide guidance and feedback. Make sure to practice driving in a variety of conditions, such as different weather and traffic situations.
  • Familiarizing yourself with the California Driver Handbook: The California Driver Handbook contains all the information you need to know for the driving test. Make sure to review the handbook thoroughly and take practice tests to gauge your understanding.

Remember, the key to passing the driving test is to be prepared and confident. By taking a driving course, practicing with a licensed driver, and studying the California Driver Handbook, you’ll be well on your way to earning your driver’s license.

What Happens If You Fail the Driving Test?

If you fail the California driving test, you are not alone. It is common to fail the first time, but it can be discouraging. Here’s what you need to know if you do fail the test:

  • How soon can you retake the test? You can retake the test as soon as the next day, but you must make a new appointment and pay the fee again.
  • What do you need to do to retake the test? You will need to make a new appointment with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and pay the fee again. Make sure to review the California Driver Handbook and practice driving before retaking the test.
  • What should you do differently when retaking the test? Take note of what you struggled with during your first test and focus on improving in those areas. Practice driving in those areas to gain more confidence. Also, make sure to review the California Driver Handbook thoroughly to ensure you are familiar with all the rules and regulations.

Remember, failing the driving test is not the end of the world. Use it as a learning experience and take steps to improve so you can pass the next time around. Good luck!


Passing the driving test is a major accomplishment that requires preparation, practice, and focus.

In California, there is no set number of mistakes that you can make on the driving test and still pass.

However, by understanding the rules and guidelines, avoiding certain mistakes, and practicing with a licensed driver, you can increase your chances of passing the test on your first try.

If you do fail, don’t worry – you can retake the test after a certain period of time and try again.

By using the resources available to you and staying focused on your goal, you can pass the California driving test and start enjoying the freedom of the open road.

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