Passing Your Written Driver's Permit Test in San Francisco

Before you can get a driver's permit in San Francisco, you'll have to pass a knowledge test that shows your understanding of driving laws in California. There are two different formats for the California written permit test.

Depending on your age, you'll answer 36 or 46 true/false or multiple-choice questions when you take the written permit test in San Francisco. Passing the written permit test is one of the requirements for getting a California learner's permit. The written permit test is the same for residents of San Francisco as it is for everyone else living in California.

How Many Questions Are on the San Francisco Written Permit Test?

If you are over 18, your written permit test has 36 questions and you must get 30 correct to pass. If you are under 18, your written permit test has 46 questions and you must get 38 correct to pass. All of the information you need to pass the test is in the California Driver Handbook.

What Is on the San Francisco Written Permit Test?

While the California learner's permit test is only 36 or 46 questions, it covers a wide range of content. You'll be quizzed on your knowledge of:

  • California-specific driving laws

  • Traffic signs in California

  • The rules of the road

If you're nervous about what to expect, you can check out some sample driver's license knowledge tests to help you prepare.

What to do Before You Take the Written Permit Test in San Francisco

While you can take care of certain things online through the California DMV, you'll have to take your learner's permit written test in person. Make an appointment with the California DMV office nearest to your home. San Francisco has several nearby DMV field office locations:

  • 1377 Fell Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

  • 1500 Sullivan Avenue, Daly City, CA 94015

  • 5300 Claremont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94618

  • 6400 Manila Avenue, El Cerrito, CA 94530

If you are a minor, you must have a parent or legal guardian with you to help complete the application. You'll also have to bring them with you to take your written permit test.

What to Bring With You for the Written Permit Test in San Francisco

When you visit the California DMV in San Francisco, bring your birth certificate, passport, or an acceptable residency document. Applicants between the ages of 15.5 and 17.5 must also show that they've either completed driver education or are enrolled in an approved driver education and driver training program. Luckily, offers a great online driver's ed program you can take from the comfort of your own home!

There's a $38 application fee that you can pay when you go to your appointment at the DMV. 

How to Practice for the California Written Permit Test

You'll need to get at least 83% of the questions right to pass and get your instructional permit. One way to increase your chances of passing the California written permit test is to practice using questions similar to the ones that will be on the test. With an online permit test practice site, you can use any mobile device or a computer to study. Practice tests can help you understand what type of questions to expect on the written test at the DMV so you can pass on your first try. 

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