Taking a New Road; My Experience Getting My Learner’s Permit



Woman receiving her learner’s permit at the DMV.

Mylie Brown, Photojournalist

Getting your learner’s permit and driver’s license symbolizes freedom and independence to many teenagers around the United States. As a young driver with a learner’s permit, I know just how vigorous the process of obtaining that permit is. Thus, I want to share my acquired advice with others who are beginning the process of embarking on the roads.

The first part of the process is to complete a driver’s Ed course. I took the course through MyCaliforniaPermit.com, which was very simple and manageable. I paid a lot of attention while taking the lessons and reading articles about the rules of the road, which helped me as I began driving. However, the information I read about in Drivers Ed could have been more helpful when taking my permit test, which caused me to fail the first time. 

Pay attention while completing your driver’s ed course. Although it did not serve as the most helpful resource when taking my test, it has made me a much safer driver and helped me better understand the real world of driving. I spent a long time before my first attempt to take the permit test studying my driver’s ed, and although I was frustrated when I didn’t pass or feel prepared for my permit test, I did not regret what I learned and was glad I was so familiar with what was on the course.

Going into my second attempt at taking my permit test, I knew I needed to change my study habit. This was when I realized it was a brilliant idea to reach out to my friends who have taken and passed the test and how they studied (it took me long enough to think of that one). Once I asked, most of my friends replied that they retook the practice tests on the DMV website, which has the exact questions on the test.

So, that’s what I did. I retook the DMV quizzes repeatedly and almost memorized every single one. I also looked up Quizlets titled “California DMV Permit Test Questions” and studied those. The Quizlets made me feel confident in my ability to pass since you have to flip the card to see the answer, and it isn’t just multiple choice. When I flipped the card and got the answer right, I felt confident I would pass, which helped relieve my nerves the next day.

My biggest tip to anyone trying to get their permit is to study the questions and try hard on your test to start driving sooner.

— Casey Cho (10)

Casey Cho (10) recently passed her permit test and shared what she believes is the most helpful tip she can give someone about taking their test. Casey said, “My biggest tip to anyone trying to get their permit is to study the questions and try hard on your test to start driving sooner.”

Overall, getting your learner’s permit is scary and a process that provides trial and error. However, test failure does not have to be a failure but rather a redirection. If I had passed my test the first time, I wouldn’t have been half as prepared to sit behind the wheel and be responsible for other people’s lives. My first failure made me a much better and more knowledgeable driver, and I am honestly glad it happened. Becoming a driver is more than just taking a photo to be put on your license (which will occur before your permit test, so look your best!) and passing the test; the journey is about learning and growing up. So, embrace the long process and hold on to the memories of the adolescent experiences; you only grow up once!