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The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

DMV offers online platform for driver’s knowledge exam

Image used with permission from the DMV
Customers gather at their local Department of Motor Vehicles field office to take their driver’s knowledge test on a touch screen device June 2015.

Students 18 and above can now take the Department of Motor Vehicles [DMV] permit exam from the comfort of their home online instead of the traditional in-person option in which test-takers have to endure long lines and crowded rooms.

“The DMV is modernizing to add more convenient services online that used to be only available in an office,” DMV public information officer Chris Orrock said in an email interview. “The DMV continues to incorporate new innovative ways to bring our services to customers when and where they want.”

Besides the age requirement, those who prefer the online option must be California residents, Orrock said.

“Customers are allowed two test attempts online; the third attempt must be completed in a DMV office,” Orrock said. “Upon a successful test completion, a DMV office visit will still be required to complete their application [to get their permit].”

After confirming their payment for the required $39 application fee on the DMV’s website,, test-takers must verify their identity and agree to be monitored throughout the test before beginning their knowledge exam.

The DMV hosts the testing with a program called MVProctor, a remotely proctored exam taken on a webcam-enabled computer or laptop. It is available to Californians upon completion of their online driver’s license application with hours available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., excluding state holidays.

To prevent cheating, Orrock said the DMV has established the following procedures that test-takers must follow:

  • submit a photo
  • download a browser extension
  • agree to have computer screen monitored
  • agree to have testing session recorded
  • agree to have video, sound and keyboard entries recorded

Both online and in-person test takers must visit a DMV office to confirm their application and receive a licensing document a business day after passing their knowledge test with a score of 80% or higher.

Since its inception in October 2021, Orrock said the feedback has been positive, though he has no data as to how many have chosen the online test option.

“Customers are happy to now have the option to complete their required testing remotely and during a time that works for them,” he said.

Accolade artist senior DaHee Kim, who turned 18 earlier this year in April, is among the few who took advantage of the DMV’s alternative to in-person permit tests.

“I felt a lot at ease taking the permit test remotely because I didn’t have someone watching me,” said Kim, who passed on the first try. “I would definitely recommend it for those who can take it because it’s nice to not have someone scrutinizing your every move.” 

Others like senior Jaden Han regret not being aware of this new option sooner.

“If I knew there was an online option, I would’ve taken it,” said Han, who turned 18 three weeks before he took his permit test in July. 

The senior said he ended up going to the DMV in Fullerton an hour before it closed, and so he was told after waiting about an hour that he’d have to come back two days later to take the permit test.

“The whole DMV process was so annoying that like, if there is a way to skip all of that and just do it at home, I would have done that for sure,” he said.

Besides dealing with the crowd at the DMV, test-takers are usually directed to a small room, where they have to wait in line again for an open cubicle. Once there, they stand in front of a computer screen to tap their answers to each question and will find out their results upon completing the last question.

That’s the experience that junior Remy Garcia-Kakebeen had when she took and passed the permit test in person at the DMV over the summer.

Even though Garcia-Kakebeen was not old enough at the time and was unaware of the online option for those 18 and older, she said she would prefer to stick with in-person tests.  

“I’d rather take the test in person instead of online because then I don’t have to worry about ‘not seeming suspicious’ while taking the test online if I just go to the DMV and take the test there,” she said.

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Nathan Lee, Assistant Entertainment Editor
After serving his first year part of The Accolade as a staff reporter, junior Nathan Lee is now spending his second year as an assistant arts & entertainment editor. Lee plans to use the experience gained during his first year to contribute to a wide variety of eye-catching articles. Outside of The Accolade, Lee plays for the boys tennis team and enjoys playing various sports.
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