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-   -   4-6 week wait to get appointment at DMV.. (https://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-57/4-6-week-wait-get-appointment-dmv-879305/)

malch Jun 25th 2016 10:17 pm

Re: 4-6 week wait to get appointment at DMV..
 

Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 11984485)
So you learned to stop at STOP signs and at red lights, and ..... ???? :unsure:

IMO if you have a British licence and learned anything substantial from a US instructor, then you probably shouldn't have been on the road in the UK.

Someone else here on BE noted recently, that the only criteria appeared to be not killing someone during your road test. :rolleyes:

Well, I'd only had a little over 2,000,000 miles of driving experience in the UK and Europe at that point (with only one accident -- I was rear-ended while stationery at an intersection). Completed a few advanced and defensive driving classes too. That's more than most people drive in a lifetime. So I think I knew how to drive and safely :rolleyes: :-)

And I absolutely found the 1 hour lesson helpful immediately before the CA driving test. The instructor took me around all of the DMV routes pointing out the speed limits (not all would be immediately obvious to someone unfamiliar with those streets) as well as the blind intersections (slow to 15 and look both ways). When stopping in traffic leave a gap such that the rear tires of the car in front are visible (most London drivers would stop a LOT closer). And more.

The CA test is easier than the UK test (was) but I imagine it's harder than the test in some other states.

johnwoo Jun 26th 2016 4:21 am

Re: 4-6 week wait to get appointment at DMV..
 

Originally Posted by dbr84 (Post 11981036)
.. San Francisco/Oakland area.

Any tips/ways around this? I've tried various offices in the area and they all have crazy delays before I can book an appointment :(

From reading the DMV site, an appointment is required to apply for my license. It looks like they won't accept walk-ins for this?

I've found Walnut Creek seems to have the shortest wait times in the East Bay.

Steerpike Jun 26th 2016 6:16 pm

Re: 4-6 week wait to get appointment at DMV..
 

Originally Posted by dbr84 (Post 11981859)
drove down to San Jose, waited about an hour then got my test and permit passed. Cool.

Now to book the behind the wheel.. ;-)


I was going to advise the same - wait times in SF are crazy; pop out to the suburbs and life is good! I think I got my first appointment in Redwood City. Also, you are less likely to be murdered in the burbs ... the DMV in SF is located in, shall we say, an 'interesting' neighborhood!


Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 11984485)
So you learned to stop at STOP signs and at red lights, and ..... ???? :unsure:

IMO if you have a British licence and learned anything substantial from a US instructor, then you probably shouldn't have been on the road in the UK.

Someone else here on BE noted recently, that the only criteria appeared to be not killing someone during your road test. :rolleyes:


This attitude is completely misguided. YES, the test in UK is far, far more difficult, and YES, the standard of driving in UK is far, far better than in the US. So common sense says, any UK driver is not going to have a difficult time DRIVING in the US. But passing the test is not the same as being a good driver. In the written test, there are all manner of stupid questions about minimum stopping distances, etc. I instinctively know when / how to stop safely, but can I tell you the actual number of feet it takes to stop when travelling at 55mph? No. Also, if you were to apply your handbrake at every stop, UK style, they'll probably fail you, and if you look in the rearview mirror with the passion you are expected to exhibit in UK, they'll probably assume you are checking you makeup and fail you.


I passed my CA written test back in the 80s without issue but about 10 years ago I had to retake, and failed the first time round because I assumed it was going to be easy. I failed on those detail-oriented numerical questions. Here are some real examples from the CA test, which I will happily admit I don't know the answer to:



You are approaching a railroad crossing with no warning devices and are unable to see 400 feet down the tracks in one direction. The speed limit is:


15 mph.
20 mph.
25 mph.
========================
To avoid last minute moves, you should be looking down the road to where your vehicle will be in about ______________.


5 to 10 seconds
10 to 15 seconds
15 to 20 seconds
========================
You are about to make a left turn. You must signal continuously during the last ____ feet before the turn.


50
75
100
========================
Unless otherwise posted the speed limit in a residential area is ____.


20 mph
25 mph
30 mph
========================
With a Class C drivers license a person may drive:


A 3-axle vehicle if the Gross Vehicle Weight is less than 6,000 pounds.
Any 3-axle vehicle regardless of the weight.
A vehicle pulling two trailers
====================
If you are involved in a traffic collision, you are required to complete and submit a written report (SR1) to the DMV:


Only if you or the other driver is injured.
If there is property damage in excess of $750 or if there are any injuries.
Only if you are at fault.
=======================
Roadways are the most slippery:


During a heavy downpour.
After it has been raining for awhile.
The first rain after a dry spell.
============================
It is illegal to park your vehicle:


In an unmarked crosswalk.
Within three feet of a private driveway.
In a bicycle lane.



In my case, I answered every 'unknown' question with the 'safest possible' answer, and the lady acknowledged that, and asked me 5 additional questions so I could pass ... she said you are obviously a cautious driver so I don't want to fail you ... :)


Originally Posted by malch (Post 11984617)
Well, I'd only had a little over 2,000,000 miles of driving experience in the UK and Europe at that point (with only one accident -- I was rear-ended while stationery at an intersection). Completed a few advanced and defensive driving classes too. That's more than most people drive in a lifetime. So I think I knew how to drive and safely :rolleyes: :-)

And I absolutely found the 1 hour lesson helpful immediately before the CA driving test. The instructor took me around all of the DMV routes pointing out the speed limits (not all would be immediately obvious to someone unfamiliar with those streets) as well as the blind intersections (slow to 15 and look both ways). When stopping in traffic leave a gap such that the rear tires of the car in front are visible (most London drivers would stop a LOT closer). And more.

The CA test is easier than the UK test (was) but I imagine it's harder than the test in some other states.


Precisely.

Pulaski Jun 26th 2016 10:17 pm

Re: 4-6 week wait to get appointment at DMV..
 

Originally Posted by Steerpike (Post 11985519)
..... This attitude is completely misguided. YES, the test in UK is far, far more difficult, and YES, the standard of driving in UK is far, far better than in the US. So common sense says, any UK driver is not going to have a difficult time DRIVING in the US. But passing the test is not the same as being a good driver. In the written test, there are all manner of stupid questions about minimum stopping distances, etc. I instinctively know when / how to stop safely, but can I tell you the actual number of feet it takes to stop when travelling at 55mph? No. Also, if you were to apply your handbrake at every stop, UK style, they'll probably fail you, and if you look in the rearview mirror with the passion you are expected to exhibit in UK, they'll probably assume you are checking you makeup and fail you.

I passed my CA written test back in the 80s without issue but about 10 years ago I had to retake, and failed the first time round because I assumed it was going to be easy. I failed on those detail-oriented numerical questions. Here are some real examples from the CA test, which I will happily admit I don't know the answer to:

In my case, I answered every 'unknown' question with the 'safest possible' answer, and the lady acknowledged that, and asked me 5 additional questions so I could pass ... she said you are obviously a cautious driver so I don't want to fail you ....

Written test - I entirely agree, (which is not what you take an hour's pre-test lesson for, which is what Malch said, and what I was specifically responding to). .... But the road test, not so much. Though it sounds like the CA road test might be a little tougher than the joke that most of us took. .... As far as I know whether or not I looked in my mirror was a consideration when I took my test in NY.


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