To bring my file up-to-date, one of the things I had to do is take a behind-the-wheel "Vision Driving Test". I could find virtually no information online about what a California DMV Vision Driving Test covers, so I decided to create this post to assist others.First, from the little I could find online it appeared that a Vision Driving Test would be limited to ensuring I could see properly. Fair enough, makes sense. After taking the test, I can tell you that it appears to cover everything that a normal driving test covers - so be prepared! For those of you that find yourself in my shoes - suddenly taking a behind-the-wheel test after decades of driving - this post is a crash course in preparing for that test.
Also, "speed" is very vague. It means going 10 MPH over the speed limit -OR- 10 MPH under the speed limit is an automatic failure. If not marked, the default speed limit is 25 MPH.
First, they'll check your car to ensure it passes their checklist. Then the evaluator will get in your car and ask if you have any questions. Then the actual driving begins. They'll evaluate how you drive in the parking lot, in a residential area, in a business district, and on a freeway. You can opt out of freeway driving, but I would imagine that will result in a restriction on your license.
Carefully watch the speed limit each time you turn onto a new street, come to complete stops BEHIND the limit line, signal/check mirrors/look over the shoulder (in that order) for each lane change, and you should be just fine.
Another area to look out for: when to look over your shoulder. The videos are pretty clear as to the situations where it is necessary, but to be doubly sure I checked over my shoulder for every lane change and turn.
Finally, in preparing for this test, some driving rules I had either forgotten or never knew:
- When turning right, you must pull over as close to the curb as possible before making the turn. I lost points for not doing this. This is true even if there is a bike lane.
- If there is a right turn red arrow, you CANNOT turn right on red, even if there is no "No Right Turn On Red" sign. I was not aware of this.
- When turning left, it is legal to pull into the intersection and wait for oncoming traffic to clear, even this means you will be eventually turning left on a yellow. I had thought that the car must remain behind the limit line until traffic was clear, but this is not the case.