They can easily ignore important details, forget about time limits and make critical mistakes while completing forms. Thus, don’t rely on your kid, assuming he or she is old and smart enough to cope with the paperwork in preparation for their DMV permit test – sometimes, they just don’t care since they got used to relying on you! Give a helping hand by doing your part of the research:
- Visit your local DMV website and learn all the requirements regarding minors. DMV sites usually have a special section describing requirements and procedures for applicants under 18.
- Arrange a list of documents to collect and steps to be taken in order for your kid to be allowed to take the learner’s permit test.
- Divide the work. Yes, you should guide your kid, but excessive guidance will do no good. Make sure your children know their share of the work to be done, and don’t saddle yourself with the tasks assigned to them. Just track their progress and remind them when they miss something.
- Do your share of the work! There are some tasks that can be fulfilled only by you. For example, you need to sign papers and give your parental consent to your kid applying for a driver’s license and undergoing the DMV written test. Do bother to sign all the documents timely and in accordance with the requirements. Besides, there are some less obvious tasks for you, too. Note that in many states, enrollment in some kind of driving course is a must for teens. Are you certain that your kid’s driving school is state approved? Have you checked whether your kid’s instructor has an appropriate identification card? Teens will hardly bother about such things, so they are up to you.
- Tick off your plan items as documents are collected, and requirements are fulfilled. Track your progress carefully to make sure you don’t miss anything important. Make the focus on age limits and requirements since many states have rather complicated GDL programs.
- Go to a DMV office only when you are sure that you can provide all required documents. If you have some doubts, don’t hesitate to call and ask a DMV official in order to clear up each question. Finally, don’t forget that many DMV offices require making an appointment before visiting the office and taking the exam!
Learn and Practice the Permit Test Together
Teens often show their irresponsibility when it comes to learning DMV manuals and practicing the driver’s license test. Some of them really believe that they can just look through the driver’s manual on the eve of the DMV permit exam and then pass the testing on the first try. You are hardly so light-minded, and you can make your kids take it seriously. All the more so, as you accept financial responsibility for your children when giving your parental consent – do you remember about this? Not to mention that any good parent has to care about his children’s safety, don’t you agree? Obviously, you have even stronger incentives to make sure your child knows traffic rules and safe driving practices than any DMV has. So, help your kid learn and practice the permit test by encouraging him or her through your personal engagement.
- Start with downloading your local state Driver’s Manual from an official DMV site. You can also find it on Driver-Start.com, providing the current manuals and handbooks for each state.
- Read it by yourself. Yes, you are an experienced driver and all that, but in fact, you need to recollect how traffic rules are formulated and what they say exactly since this is the way your kid will answer exam questions. Besides, this is a kind of a way for you to practice knowledge tests, as you should be ready to help your child by explaining the rules, questions, answers, and their practical application.
- Convince your kid to work with the manual in a proper manner. Let him or her go through the manual just to get familiar with it and then offer to learn the information section by section with a pen in the hand, taking helpful notes and even making cards (this can be fun and a kind of pastime for the whole family). Note that active learning always shows better results than passive cramming. Discuss the rules and traffic situations, provide examples when driving with your kids in a car and practice the driving license exam by asking corresponding questions. Important: be ready that your kids may start criticizing your way of driving. Don’t snap at them, and don’t brush off issues. Instead, encourage their criticism, as this will work both for you and your kids: they will feel motivated, and you will refrain from violating traffic rules or unsafe driving.
- Advise your kid to find a learner's permit practice test on the Internet and to practice taking the exam. You can take advantage of a useful DMV permit practice test on Driver-Start.com, helping in both learning and training. It is much more effective to use online tools offering multiple options of training like flashcards, a list of questions, mock tests, and so on. You should also pay attention to the up-to-dateness of a chosen learner’s permit practice test since, from time to time, states traffic rules and driver’s manuals are updated. It is better to compare several online resources to choose the most effective, convenient, and current option. By taking an online practice test, your kid will be able to learn real exam questions and get comfortable with the exam format. Besides, a learner’s permit practice test is useful for revealing gaps in one’s knowledge, giving some time to get really prepared prior to the actual exam in a DMV office. To make training more exciting, arrange a kind of challenge: who will score more correct answers – you or your kid? This can be fun, and, maybe, your driving skills will become even stronger thanks to the game. Make sure that your child will train until he or she scores the necessary number of correct answers.
Accompany Your Kid to the DMV Permit Test and Offer Your Support
Taking a permit test is rather stressful even for adults, and your kids will surely need your support, not to mention the fact that in some states, it is required to have a legal guardian present when an application for a driver’s license is submitted by a minor (check this with your local DMV). Anyway, it will be a nice idea to accompany your kid to the exam, in case you have such an opportunity and your offspring doesn’t mind. You can offer your help in submitting documents to a DMV office – this is a good excuse if you feel your child is embarrassed by you accompanying him. Do ask whether your kids want you to come with them, and don’t push too hard if they don’t. It is sometimes better just to wish them good luck and allow doing things their way rather than making stress harder by insisting. If your offspring prefers going to the DMV permit test all alone or with some friends, you can still support him in many ways.
- Make sure your child has a good rest on the eve of the exam. You know that with all those mobile phones and other gadgets, they stay awake until midnight and then look like a tired butterfly. Lack of sleep is not the best thing when you need to take exams – deliver this obvious fact to your kid.
- No sedatives or, conversely, energy drinks! You think that goes without saying, don’t you? But teens can’t boast much logic, and they often listen to their friends giving them "smart advice". Just explain how those pills and drinks affect the nervous system to disillusion your children.
- Help your children feel well through healthy food: make sure they have a good snack before going to the exam. They may say that they are not hungry at all, but you shouldn’t fall for this. However, don’t try to stuff them with food either, since their body will be too busy digesting it instead of supplying the brain with blood and oxygen. Offer some easily digested high-carbon foods and give a bottle of water to drink enough liquid.
- One more thing to remember before going to a DMV office – no cheating. You’d better discuss this at home or even take your kid’s mobile phone from him in a DMV office since once I witnessed a DMV officer banish a teenager from the exam because of cheating with a phone.
- Discuss possible failures. Yes, your kid can fail the exam on the first try no matter how hard you both studied. In spite of your effort to comfort your offspring, he may become too nervous during the exam, or he may not be quite prepared. The fact is that more than a third of applicants fail the DMV exam for a variety of reasons. Deliver this fact to your kid and show him that you are not going to despise him because of the failure. There is no reason to make a mountain out of a molehill since your kid can retake the exam several times without paying additional fees or collecting documents once again. Thus, just discuss your steps in case of failure, but don’t put much emphasis on this since your kid may think you don’t believe in him.
- Check all documents prior to going to a DMV office. It will be a real shame if your child won’t be able to take the test just because he left a piece of paper at home. Be helpful, as your kid can be too nervous to think about such details.
I think these tips will help you and your children get through the DMV written exam as easily as possible. Much depends on how seriously your child takes the exams in DMV. A driving license is a privilege, do you remember? If your offspring doesn’t understand this and refuses to get prepared properly, perhaps, he or she is not ready to take on this responsibility yet. In this case, you shouldn’t take it for him, and you shouldn’t sign his application - this will be safer for your child, for other people, and for you personally. But if you are both really ready, I wish you good luck!