Ask the DMV: Why can't I take driver test right away after failing it the first time?

By: George Valverde, Director of the California Department of Motor Vehicles
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Q: I took my behind the wheel driving test recently and failed. I immediately understood my error and asked if I could take the test again the same day. The examiner told me I couldn’t and said I would need to schedule another appointment. I am over 18 so why couldn’t I take another driving test on the same day? A: Driving tests are scheduled by appointment only, so offices can effectively manage their workload and resources. Additionally, this gives you more time to practice until your next appointment. Good luck on your next test. I am confident you will be successful. And don’t forget to make an appointment online at Q: I took my driver license picture a few weeks ago and just received it in the mail. The picture on my new license is extremely dark and every time I show my license to someone, there are doubts to whether or not it is authentic. Is there any way I can retake the picture without waiting for it to expire? A: If you are having trouble using your driver license for proper identification purposes, you may file for a duplicate license or ID card. To do this, you will need to complete application form (DL 44). The department does not provide the DL 44 or DL 44C online because original signatures are required on the form, and each DL 44 or DL 44C contains a unique barcode which must be scanned or keyed by the DMV employee. Make an appointment at to visit a DMV field office where you can pay the application fee, submit the application, give a thumb print and have your picture taken again. To ensure your identity is secure, the DMV will validate your photograph, social security number, and your personal information. You will be issued an interim license valid for 60 days until you receive your new photo license in the mail. This and more information can be accessed on the DMV Web site at Just click the Driver License tab, then Renewal, Duplicate, and Changes. Q: I recently saw a car that has a firefighter on the license plate. Can you tell me how you get these and what they mean? A: The plate that you saw is the California Firefighter License Plate and can only be issued to a vehicle currently owned and registered to an active or retired California Firefighter. The fees collected from Firefighter License Plates are deposited in the California Firefighters Memorial fund, which was created and sponsored by the California Professional Firefighters. Upon applying for the plates, you will be asked for proof of eligibility, which you can provide by presenting a fire department ID card, an IAFF membership card, or CFF Call Back Association membership card. George Valverde is the director of the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Do you have questions about general driving related requirements like registration or insurance? Are you unclear about laws and restrictions related to driving? The California DMV has answers at And now, you can submit any DMV-related questions at