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Taking a California driver's test in a Model 3?

rpratt

Member
Jan 11, 2020
8
13
SF Bay Area
My son is taking his driving test tomorrow to convert his learner's permit into a real California driver's license. He has spent more time driving my Tesla M3 than my wife's Lexus, and is more comfortable with it, but we're not sure about the driver's test.

Does anyone have recent experience taking the California driver's test in a Tesla, ideally a model 3? How did the examiner handle things like the "set and release the parking brake" requirement, since the Model 3 doesn't have a traditional parking brake.

He's taking the test at the DMV in Walnut Creek, SF Bay Area, so I would think the examiners have seen a reasonable number of Tesla's already but you never know.

Thanks for any experiences you can share!
Bob
 

brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
7,693
6,224
Austin, TX
I'm curious too -but for Texas.

I've been teaching the kiddo to hold the park button for the emergency brake to play along w/ the script. Not sure about the start / stop / turn-off before getting out?

Also, I've heard some cover the backup camera. Not sure if they do that anymore? How would that work with the entire screen full of data?
 
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Need

Active Member
Nov 22, 2017
2,878
2,196
SoCal
I took my driving test in the 80's... Do you still need to "pretend" to adjust the mirrors before you start the car? If so, make sure your son knows how to do the side mirrors! Use the new voice command to impress. :D And the windshield wiper.. in case it rains! I am pretty sure you get points deducted if you take your eyes/hand off the steering wheel to press the screen while driving. So he will need to activate the wipers with voice or just keep pressing the left stalk button...
 
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TT97

Active Member
Aug 6, 2017
2,168
2,896
Los Angeles
I was assuming an actual foot or hand one. I know the tesla has automatic parking brake.

More and more cars now have electric parking brakes - I know my previous two cars both had them (Mercedes & Subaru). Foot or hand parking brakes are becoming less and less common. The DMV requirement is that it needs parking brake which, of course, Teslas have.
 

doghousePVD

My grandfather’s car
Dec 3, 2018
583
468
New England, USA
Park and Parking Brake are not the same on the Tesla.

As in most cars, putting in Park puts the transmission into park but does not engage the parking brake. Push the button and hold, the parking brake engages, a separate braking mechanism than putting in Park or pressing the foot pedal.

In theory, if you lose the regular brakes and regen is not enough, you can press and hold the parking brake to stop.
 
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SD_Engnr

Active Member
Mar 24, 2016
1,836
1,489
San Diego
Park and Parking Brake are not the same on the Tesla.

As in most cars, putting in Park puts the transmission into park but does not engage the parking brake. Push the button and hold, the parking brake engages, a separate braking mechanism than putting in Park or pressing the foot pedal.

In theory, if you lose the regular brakes and regen is not enough, you can press and hold the parking brake to stop.

Nah. When you press the park button on the stalk, and you hear the rear parking brake engage, it's in Park. It doesn't require holding the button. Source: page 50 and 63 of the owner's manual.
 

St☰v☰

Member
Aug 27, 2019
787
529
SoCal/Texas
Nah. When you press the park button on the stalk, and you hear the rear parking brake engage, it's in Park. It doesn't require holding the button. Source: page 50 and 63 of the owner's manual.

Interesting, so if you stop and open the driver's door, that action puts the car into park, does it also apply the parking brake?
 

SD_Engnr

Active Member
Mar 24, 2016
1,836
1,489
San Diego
Interesting, so if you stop and open the driver's door, that action puts the car into park, does it also apply the parking brake?

Yes. I've confirmed it by mistakenly thinking the car was parked, and then opening the door. No additional action is required, and no additional brake engages.
 

TT97

Active Member
Aug 6, 2017
2,168
2,896
Los Angeles
Yes. I've confirmed it by mistakenly thinking the car was parked, and then opening the door. No additional action is required, and no additional brake engages.

I had gotten in the poor habit of just opening the door to leave while still in gear (the warning message never bothered me) until I was driving my wife's ICE car and the car started rolling away as I opened the door and let go of the brake. I now make it a point to put my car in park before leaving (now I just have to remember to turn off the car and locking the doors when I drive her car).
 

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