Research Studies & Reports

DMV’s Research & Development Branch has been conducting research and producing studies and reports since the 1950s. Research & Development reports help DMV to measure the impact of new laws on making drivers safer. We also identify areas where we can improve our processes, explore new approaches to solving existing problems, and branch out into new opportunities to serve you better. 

Request printed copies of studies and reports by mail at:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Research and Development Branch
2570 24th Street, Mail Station: H-126
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 657-5805

Please include the report number, the number of copies requested, and your name, address, and phone number.

Report ID Title Section Links
60

The Effectiveness of an At-Home Drivers’ Licensing Law Test

By: David M. Harrington & Michael Ratz

To explore new approaches to testing which would cost less, be more convenient to the public, and reduce accidents and convictions.

II
61

The Effects of Administering Written Tests Stressing Knowledge of Safe Driving Principles to Renewal Driver’s License Applicants

By: David Carpenter

A new licensing test series stressing knowledge of safe driving principles and recent law changes was administered to a group of California driver's license renewal applicants. The primary purpose was to determine if the two series of test forms, testing knowledge of different types of information, differentially affected subjects' subsequent driving records when used in the California DMV knowledge testing program. A secondary objective was to determine the degree of relationship between test scores and driving performance.

II
62.1

An Evaluation of the California Drive Test in Theme and Variation. Volume I: Treatment Development and Preliminary Evaluation

By: Michael Ratz

To develop two modifications of the standard California drive test--the first to make the test more difficult, the second to make the test more comprehensive and more difficult. In addition, the relationships between scores on the standard and new, more comprehensive, test and biographical and driver record data were to be obtained.

II
62.2

An Evaluation of the California Drive Test in Theme and Variation. Volume II: Final Report

By: Michael Ratz

To determine if a longer, more "comprehensive" drive test, or the standard drive test with parallel parking and a higher fail rate, would improve the subsequent driving records of previously unlicensed applicants.

II
62

An Evaluation of the California Drive Test in Theme and Variation. Volume I: Treatment Development and Preliminary Evaluation

By: Michael Ratz

To develop two modifications of the standard California drive test--the first to make the test more difficult, the second to make the test more comprehensive and more difficult. In addition, the relationships between scores on the standard and new, more comprehensive, test and biographical and driver record data were to be obtained.

II
63

The Effects of Written Licensing Tests Stressing Knowledge of Safe Driving Principles for Intermediate Record Renewal Applicants

By: David Carpenter

To determine the comparative effects of a new, longer test, stressing knowledge of safe-driving principles, on subsequent driving record. The new tests were administered to renewal applicants who had moderate numbers of collisions and convictions on record, with a control group of comparable drivers receiving standard DMV law tests.

II
64.1

An Abstract of The Effects of a Traffic Safety Film or a Drive Test with Counseling Session for Renewal Drivers Licensing Applicants with Poor Prior Records

By: Michael Ratz

To determine if an expanded "safe driving" written knowledge test and a drive test with counseling or traffic safety film would improve the records of renewal applicants with poor three-year prior records.

II
64

The Effects of a Traffic Safety Film or a Drive Test with Counseling Session for Renewal Drivers Licensing Applicants with Poor Prior Records

By: Michael Ratz

To determine if an expanded "safe driving" written knowledge test and a drive test with counseling or traffic safety film would improve the records of renewal applicants with poor three-year prior records.

II
65

The Effects of Adding Safe Driving Content to Written Law Tests Administered to Original Drivers License Applicants

By: David Carpenter

A group of original California driver license applicants, composed of experienced (out-of-state) drivers and inexperienced (first-time) applicants, were administered new, expanded written licensing tests. Questions testing Vehicle Code knowledge and knowledge of non-codified safe driving principles were included in order to evaluate possible differential effects on subsequent driving record. The tests were also administered using different passing scores.

II
73.1

Executive Summary of Development of a Provisional Licensing Program for New California Drivers

By: David W. Carpenter, Bart F. Furtado, Keith H. Lindholm, & Lowell Gates

To examine the feasibility of provisional licensing procedures for new California drivers and to analyze potential program components.

II