As an instructor, I notice people are confused about this most of the time. The difference between a DMV Examiner and a Driving Instructor is that one is a teacher and one is the tester. I often pick up a nervous student who is terrified of “failing” their driving lessons, thinking they will be graded, or reprimanded for not knowing how to drive. Driving lessons are for practice, tests are for skill. With practice comes mistakes… It’s okay!
A DMV Examiner is employed by the DMV, and administers the behind-the-wheel drive test. (among other things) They expect that you already have had practice and are prepared for the test. You should not need ask them questions such as; Is it my turn? Should I go? Where do I stop? Is it clear? ect… You should, by then be able to figure it out yourself, SAFELY! If you can’t, then you are not ready for your license. Determining this is their job.
A Driving Instructor is employed by the driving school, and is licensed by the DMV to teach people with instruction permits how to drive according to the standards set by the DMV, what I like to call “DMV style” driving. This is not how most people drive. Driving Instructors expect that you won’t have much or any experience behind-the-wheel. We expect you to ask questions. You should expect your instructor to explain things without making you feel stupid. That is our job.
If you think DMV Examiners have it easy, think again… When I pick up a student I take them to a quiet area, where we switch seats and start off slow. We are in my car, that is in tip-top condition, has lots of mirrors and dual controls. I am totally at ease! An examiner has to get in any old hoopty, with a total stranger, and start out on the open road!! Ahhhhhh!
So, when you think about it, being a Driving Instructor isn’t all that scary! Driving lessons are fun….We’ll teach you to drive happy and safe.