how to get a license in CAlifornia

Under 18 years old

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18 years old and older

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STEPS TO RECEIVING A DRIVER’S LICENSE IN CALIFORNIA FOR PERSONS UNDER 18 YEARS OLD:

  STEP 1 - Complete an approved Driver Education course.  Click here for Driver Ed
STEP 2 - Take a written test at the DMV when you are at least 15 1/2 years old to obtain permit. 

 STEP 3 - Start driving lessons with an approved driving school, at least six hours are required. Click here for Behind the Wheel Lessons

 STEP 4 - Practice at least 50 hours with a California licensed driver aged 25 or older, 10 hours at night. 

 STEP 5 - Hold the instructional permit at least 6 months and be at least 16 years old.

  STEP 6 - Take a driving test at the DMV to receive a provisional driver’s license. 


STEP 1 - Complete an approved Driver Education course.This course may be taken online, or in a traditional classroom setting. After completing the course you will be issued a DMV tracked completion certificate. Unfortunately, these certificates are not available to print online, and must be mailed or hand delivered to you.
STEP 2 - Take a written test at the DMV when you are at least 15 1/2 years old to obtain permit.To take the written test you must first make an appointment for a written test at the DMV. Go to DMV.CA.GOV to make your appointment. When going to your appointment you will need to bring the following items with you:
*Proof of completion of classroom or online driver education. This will be a certificate issued to you upon completion of your driver education from the school you took the course from.

*Your birth certificate. It must be an official copy from the county where you were born, and contain the raised county seal. If you were born out of the country, you must bring your proof of legal residence if you have it.*Your social security card if you have one.*You must also bring two forms of proof of address, I.E. an electric bill, and gas bill etc. It is ok if these are in a parents or guardians name.*An application for a driver license. This is a DMV form # DL 44, and can be picked up on the counter of your local DMV office. It is a from in duplicate, so it cannot be downloaded from the internet. The form must be signed by ALL parents or guardians.*An application fee of $32 dollars for an original license. Checks and debit cards are ok, but no credit cards.*You will be required to take a vision test, so if you wear glasses/contacts you will need them.The written test is not that easy, so study. It consists of 46 multiple choice questions, and you must get at least 38 correct to pass. Study material for the test consists mainly of the current DMV driver handbook, but also your driver education online/classroom material, as well as practice test questions at the end of our online driver education course, and on the DMV website.

STEP 3 - Start driving lessons with an approved driving school, at least six hours are requiredOur behind the wheel lessons for teens are broken into 3 two hour lessons. Your permit does not become valid for you to use for practice with others until after you have completed the first lesson of behind the wheel training.
STEP 4 - Practice at least 50 hours with a California licensed driver aged 25 or older, 10 hours at night.The practice may take place anywhere in the state of California, with any other passengers in the car with you, at any time of day, as long as the person who is 25 or older has a valid California driver license, is sitting in the passenger seat next to the driver, and is sober. You may keep a log of hours if you like, although it is not required, but a parent or guardian will need to sign to verify that the practice has occurred prior to taking the behind the wheel drive test.
STEP 5 - Hold the instructional permit at least 6 months and be at least 16 years oldThe six month waiting period begins on the day that you pass the written permit test.
STEP 6 - Take a driving test at the DMV to receive a provisional driver’s licenseYou must make an appointment to take your behind the wheel drive test at the DMV. You must have held your learner's permit for at least 6 months, and be at least 16 years old prior to taking your drive test. You will need to provide your own car for the test, although we do offer our vehicles for the drive test for an additional charge.Please click here for more information on using our vehicle for the test. You may schedule the appointment online by going to www.dmv.ca.gov. The Drive test is about 15-20 minutes long. You will need to bring the following times with you for your test:
*Proof of completion of the 6 hours of behind the wheel driver training. This will be a certificate issued to you by the driving school.
*Your permit signed by a parent/guardian to confirm completion of the 50 hours of practice.
*Proof of insurance for the vehicle you are using.
*Current registration for the vehicle you are using.
The vehicle you choose to use must meet the minimum DMV requirements for a drive test which include the following:

  • The vehicle must not have bald tires.
  • The vehicle must have working non-damaged seat belts.
  • The vehicle must not have a cracked windshield.
  • The vehicle's glove box must remain closed.
  • The vehicle must have working front driver and passenger windows.
  • The vehicle's lights(blinkers, hazards, brake, and headlights) must work.
  • The vehicle must have working windshield wipers.
  • The vehicle must have a working front defrost system.

STEPS TO RECEIVING A DRIVER'S LICENSE IN CALIFORNIA FOR PEOPLE 18 OR OVER.

 STEP 1 – Take a written test at the DMV to get a learner's permit. 

  STEP 2 - Practice driving with a driving school or any qualified individual age 18 or older. 

 STEP 3 - Return to the DMV for a behind the wheel driving test to obtain your license. 


 STEP 1 – Take a written test at the DMV to get a learner's permit.Study for the written permit test that will be administered by the DMV. The test is 36 multiple choice questions, based on the information in the DMV California Driver Handbook. You must have an appointment to take a written test at DMV. You must bring the following items with you when you go for the test:
*Your birth certificate, or proof of legal residence. It must be an official copy from the county where you were born, and contain the raised county seal. If you were born out of the country, you must bring your proof of legal residence if you have it.*Your social security card.*You must also bring two forms of proof of address, I.E. an electric bill, and gas bill etc.*An application for a driver license. This is a DMV form # DL 44, and can be picked up on the counter of your local DMV office. It is a from in duplicate, so it cannot be downloaded from the internet.*An application fee of $32 dollars for an original license. Checks and debit cards are ok, but no credit cards.*You will be required to take a vision test, so if you wear glasses/contacts you will need them.

STEP 2 - Practice driving with a driving school or any qualified individual age 18 or older.The practice may take place anywhere in the state of California, with any other passengers in the car with you, at any time of day, as long as the person who is 18 or older has a valid California driver license, is sitting in the passenger seat next to the driver, and is sober. Practice as much as you feel you need to. You are able to take as many or as few driving lessons with a professional driving school as you choose.

STEP 3 - Return to the DMV for a behind the wheel driving test to obtain your license.You must make an appointment to take your behind the wheel drive test at the DMV. You will need to provide your own car for the test, although we do offer our vehicles for the drive test for an additional charge. Please click here for more information on using our vehicle for the test. You may schedule the appointment online by going towww.dmv.ca.gov. The Drive test is about 15-20 minutes long. You will need to bring the following times with you for your test:
*Your Learner's Permit.
*Proof of insurance for the vehicle you are using.
*Current registration for the vehicle you are using.
The vehicle you choose to use must meet the minimum DMV requirements for a drive test which include the following:

  • The vehicle must not have bald tires.
  • The vehicle must have working non-damaged seat belts.
  • The vehicle must not have a cracked windshield.
  • The vehicle's glove box must remain closed.
  • The vehicle must have working front driver and passenger windows.
  • The vehicle's lights(blinkers, hazards, brake, and headlights) must work.
  • The vehicle must have working windshield wipers.
  • The vehicle must have a working front defrost system.