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How to Apply For a Provisional Permit

To apply for a California driver's permit you must:

  • Be at least 15½, but under 18 years of age
  • Complete a Driver License or Identification Card Application Form DL-44.
    • Application can be filled out online or a hard copy of the form can be picked up at your local DMV office.
  • Have your parents' or guardians' signatures on the application.
  • Visit a DMV office, appointments are recommended and can be scheduled online.
  • Provide your social security number (SSN).
  • Verify your Identity, and review requirements here
  • Present your acceptable residency document.
  • Submit your driver education completion form (provided).
  • Pay a nonrefundable application fee.
    • The fee is good for 12 months.
    • Allows you three (3) attempts to pass each of the required knowledge tests. (If you fail the same knowledge test three (3) times the application will no longer be valid and you must reapply.)
    • Allows you three (3) attempts at the driving test. [important: If you fail the driving test, you must pay a retest fee of $7 for the subsequent test(s). You must wait 14 days (2 weeks), not including the day the test failed before you are retested. If you fail the driving test three (3) times, the application will no longer be valid and you must reapply.
  • Give a fingerprint scan.
  • Pass a vision exam.
  • Have your photograph taken.
  • Pass the knowledge test(s). If you fail, you must wait seven (7) days before taking it again.
  • If applying for a REAL ID provisional instruction permit and are under 18, you must provide proof of your Identity, SSN, and residency from the list of acceptable REAL ID document options.

Review additional details about applying for your provisional instruction permit at the CA DMV website or by calling 1-800-777-0133.

Training With a Parent or Guardian for the California Driving Test

California law requires teen drivers under the age of 18 who hold a learner's permit to drive with an adult 25 years of age or older who has a valid California driver's license in the passenger seat or a seat close enough where they can take control of the vehicle.

California DMV Test Exceptions

If you are over 17½ but under 18 years of age, you may get your California driver's permit without the driver's education certificate however, you will not be able to take the driving test until you turn 18. Once you pass your written test, you will be issued a provisional permit.

California DMV Learners Permit

The California DMV requires beginning drivers between the ages of 15 ½ and 18 to complete an approved 30-hour driver education course to become eligible to get a driver's permit. Once you have completed your course, we will send your completion certificate to you by mail. You will then need to bring the completion certificate with you to your written permit test appointment at your local DMV office.

Your learner permit also called a provisional permit, will allow you to practice driving with an adult 25 years of age or older who has a valid California driver’s license. He or she must sit close enough to take control of the vehicle if necessary.

You must have had your permit for at least 6 months before applying for your license.