California Drivers Permit Requirements

In order to apply for a California drivers permit you must:

  • Be at least 15½, but under 18 years of age
  • Have a social security number and card
  • Have completed a drivers education course
  • Turn in proof of completion of drivers education course
  • Make an appointment at a DMV office to take the written exam using the DMV’s online Appointment System.
  • Complete the application form (DL 44). A parent or guardian signature is required on the form.
  • Pay the application fee which entitles you to 3 tests within a 12 month period.

What To Do Once You Are At California DMV

Once you are at California DMV you will be required to do the following:

  • Give a thumb print.
  • Have your picture taken.
  • Provide your social security number by presenting your Social Security Card or one of the other accepted documents. It will be verified with the Social Security Administration while you are in the office.
  • Verify your birth date and legal presence by providing your birth certificate, US Passport, or another accepted document. Only the original or a certified copy will be accepted.
  • Provide your true full name. If your true full name is different from the name appearing on your birth date and legal presence document, you will also need to provide an accepted document to verify your name change.
  • Pass a vision exam.
  • Pass a traffic laws and sign test. There are 46 questions on the test. A passing score is at least 39 correct answers. You have three chances to pass the test. If you fail, you must wait 7 days before taking it again.

Training With a Parent or Guardian for the California Driving Test

California law requires teen drivers under the age of 18 who hold a learners permit to drive with an adult 25 years of age or older who has a valid California driver 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 drivers permit without the drivers 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 drivers education course to become eligible to get a drivers 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 learners 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.