Driver's Education in California
Most new drivers in California are required to successfully complete a State-approved driver's education program in order to obtain a California driver's license. In fact, for many applicants, the driver's education certificate of completion is part of the actual driver's license application.
WHO MUST TAKE DRIVER'S EDUCATION
- California residents under the age of 18 must hold a learner's permit till they turn 18, and also complete a State-approved driver's education program before applying for a new license.
- California residents 17 years and 6 months old and older who have never held a license from California, or any other US state or foreign country, must hold a learner's permit for a minimum of six months, or complete a State-approved driver's education program before applying for a new license.
WHERE TO TAKE DRIVER'S EDUCATIONDriver's education courses are offered through both public and private school programs, all of which must be approved by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Driving schools, licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicles, cover the same course content.
WHAT'S COVERED IN A DRIVER'S EDUCATION COURSEWhile driver's education courses vary from one school to another, all licensed programs must include the following components:
- Twenty-five hours of classroom training, focusing on issues including alcohol safety and drug abuse awareness, defensive driving, motorcycle awareness and organ and tissue donation; and five hours of films related to driver education.
- In-car instruction sessions by a qualified instructor, including six hours of professional driver training.