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How to Apply for a New Driver's License in California

You can apply for a new driver's license at any DMV office in California. Obtain a California Driver's Handbook to get familiarized with the driving rules and regulations.


Following are the basic requirements for applying for a California driver's license:

  1. Applicants must be 15 1/2 years or older.
  2. Any individual under 18 should provide parental consent by providing their signature on form DL 44. For additional details, see Beginner Drivers and/or Learner's Permits for Beginner Drivers.
  3. Everyone must pass the vision, traffic laws and sign tests. See Practice Tests and Driver's Handbook for more information on the written examination. Driver education programs can help individuals prepare for their road test. The driving (behind-the-wheel) retest is $7. You have three chances to pass.
  4. Applicants must provide a social security number.
  5. Applicants must provide acceptable proof of true full name and a thumbprint.
  6. Applicants must provide proof of California birth date and legal presence.


California residents holding a driver's license from another state may also need to pass the three tests. The driving test may be waived at the discretion of the examiner. For individuals holding non-U.S. licenses, it is mandatory to pass the driving test. However, like other applicants, new residents must provide proof of identification, legal presence and birth date. Non-US citizens residing in California may drive without getting a California driver license as long as their home country license is valid. If, however, you become a California resident, you will be required to get a California driver license within 10 days. Residency can be proven by proof of residence, tuition payment, voting in an election or any other privilege not extended to nonresidents.


The cost for a non-commercial (Class C) California driver's license is $33.


A California driver's license is valid for four years.


With certain restrictions, an individual can legally drive in California with a learner's license. See more information on provisional licenses here.


Reviews of How to Apply for a New Driver's License in California

I had a MA drivers license for over 40 years and moved to CA in 2011. My MA license expired in 3/2012. I am eager to obtain a CA drivers license and want to know other than the Drivers Test and Vision Test what else I need to do?

I have a brazilian drivers licence and I´m gonna be staying in california for a month, can I drive there??

I'm 18 and never have driven before, what requirments do I need ti meet in order to obtain a license

Hi, I have passed my driving test but due to my immigration status I was told that I could not get a permenant driving license but someone told me that I could get my permenanat driving license through the AB 60 form. Please be so kind as to advise me on what I should do. Thank you. Amir Asli.

Both custodial parents have to sign a minor's initial license application (DL44). Do both have to come to the DMV to sign it in person, or can one sign it at home and the other in person?

Please answer the above question.

Hi I lived CA from 2011 I had a CA driver's license . I moved back to TX in 2013 and now have an TX license and my car is registered in TX. How do I get CA driver's back Because I move back here in CA now Do I have to take the test again?

Hi I lived CA from 2011 I had a CA driver's license . I moved back to TX in 2013 and now have an TX license and my car is registered in TX. How do I get CA driver's back Because I move back here in CA now Do I have to take the test again?

Hi I am moving to california with a texas learners license can someone tell me how can i apply for a cal drivers license.

You must have to take California Test for writing no have to driver test


I need to get my drivers permit, I'm 17 years old

I have been driving for 30 years and have a valid driving license in India. Now, I will be moving (family immigration) to California on 01 May 2015. I will become a Legal Permanent Resident in California thereafter. How long can I drive in California using my driving license from India after 01 May 2015 ? Once I apply for California DL, can I still drive around using my valid DL from India, till I get a California DL ? Can I legally hire a car and use it with my DL from India, till I get California DL ?

hi dmv!!

i have pass the exams in december 4,2014..but i havent got my license till now??

its gonna expire on march 3,2015..if this expire what will you give another temporary license???

i need a card because i have applied for a new job and its gonna be a field courier..and the company dont want my temporary license for this job

i have came to your new dmv office in senter road twice..

i give all the neccessary documents to the dmv's,.etc..

all is good!so why is it taking so long to receive my official license??

I moved from California in 2012 but I have recently moved back to California.

I have the same car & actually the tags in storage. Do I need to follow the steps for New Registration/License? Or will they renew?

I have been to the DMV 3 times trying to get a CA drivers license. Every time I have been denied because 18 years ago I had a CA DL under a different name. I have been divorced 18 years and they will not issue me a DL in my current name because I do not have my divorce papers from 18 years ago. I have a current DL in my correct last name as well as my SS card. Will they issue me a DL if I show up with a passport or do I still need to try to track down my divorce papers.

Hi I lived here from 1996-2010. I had a CA driver's license and had my car registered here all those years. I moved back to Ohio in 2010 and now have an Ohio license and my car is registered in Ohio. How do I get renewed back here in CA now that I am back to stay? Do I have to take the test again?

I need a help to the same question listed above.

I have a Louisiana license I use to be a California resident now I'm moving back to California do I have to take another test..

hi, i have a friend coming over for a visit from Egypt and he is only staying here for 2 weeks does he need to make an international driver license or can he just use his country's Valid license ?

Thank you

I have a friend who is visiting on a tourist visa for several months and does not have a drivers license. Can he get a temporary California drivers license being of age if he passed the tests ?

I need apoiment for drivers licence in San Ysidro CA next week in the morning


I would like to ask a question I was told that I could make an appointment for a Driver license for illegal immigrant my husband

is in the process of because a residence of the USA but it will take a year

or so please let me know when I can make an appointment for him to get a

driver license

I have a roommate from Oklahoma and he NEEDS a California drivers license in order to get a driving job out here. What does he need to do, besides take the written test again? I mean how much is it and can he do it online? I went to the DMV here in Tracy and he has the handbook, but how much is it and could he take the written test online?? Please get back to me, Thank you.

Hi!, I'm 17 and 10 months, I have to wait until 18 years old for my drive license?

No you don't have to wait until you're 18. That's crazy. You can get your license when you're 16 years old. 15 & a half for a learners permit here in California. So that means, you can get your license NOW. You'll make an appointment for the written, pass the exam, then if you've never driven before, they make an appointment for you, and you'll take a driving test with an instructor. I took drivers ED: (A private driving school) it was a lot easier and in a classroom setting. My teacher was awesome!Make sure you use an automatic car if you don't know how to drive a stick. You should've had your license when you were 16! :)

I'm 23 years old live in CA and never have had a permit or driver license. I'm ready to get my drivers license. What steps do I need to do? Do I take my written test first or just go for behind the wheel? And what type of appointment do I make?

Where can I make the testing appointment online?

where can i make an appointment for written test appointment online? are utility bills, other mail showing my address sufficient for california proof of residence?



i want to make a appoinment for a driving license

We're can I make a appointment online

I want make a appointment for my firts license driver

driving test

make an appoiment

I Saira Galvan want to make an appoiment for the written test.

want to make an appointment

Want to make appt, need California license, I'm from out of state

need appointment to go renew my driver license in san Bernardino ca.

need appointment to renew my drivers license


I would like to make a appointment text

I would to like make appointment for behind the wheel test, i have the permit already

i have permit, need to pass the driving test. How do I make an apoointment

I would to like make appointment for behind the wheel test, I have the permit already

I would like to make an appointment for behind the wheel test, I have the permit already.

Yes I have a permit already

So even though I'm about to be 22 I still have to get my permit first before I can schedule and take my behind the wheel test for my license? Cause before I moved here I had my permit twice in Michigan already so I'm set to take my test, I've driven enough

I've been waiting for my drivers license for about a month and it still haven't came yet and my friends got theirs in a week! I have passed the tests and the dmv told me that it should come in around 2 weeks