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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. There is a $6 fee for every additional driving test you take. 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 $28.


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 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.

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

I want make a appointment for my firts license driver

driving test

make an appoiment

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

where do you make an appointment online to take the drivers test?

I want to make an appointment for my drive e licence

I need take my driver test i need date to due

what if your over 18 do you have to take the both test's?

the permant and the driving test?

yes the only benifit you get out of being 18 s you no longer have to take drivers training

I have not received my new license yet

how do i find out if my license is suspended?

If I am not an american resident but I have a summer house here and an american car because I spend at least 4 months a year here, is there any chance to get my california drivers licence?

I'm not familiar with this I am 17 I turn 18 in November and I have my permit for six months now I wanna ask if I need the six hours of behind the wheel training or if I can just go and take the test without it? Someone help?

Hey , i turn 18 in november tooo :D

If I was charged with DUI for second time in 1996,I have went to court and as the result i had paid the fine and did 10 day of jail time and 10 day of community service but for personal reason I had move out of the country and didn't attend DUI classes and AI meeting , which was require in order to make me eligible for re applying my Drivers license . Can anyone explain to me what to do, if I decide move back to re apply for a California license again. Thank you much

Hey u Just need to pay 1,000 to get ur license back

Im 17 years and 5 months old, really close to 17 and a half. I have my certificate to take the permit test. I was wondering if i dont have to take drivers ed, since im almost 17 and a half and will be holding the permit during the time so.


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