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Provisional Permits for Beginner Drivers in California

Obtaining an instruction permit is generally the first step that a beginner driver takes toward becoming a fully licensed driver in California. You are eligible to apply for a provisional permit if you are at least 15 ½ character showing up instead of years but less than 18 years old, or an instruction permit if you are at least 18 years old, and:

  • you have never been licensed to operate a vehicle, or
  • you are a new resident of California who has been licensed in another state, but your driver's license has expired


  1. Download a copy of the California Driver's Manual, or get a hard copy by visiting a local DMV office.
  2. Submit the proper form(s) for driver education/driver training classes
  3. Pass a traffic laws and sign test.
  4. Visit your local DMV office to submit the application. You must submit:
  5. The completed Form DL-44 signed by your parent or guardian. This form is not provided online and is available only at the DMV offices.
  6. If you are under 18 years of age, the DL-44 form must be signed by a parent or guardian.
  7. Provide proof of birth date and legal presence. If you have changed your name, you must bring documents that support and clearly indicate your current name.
  8. Provide proof of Social Security Number.
  9. Have your thumbprint and photograph taken.
  10. Pay the correct fee at the DMV office. DMV offices accept cash, money orders, checks and debit cards.
  11. If you are 17 ½ years old or younger, you will have to provide proof that you are enrolled in or have completed an approved driver education and/or driver training program by submitting the appropriate forms.
  12. You will be given a traffic laws and signs written test and an eye screening at the DMV office. If you pass these tests, you will be issued an instruction permit that will be valid for 12 months.
When driving with an instruction/provisional permit you must always be accompanied by a California-licensed driver age of 25 or older. This person must sit beside you in the passenger seat and be ready to take control of the vehicle, if needed..


If you are under 18 and at least 16 years old, you must satisfy the following conditions before you can take the driver's license road test.
  • Wait at least six months after being issued your provisional permit
  • Complete a driver education course
  • Complete at least 6 hours of professional driver training
  • Complete a minimum of 50 hours of behind-the-wheel driving experience, 10 of which should be at night (under direct supervision of an experienced adult driver who is 25 years or older) You must also provide proof of financial responsibility before taking the road test. If you fail the driving test, you must wait two weeks before you can take the test again. You have three chances to pass the road test. Once you pass the road test, you will be issued a provisional license. The provisional driver's license in California includes the following restrictions (with certain exceptions) for the first 12 months:
  • Minors must be accompanied by a licensed adult who is at least 25 years old when driving between 11 pm and 5 am.
  • Minors must be accompanied by a licensed adult who is at least 25 years old when driving with passengers who are younger than 20 years of age.
  • If you accumulate two or more points in 12 months, a 30-day restriction will be placed on your license.
  • If you accumulate three or more points in 12 months, your license will be suspended for six-months and you will be under probation for one year. Apart from this, the court may also require you to pay fines or fulfill community service requirements depending on the type of violation.


A full, unrestricted license may be issued when you are at least 18 years old. A provisional license will convert to a regular license when you turn 18, provided you are not under any suspension or restriction for driving violations. For additional information about changing a provisional driver's license to a regular, unrestricted California driver's license, see Provisional Instruction Permit or Driver License Information.


Reviews of Provisional Permits for Beginner Drivers in California

I am 16 and I was emancipated a few days ago. I know that I do not have to do most of the requirements to obtain a permit, I just want to know if i have to have a certificate of completion to take the test. I've recently read that emancipated minors can go about the driving stuff as if they were over 18. Please help!

Hello, I am 19 and just failed my 3 chances at the written test. Do I need to wait the 1week to retake it since I am over 18? Also do I HAVE to have an appointment for the written test or can I just walk in? Thank you in advance for your help! :)

do i need to take any papers in when i go to retake the written test

What happens when you get your permit on the 31st? I got mine on December 31st, I scheduled an appointment for June 30th (since obviously there's no 31st in June) for my license is that correct? Or am I not eligible? Should it be on June 30th or July 1st? Someone please help!

I have the provisional license and the restriction is for the first 12 months no passenger but if I turn 18 before the 12 monthes are over does the provisional restriction still apply even though is say provisional until 18?

I am 16 but do not have someone who is 25 years atleast I am alittle worried

I am 16 and wishing to get my permit

Why does my learner's permit valid only less than a year? But my brothers learner's permit valid for one year

im 15 1/2 and i want to get my license or whatever i need to drive but i heard that i need to take a class of drivers ed but i don't know where to take it i asked at my school but they told me that they don't have that class anymore where can i go ?

hi i am 18 i have had my permit for a year i didnt take behind-the-wheel classes do i still need to do that or not?

Can you get another copy of your permit if you lost the original one

I'm older than 17 and 1/2 but younger than 18, I have my permit, so do I have to continue waiting out the six months or until I turn 18 before I can apply for a license or can I apply for a license now even though I haven't had my permit for a full six months?

I just turned 18 and i've had my permit for 9 months now but don't know if i should wait for three more months or just go ahead and get my license?

I'm 17 and a half, I had my permit like 3 months ago so can I drive to school and back by myself or with a person that had their permit too?

I'm 17 and 1/2 now, I got my permit 3 months ago and I didn't want to take driver education because I didn't want to spend my $200 something for 2 months longer .... But now I want to take the driver education to get my license earlier so can I pay for driver education for 3 months? because I been driving with an adult who is over 25 years old and valid listener so I'm really good at driving now.

Can my 17 year old brother take me to retake my permit test if my parents already signed the paper?

Hi. So I will be turning 17 in December. Do I really have to take the driver training classes? And if so, for how many hours?

I have taken my provisional test 3 times and failed. I am not a good test taker. What do you recommend?

I just moved to California 2 months ago and I have a Tennessee learner's permit. Is that valid in California or do I have to go through the whole process again?

can i take my driving test if my check engine ight is on.????

I will be turning 17&1/2 in two weeks and I've had my permit for about 9 months. My parents have not paid for me to take behind-the-wheel training and my permit expires in June. Will I still need to take the behind-the-wheel even after I turn 17&1/2?

If i am 18 already and have my permit, can i drive with a licensed driver that is 18 years old? or do they have to be 25 years or older with a valid license?

hey i just turn 17 in January 27,2012 i have my permit but do i have to wait 6 months before i take the driving test or can i just take the drivers education

hi im 15 1/2 and im going to take my permit test and i was wondering, what happens if you lost your pink slip that your instructor gave you when you took a drivers ed class in high school.

hi, im 16 1/2 and im really confused right now, i got my permit a week ago, and i couldnt understand the stupid armenian lady who said i passed the test, and she was tellling me something but i didnt understand, she said i needed to complete a driving lesson with an instructor before im able to drive with or parent or something, idk if this is true, because i just called a driving school right now and they only give 6 hour driving lessons and they are saying i dont need to take a 2 hour driving lesson with a instructor for me to be able to drive with an adult or parent, idk, this is confusing help someone?

You do need to. My boyfriend had to take a 2 hour thing the day he got his permit. It's with an instructor and it's just to make sure you know what you're doing and to make sure the parent isn't telling you wrong things. (I believe that last part on the parent is right) It's been a while since he told me and I haven't been through the process myself yet. But I know for sure that those two hours are required.

I turned 15 in October, can I take my written test when I get my pink slip from drivers ed course?

I got my permit when I was 16, I'm 17 1/2 and I've had my permit for over six months now. do I still need to do 6hours of behind the wheel to take my driving test?

Im 17 1/2 if I go in and take my written test at the dmv do I have to wait until im 18 to get my lisence or can I soon take my behind after I get my permit?

When you turn 15 1/2 does the DMV consider you 15 1/2 by the month or day?


hi i'm turning 15 in april... but im short.... and i'm worried that i cant touch the pedal in the car because i am 4'11 (height) do you think i can still take the drivers test?..... and when do i take the permit test anddddd when do you think i should start studying the book... and to practice to drive..

Hi im short to but all you have to do is scoot your seat up and youll be able to reach the seat just fine. Yes you will be able to still take the drivers test. Take the permit test after you've finished your drivers education. Study the book now the more you study it the greater chance you have at passing the written test.

I'm over 17 and 1/2 and i have had my permit for over 6ths months and i have had 2 of my behind-the-wheel trainings but do i have to do my third behind the wheel training?

I am 15 turning 15 and a half next month and i am wondering how long does drivers ed take before i can actually take the test and how long should i wait before starting drivers ed

if i have a court date for driving without a license and im a minor, but will be 18 in another month, can i take a drivers license test before my court date? do i have to get a permit first? even if im a month away from being an adult? if so, should i wait until im 18 or get the permit/license before court? does it make a difference?

If i'm 17 and a half and i just got my permit about 2 days ago and i also took driver's ed, do i still have to hold the permit for 6 months before being able to take the behind-the-wheel test or can i just go in in about a month or so to get my liscence?

So I just past my drivers test. I'm 17 1/2 and I have my provisional liscence. It says I can only drive by myself or only with ppl 20yrs of age and older ect.. can I drive my baby boy who is 1yr 6months?? He's my son is that an exception??

Yes,Its An Exception.

Okay so if I turned 17 1/2 on October 2011. If i were to go to the DMV to get my permit would i still have to wait the 6 months or will I be able to get my license once I turn 18 with out finishing the 6 months?

what if you've been holding a permit for 4 months already and i'm turning 17 1/2 in december can I take my behind the wheel test earlier than 6 months?

After you fail the written permit test 3 times ,How long must you wait to retake it again?

Can I be my grandaughters driver instructor? shes 15 1/2 yrs old

do i need to bring my parents with me when i retake my written exam

do i have to bring my parents with me if i need to retake my permit.

So say I turned 15 on May 31st will I have to wait until November 30 to receive my permit?

Can i take the drivers test as soon as i turn 17 and a half? (When i turn 17 and a half i would have had my permit for about five months.

Do have to do the 6 hours or can I just keep the provisaional permit until im 18 it's only valid for 12 months so after that can I get it again im only 16 until I'm 18?

so hard to get thru ur 1-800 number for behind the wheel driving test. When it comes to my permit number, it seems that the operator would not want to hear it. my permit no. is D9815485. Pls schedule me

should'nt this page also include what can you do if you lost your permit? bacause i can't find my permit and i dont know what to do? if to go to a near office and just ask for a copy pr do i must re take the exam?