DMV.com is a privately owned website.* Privacy

Applying for a California New Driver’s License – Under 18

Compare Auto Insurance Rates and Save DMV.com Exclusive!

Obtaining a license to drive in California is a privilege that requires an applicant to meet specified criteria. In addition to passing the written and road skills driving exam, new drivers license applicants younger than 18 years of age will need to complete a driver's ed program to become eligible for a California DMV driving license.

NOTE: Drivers license applicants who have reached the age of 17-and-a-half years of age can actually obtain a learner's permit without completing a driver training program, but to take a driving test, the applicant must wait until his or her 18th birthday. Take a driver's education course now to get your drivers license as soon as possible.

How to Apply for a California Provisional Permit:

  • Be at least 15 and a half years of age.
  • Provide a Certificate of Completion of Driver Education or Driver Training.
  • Present the required documentation.
  • Pass the knowledge test.
  • Pay the driving permit fee.

Applying for a CA Provisional Instruction Permit

To get a permit for driving, eligible candidates must adhere to the guidelines outlined for California provisional driving licenses. Provisional DMV licenses are designated for teen drivers and come with restricted driving privileges. Teen drivers must hold a learners permit for at least six months before they are eligible for a provisional drivers license.

California Provisional Instruction Permit Restrictions

California drivers permit holders between the ages of 15-and-a-half and 18 years of age must follow certain guidelines to maintain their driving privileges and eventually be eligible for a provisional drivers license. Learners permit holders must successfully complete six months of the following restrictions:

  • Obey all traffic laws.
  • Avoid traffic collisions.
  • Be accompanied by a CA-licensed parent, guardian or spouse 25 years of age or older at all times.

How to Get a CA Learners Permit

Learners Permit Requirements in California

To get your CA driving permit, you will have to meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Be at least 15-and-a-half years of age.
  • Complete either of the following driver training courses (or currently be enrolled in one):
    • Driver education.
    • Driver education and driver training.
  • Pass the traffic laws and signals test.
  • Provide a Social Security Number and birth certificate or other proof of U.S. citizenship.
  • Turn in a completed application form that includes both parents' signatures, if applicable.
  • Pay the applicable fee.

Preparing for a California DMV Written Exam

Obtain your drivers permit by passing the California written drivers test. The CA DMV traffic laws and sign test is made up of 46 questions. To pass the test, you must answer at least 38 questions correctly.

To prepare for the test, utilize a proven test-taking tool such as the DMV.com California practice permit test and study guide. This combination will supply you with sample questions of traffic laws that are based upon the live CA DMV computer-based drivers test.

The learners permit knowledge test must be completed by appointment in person at a California DMV location. Click here to view a list of DMV office telephone numbers and street addresses in your area.

Be Prepared! Study with our DMV practice test and we guarantee you'll pass!

CA Drivers Education

Prior to obtaining a driving permit, beginner drivers must first complete a drivers training course. California drivers education and driver training (DE/DT) courses are behind-the-wheel courses administered at secondary schools or private businesses throughout the state.

California Teen Online Drivers Ed

Covers Road Rules And Signs.

Get you licesne fast, easy, and online.

  • Study all online - anywhere, anytime!
  • Easy and fun interactive lessons
  • CA DMV-approved course

Powered by CyberActive

California Drivers Training Requirements

Driving permit applicants 18 years of age and younger have the option to complete one of the following driver's education requirements:

  • 25 hours of classroom, home study or online driver's training.
  • Six hours of behind-the-wheel training.
  • At least 50 hours of supervised driving, 10 of which are after dark.

California Provisional Licenses

California drivers license applicants between 16 and 18 years of age who have held a provisional permit for driving for at least six months and have met all of the driver's education qualifications are eligible to apply for a provisional drivers license.

Upon completing the requirements to obtain a provisional driving license, call a DMV office near you to make an appointment for a road skills test. Make sure that you are prepared for your road test, as failing will result in having to wait two weeks to retake the test. A retest fee must also be paid on your second or third try.

CA Provisional License Driving Restrictions

California provisional license holders must adhere to a few rules in order to maintain their driving privileges. You must be accompanied by a licensed driver 25 years of age or older to perform the following activities within the first 12 months of obtaining a provisional driving license:

  • Carry passengers 19 years of age and younger.
  • Drive between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Replacing a CA Learners Permit

Replace learners permits in California by filling out an application at a local DMV office. Duplicate provisional learners permit applicants will have to supply a thumbprint and furnish any replacement fees associated with obtaining a replacement card.

Locate a California DMV

Find a CA DMV office near you. Just click here to view the contact information for each California DMV location. Call to schedule your road test and all other DMV services.

Submitted by EmilyL on 16th Apr 2015

I am 16 and I was emancipated

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!

Submitted by Geezchick on 28th Oct 2014

Hello, I am 19 and just

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! :)

Submitted by mikayl.rae.1998 on 13th Oct 2014

do i need to take any papers

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

Submitted by Katherine23 on 6th Jun 2014

What happens when you get

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!

Submitted by AfroBuddha123 on 26th May 2014

I have the provisional

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?

Submitted by Raudel1234554321 on 17th Apr 2014

I am 16 but do not have

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

Submitted by Raudel1234554321 on 17th Apr 2014

I am 16 and wishing to get my

I am 16 and wishing to get my permit

Submitted by enna on 2nd Apr 2014

Why does my learner's permit

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

Submitted by irmag26 (not verified) on 28th Aug 2013

im 15 1/2 and i want to get

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 ?

Submitted by devin1995 (not verified) on 19th Mar 2013

hi i am 18 i have had my

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?

Submitted by mckaylasides (not verified) on 25th Feb 2013

Can you get another copy of

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

Submitted by J12345 (not verified) on 10th Dec 2012

I'm older than 17 and 1/2 but

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?

Submitted by Vmendoza96 on 17th Jul 2014

I just turned 18 and i've had

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?

Submitted by romevo (not verified) on 14th Oct 2012

I'm 17 and a half, I had my

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?

Submitted by romevo (not verified) on 14th Oct 2012

I'm 17 and 1/2 now, I got my

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.

Submitted by Noreen734 (not verified) on 5th Oct 2012

Can my 17 year old brother

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

Submitted by snazzy (not verified) on 29th Sep 2012

Hi. So I will be turning 17

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?

Submitted by sallyb (not verified) on 27th Aug 2012

I have taken my provisional

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

Submitted by MiaK (not verified) on 9th Aug 2012

I just moved to California 2

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?

Submitted by rivera28 (not verified) on 3rd May 2012

can i take my driving test if

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

Submitted by puckergrl (not verified) on 15th Apr 2012

I will be turning 17&1/2 in

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?

Submitted by TaylorAnn323 (not verified) on 5th Mar 2012

If i am 18 already and have

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?

Submitted by Kanisha 20616 (not verified) on 27th Feb 2012

hey i just turn 17 in January

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

Submitted by ricosoccer (not verified) on 8th Feb 2012

hi im 15 1/2 and im going to

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.

Submitted by jakerg17 (not verified) on 28th Jan 2012

hi, im 16 1/2 and im really

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?

Submitted by iBandGeek (not verified) on 4th Feb 2012

You do need to. My boyfriend

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.

Submitted by JesssicaNgai (not verified) on 24th Jan 2012

I turned 15 in October, can I

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

Submitted by anthony_arez (not verified) on 23rd Jan 2012

I got my permit when I was

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?

Submitted by jennie_nicole (not verified) on 23rd Jan 2012

Im 17 1/2 if I go in and take

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?

Submitted by christinala2014son (not verified) on 20th Jan 2012

When you turn 15 1/2 does the

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

Submitted by beccagain96 (not verified) on 25th Jan 2012

month

month

Submitted by Sophia345 (not verified) on 20th Jan 2012

hi i'm turning 15 in april...

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..

Submitted by beccagain96 (not verified) on 25th Jan 2012

Hi im short to but all you

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.

Submitted by michy16 (not verified) on 17th Jan 2012

I'm over 17 and 1/2 and i

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?

Submitted by ChuYiTo 008 (not verified) on 9th Jan 2012

I am 15 turning 15 and a half

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

Submitted by ananymouse194 (not verified) on 4th Dec 2011

if i have a court date for

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?

Submitted by Jessica larios (not verified) on 3rd Dec 2011

If i'm 17 and a half and i

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?

Submitted by missbrune13 (not verified) on 3rd Dec 2011

So I just past my drivers

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??

Submitted by Lunaa1995 (not verified) on 22nd Jan 2012

Yes,Its An Exception.

Yes,Its An Exception.

Submitted by Bubbles (not verified) on 23rd Nov 2011

Okay so if I turned 17 1/2 on

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?

Submitted by jaybagyo23 (not verified) on 18th Nov 2011

what if you've been holding a

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?

Submitted by Ricmiester (not verified) on 7th Nov 2011

After you fail the written

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

Submitted by papaloera (not verified) on 6th Nov 2011

Can I be my grandaughters

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

Submitted by whereiscolin (not verified) on 3rd Nov 2011

do i need to bring my parents

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

Submitted by whereiscolin (not verified) on 3rd Nov 2011

do i have to bring my parents

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

Submitted by boss15 (not verified) on 25th Oct 2011

So say I turned 15 on May

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

Submitted by ajkajk (not verified) on 16th Oct 2011

Can i take the drivers test

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.

Submitted by Mrflo465 (not verified) on 15th Oct 2011

Do have to do the 6 hours or

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?

Submitted by baby (not verified) on 29th Sep 2011

so hard to get thru ur 1-800

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

Submitted by soledad (not verified) on 15th Sep 2011

should'nt this page also

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?