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

In the state of California, drivers education classes are a requirement for motorists under the age of 18 prior to acquiring a driver’s license. A drivers ed course is only considered completed after a student logs the necessary 25 hours of classroom instruction. The curriculum consists of lessons on DUI laws, CA traffic regulations, rules of the road and tips on defensive driving.

Students can take drivers ed online in California or in person, depending on preference. To complete state drivers ed requirements quickly and easily, you can enroll in an approved online course through a trusted third-party provider here. To enroll in a driving class, students should be a minimum of 15 years of age, which is the minimum age required to obtain a driver’s permit. The California drivers education certificate earned at the end of the course must be submitted to the Department of Motor Vehicles for acceptance toward the state requirement.

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.

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