Who Can Get a California Driver’s Permit?

You must be at least 15 and half years old but under 18 to get a permit. Obtaining a learners permit basically requires parental consent, driver education and finally, taking the vision, written and road test.

The Specifics From The DMV

  • Be at least 15 ½, but under 18 years of age
  • Visit a DMV office (make an Appointment(s) for faster service)
  • Complete the application form DL 44 (An original DL 44 form must be submitted. Copies obtained by xeroxing, faxing, or other methods will not be accepted.)
  • Have your parents’ or guardians’ signatures on the application form DL 44
    Give a thumb print
  • Have your picture taken
  • Provide your social security number. It will be verified with the Social Security Administration while you are in the office.
  • Verify your birth date and legal presence
  • Provide your true full name if your name no longer matches the name on your birth date legal presence document."
  • Submit the proper form(s) for driver education and/or driver training classes
  • Pay the application fee (This fee entitles you to three exams of any type within the 12-month period and pays for both the instruction permit and the driver license. If all requirements are not met within the 12-month period, the application becomes void and all steps must be completed again.)
  • Pass a vision exam
  • Pass a traffic laws and sign test. There are 46 questions on the test. A passing score is at least 39 correct answers. You have three chances to pass the test. If you fail, you must wait 7 days before taking it again. The easiest way to pass this is with the $CSLINK.

A complete list of all acceptable forms of identification can be found in the $CSLINK.

Driver Education

You may take driver education (classroom training) or driver training (behind-the-wheel) in a public or private high school, or in a state licensed, professional driving school.

Driver Education and Driver Training courses must be conducted as prescribed by the Department of Education. Driver Education must consist of at least 30 hours or 2 1/2 semester periods of professional classroom instruction. Driver training must consist of at least six hours of behind-the-wheel professional instruction.

Professional schools and instructors in California are licensed by the DMV. Schools must carry liability insurance, be bonded, and maintain complete records for DMV inspection. Their teaching cars are subject to inspection every 6 months. Instructors must pass qualifying examinations every three years, or show proof of continuing education in traffic safety.

Taking Your Road Test

To take your California driver road test, you must:

  • Be 16
  • Hold a learner’s permit for at least six months
  • Completed driver’s ed
  • Completed six (6) hours of professional driver training
  • Have at least 50 hours practice with an adult 25 years or older.

You should then make an appointment online to take you test. If you pass, you will be given an interim license for 60 days until you get your new license in the mail. Dont forget to bring proof of insurance with you.

California DMV Cheat Sheet Screen Shot
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  • What to bring to the DMV
  • Requirements for getting your license
  • DMV Fees
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  • Traffic signs & signals you MUST know!
  • Website and Phone for your state's DMV if you have questions
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