Be at least 15 1/2, but under 18 years of age.
On January 1, 2004, DMV raised the minimum age to get a learner permit to 15 1/2.
Fill out the DMV application form (DL 44). Signing this form means you have agreed to this statement, "I agree to submit to a chemical test of my blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of determining the alcohol or drug content of my blood when testing is required by a peace officer acting in accordance with Sections 13388 or 23612 VC." If you refuse to sign this statement, DMV will not issue your permit.
Obtain your parents' or guardians' signatures on the application form.
Present an acceptable birth date/legal presence document.
Present proof of enrollment in driver training, your local driving school can provide you with a copy of DMV form DL 392. (Your first driver training lesson cannot begin until after you obtain your learners permit.
- If you are at least 17 1/2, you may obtain a permit without driver education or driver training. However, you must bring in the forms to show you have completed driver education and driver training (DL 387, DL 388, DL 388A, OL 237, or OL 238) or wait until you are 18 to get a license.
Provide your social security number.
Pay the required $12 application fee. This fee is good for 12 months and allows you to take the appropriate law test(s) three times, if needed, within the 12-month period. This fee pays for both the instruction permit and driver license, if you qualify for both within that time period. The fee must be paid when you apply for any new or change of class permit or license. It will not be returned. If the application expires, you must start again. This means resubmitting documents, paying the application fee, and taking the required tests.
Pass an eye exam.
Have your picture taken.
Give a thumb print.
Pass a traffic laws and road signs test.
- If you fail the test, you must wait one week before taking it again. This will give you time to study.
Have your permit for a minimum of 6 months before you apply for a license.
The provisional permit may not be used until you are enrolled in behind-the-wheel driver training with an instructor or reach age 17 1/2.
Provisional Permit Restrictions
Minors may use the provisional permit to practice with a parent, guardian, spouse, or an adult 25 years of age or older, who has a valid California driver license. The person must be close enough to take control of the vehicle at any time. A provisional permit does not let you drive alone -- not even to a DMV office to take a driving test.
If you have a permit that allows you to drive an M1 or M2 vehicle, you cannot carry passengers and you must ride during daylight hours only and not on the freeway.
Note: DMV changed the numbering system for its forms in 1999. DMV's Form DL387 was previously called DL356. The forms are functionally equivalent. Some DMV publications and web pages still refer to the old form numbers.
Be at least 16 years old.
Prove that you have finished both driver education and driver training (DMV form DL 387, DL 388, DL 388A, OL 237, or OL 238).
Have had an instruction permit for at least 6 months.
Provide a parent's signature on your instruction permit stating you have completed all the driving practice outlined in the Parent-Teen Training Aide. (Certain other persons may sign.) This booklet is available at your local DMV field office.
Complete 50 hours of supervised driving practice (10 hours must be completed at night). Your parents must certify to this training.
Pass the behind-the-wheel driving test. If you fail the test, you must wait two weeks so that you can practice before you are tested again. You have three chances to pass the driving test within the time your permit is valid.
You may drive alone with your provisional license, as long as you are not involved in accidents or have traffic violations. The following restrictions apply:
During the first six months after you are licensed, you must be accompanied by a driver 25 years of age or older if you drive between the hours of midnight and 5:00 am or if you transport people under age 20.
During the second six months, after you are licensed, you must be accompanied by a driver 25 years of age or older if you drive between the hours of midnight and 5:00 am. However, you may transport passengers under age 20 without supervision between the hours of 5:00 am and midnight.
Minor's Restriction Exceptions
These exceptions are granted when reasonable transportation is not available and it is necessary for the minor to drive. A note is required explaining the necessity and the date the driving necessity will end.
Medical necessity. The note must be signed by your physician.
School or school-authorized activity. The note must be signed by your school principal, dean, or his or her designee.
Employment necessity. The note must be signed by your employer and verify employment and date the employment will end.
Immediate need of family member. The note must be signed by your parent or legal guardian and include the reason and the date the driving necessity will end.
Emancipated minor. No documentation is needed. However, you must have already declared yourself emancipated and provided Proof of Financial Responsibility (SR 1P) in lieu of your guarantors'
>You may drive alone with your provisional license, as long as you are not involved in accidents or have traffic violations.
- During the first 6 months after you are licensed, you must be accompanied by a driver 25 years of age or older if you drive between the hour of 12:00 am and 5:00 am or you transport people under age 20.
- During the second 6 months, after you are licensed, you must be accompanied by a driver 25 years of age or older if you drive between the hours of 12:00 am and 5:00 am. However, you may transport passengers under age 20 without supervision.
When you become 18 years old, the "provisional" part of your license ends. You may keep the photo license you have which will expire on the fourth or fifth birthday after the date you applied for it or you may apply for a duplicate license without the word "provisional." The fee for a duplicate license is $15.