Minor's Provisional Permit Requirements
To get a permit you must:
- Be at least 15, but under 18 years of age.
- Submit a completed DMV application form (DL 44). Signing this form means you agree to submit to a chemical test to determine the alcohol or drug content of your blood when required by a peace officer. If you refuse to sign this statement, you will not get a permit or license.
- Provide your true full name
- Have your parents' or guardians' signatures on the application form.
- Present an acceptable birth date/legal presence document.
- If you are between 15 1/2 and 17 1/2, you must have completed driver education and provide the DMV form DL 387 or driver training form OL 392. Your driving instructor will give you the form to bring to DMV.
- If you want a permit to drive mopeds or motorcycles, you must be at least 15 1/2 and bring proof you have finished driver education and driver training (DL 387, DL 388, DL 388A, OL 237, or OL 238).
- 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. It will be verified with the Social Security Administration.
- Pay the required $12 application fee. This fee is good for 12 months and allows you to take all appropriate test(s) three times, if needed, during that 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. The fee 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. By law, any person with a best corrected vision of 20/200 or worse in the better eye cannot be issued a driver license. You may not use a bioptic telescopic or similar lens to meet this vision standard.
- 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.
- The provisional permit may not be used until you start your behind-the-wheel driver training with a licensed instructor or reach age 17 1/2. Be sure to pick up the Parent/Teen Training Aide (DL 603) to assist you in practicing your driver skills.
Provisional Permit Restrictions
You must pratice 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 alonenot 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.
Where Can I Take Driver Education or Driver Training?
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.
A high school instructor may issue you a student license if you are over 15 1/2 years old and have the written consent of your parents. A student license lets you drive only during school or professional driver training.
Licensed professional driving schools issue a restricted license to a person between 151/2 and up to 18 years of age. A driving school restricted license only lets the person drive during school or professional driver training.
Can I Drive With the Permit Outside of California?
Contact the driver licensing office in the state or country you plan to visit before you drive if you only have a California provisional permit.
Minors' Provisional License Requirements
- 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 before you are tested again. You have up to three chances to pass the driving test while your permit is valid.
Starting July 1, 2003, if you fail the driving test, you must pay a $5 retest fee.
You may drive alone with your provisional license, as long as you do not been accidents or traffic violations. The following restrictions apply after you are licensed:
- During the first six months, you must be accompanied by your parent or guardian, a licensed driver 25 years of age or older, or a licensed or certified driving instructor if you drive between the hours of midnight and 5:00 am or if you transport people under 20 years of age.
- During the second six months, 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.
Provisional License 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.
- Immediate need of family member. The note must be signed by your parent or legal guardian.
- 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' signatures.
To find out what happens if you don't obey the law, see Actions Against the Provisional License.
When you become 18 years old, the "provisional" part of your license ends. You may keep the photo license you have which expires on the fourth birthday after you applied for it or pay $12 for a duplicate license without the word "provisional."
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