Here’s How To Get A Driver’s License In California
Published November 15, 2021
Obtaining your California learner’s permit and CA driver’s license is an exhilarating experience. However, it may be somewhat overpowering as well. We are here to simplify the process and provide you with all the information you need to get to your destination safely. This simple how-to guide will walk you through each stage of the process.
STEP 1: Enroll in California Driver’s License Course
If you are under the age of 17 and a half in California, you must complete a driver’s education course before obtaining your learner’s permit or driver’s license. In addition, you must be at least fifteen and a half years old.
- Complete the course and pass it.
- Once you have successfully completed the course, you will get a certificate of completion.
- Bring your certificate of completion form to the DMV appointment. This document verifies that you have completed the course and authorizes you to take the driver’s permit test.
STEP 2: Educate Yourself About Behind-the-Wheel Training
If you are between the ages of 15 and a half and 17 and a half, you must undergo a driver training program as part of the process of obtaining your driver’s license. Additionally, when you visit the DMV to take your permit test, make sure to have proof of the following:
- Get a certificate of completion of driving training or a certificate of participation in a driver training program.
STEP 3: Visit the DMV to Obtain Your California Learners Permit
Ascertain that you have all of your paperwork in order prior to visiting the DMV to take your driver’s permit test.
- To the DMV, bring the DMV Form DL 44, certificate of course completion, and proof that you have finished or are currently enrolled in driver training.
- Pass a written examination on traffic laws and signs.
- The test consists of 46 questions. A passing score of at least 38 accurate responses is required. You have three opportunities to pass the driver’s license examination. If you do not pass, you must wait seven days before attempting again.
- Successfully complete a vision examination.
- Make the payment.
- This charge covers three types of exams within a 12-month period and covers both the instruction permit and the driver’s license. If all prerequisites are not accomplished within the 12-month time frame, the application becomes null and void, and all processes must be repeated.
- Take a photo for your driver’s license.
- Fingerprints will be taken.
- Additionally, you’ll need to provide identification documents.
The Forms You’ll Need to Present at the California Department of Motor Vehicles
- DL 44 – The state of California does not offer an online version of the DL 44. This form MUST be obtained from the DMV or via mail.
- You must submit a completed DL 44 (this form must include your and your parents’ signatures). By signing this form, you agree to submit to a chemical test to assess the amount of alcohol or drugs in your blood if a peace officer so requests. The DMV will not issue you a permit or license if you refuse to sign this statement.
- Completion certificate – You will get a certificate once you’ve successfully completed an online course. This verifies to the California Department of Motor Vehicles that you have graduated and are qualified to take the written permit exam.
U.S. Citizenship or Legal Status and Proof of Age
Some acceptable documents include:
- U.S. passport
- U.S. birth certificate
- Proof of Indian Blood Degree
- Naturalization certificate
- Permanent Resident Card
- Official U.S. Armed Forces Identification Card
- Passport from Mexican Border Crossing Card (with a valid I-94 form) or another country
Social Security Number
The Social Security Administration will verify your Social Security number. If relevant, you must provide legal documentation establishing your genuine complete name as a result of adoption or marriage. Both before and after the name change, legal papers should mention your legal name. Acceptable documents include the following:
- Adoption documents that contain your complete legal name (after adoption)
- Marriage certificate
- A certificate of registration or declaration that establishes the legitimacy of a domestic partnership
- Proof of divorce or annulment, and perhaps other documents indicating the dissolution of the marriage and indicating your complete legal name following the court proceedings
After passing the written examination and meeting all other conditions, you will be awarded a California driver’s permit.
STEP 4: Obtain a Behind-the-Wheel Training Certification
- At least six hours of professional driver training are required.
- You must complete the course legally before proceeding to practice with your parent or legal guardian.
STEP 5: Keep Practicing
- You’re finished with the professional driving instructor — now you must complete 50 hours of driving under the supervision of a parent. (Wisdom of the wise — maintain your composure, smile frequently, and avoid becoming upset.)
- Bear in mind that ten of these hours must be spent at night.
- After successfully completing a California driver’s education online course and receiving behind-the-wheel training, you must wait six months before applying for your new CA driver’s license. Make the most of this period by accumulating as much practice as possible.
STEP 6: Submit an Application for a California Driver’s License for the First Time
To apply for a first-time driver’s license, you must be at least 16 years old and have kept your permit for at least six months.
Bring these things to the DMV when you apply:
- Proof of your real full name
- Your Social Security number
- Proof that you completed a driver’s course and behind-the-wheel training
- Valid vehicle registration
- Proof of insurance
- Your permit with the sign of your parent, guardian, or instructor
- A document that proves your birth date/legal presence
(Related: Where to Find Your NY Driver’s License Document Number)
Lost Your Birth Certificate? Request A Replacement Online
Instant Vital Records offers a birth certificate replacement service you can use from the comfort of your home. Enter your information and our software will automatically complete the required forms for your state. We print and mail your forms along with required payments to your state health department. You can trust that we take your personal information privacy and security seriously with HIPAA compliant data storage and data encryption. To get started, simply click here to begin your application. Your replacement documents will arrive by mail to your home within a few weeks.
This Blog Is Fact Checked By Experts
Our team of experts has thoroughly verified the accuracy of this content. For detailed information on the editorial guidelines followed on our website, please click here.
About The Author
Krizzia Paolyn holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She is a professional writer for various digital magazines and renowned publications. It has always been her passion to share her voice, and at the same time, to encourage others to share their voices as well.