CA Teens

California Teen drivers are required to follow different rules when it comes to getting their driver’s license. The age of the drivers determines a higher risk factor on California roadways, which requires different methods are followed in order to obtain a driver’s permit and license. 4dmv.com is a great resource for determining which restrictions and requirements apply to you as a teen driver in California.

Teen drivers that are between the ages of 15 ½ and 17 ½ must complete the required Driver’s Ed and driver training course to obtain a permit as well as a license, a requirement that changes when the driver turns 18.

Getting a provisional permit is required for all drivers in California under the age of 18, which must be held for at least 6 months or until you turn 18 if that comes first. These requirements are based on the 1997 Graduated Driver’s License Law, which ensures safer teen drivers on the roads.

Driver’s Education

  • Driver’s Ed courses are provided within local high schools and agencies approved by the state of California, and are essential to better driving skills for those under the age of 18. If you are a new resident to California and previously completed the required Driver’s Ed course in your previous state, you are required to provide the appropriate form DL 33 or a letter-head statement from the previous school before the course requirements are carried forward.
  • The necessary form can be obtained from the California DMV in-person, by mail, or online at Driver Education and Driver Training.  For more assistance or information, you can call 1-800-777-0133.

Your Provisional Permit

If you are under the age of 17 ½, your provisional permit is required before you are given a standard driver’s license. Even after you have reached the age of 17 ½, it is a great idea to obtain this permit before obtaining a standard license if you want to be sure that you obtain the needed practice for driving on the roadways.

  • Use the provided sample tests online at Samples of Driver Tests to practice for the written exam that is required before you are granted a provisional license, or learner’s permit.
  • Schedule your DMV appointment by calling 1-800-777-0133 or visiting  Appointment System.
  • Complete the DMV original copy of form DL 44, which must be signed by your parent/guardian and you in front of the DMV representative.
  • Provide the acceptable forms to confirm identity, legal status, and birth date. Not sure what documents are accepted? Visit  Birth Date and Legal Presence and True Full Name Requirements  
  • Provide necessary forms to prove completed training and Driver’s Ed programs or enrollment or participation in these courses.
  • Pay the necessary California permit fee of $31.
  • Take the California permit written exam.

You will provide your thumbprint as well as a photo ID, which is used to identify you before you are given your California learning permit.

Restrictions for California Provisional Permit

  • Even though you are given a permit to drive, you are bound by restrictions that will prevent you from driving alone without licensed adult supervision.
  • You are only permitted to obtain practice hours with your learning permit, which includes 50 hours total, 10 which will be night hours.
  • His practice ensures that you are given the necessary practice for driving behind the wheel on your own.

Getting Your License

After you have held your permit for the required length of time, have obtained your practice hours, and completed all training programs required for your age, you will be able to obtain your standard driver’s license. There are three specific steps to getting your license, which will be much like getting your permit, but gives you the official driver’s license in California.

  • Complete the Road Exam
    • Set an appointment by calling or visiting the appointment scheduler online
    • Bring proof of financial responsibility, which is most commonly liability auto insurance
  • Obtain Interim License
    • Valid for only 90 days while you wait for your license in the mail
    • Call 1-800-777-0133 to check the status of the license
  • Get Your Provisional License
    • Unlike the learning permit, provisional permit, a provisional license given after you apply for your driver’s license will provide you with a curfew, which restricts driving between hours of 11pm and 5am, while also restricting you from driving with passengers under the age of 20.

The provisional license status is notated on the license and lasts for 12 months. After the 12 months is over, you are given the rights to operate the vehicle as you wish within regards to California state driving laws.


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