• Drivers Over 18

CA Drivers – Over 18

New drivers aren’t only teen drivers, as sometimes they are over the age of 18. Whether you are a beginning first-time driver in California over the age of 18 or if you have just moved to the state, you will be required to apply for a new California license. Knowing how, when, and where to get your new license is very important, which is why 4dmv.com will give you the head start in finding all the resources and necessary paperwork, as well as detailing all the processes that you must go through to make the process that much simpler for you.

Choosing the License

There are various license types offered within the state of California, including commercial and noncommercial licenses, with the most common license obtained being the Class C basic license that allows you to operate a passenger car, truck, or SUV. Knowing the difference in licenses could be essential in determining whether you require a noncommercial Class A or B license for towing or operation of a recreational vehicle or mobile home, or if your moped or scooter requires that you obtain a California motorcycles license.

California Driver’s Ed Requirements

If you are under the age of 18, you are required to obtain the appropriate documentation to prove that you have successfully completed the appropriate Driver’s Ed course and driver’s training as well. However, once you turn 18 in the state of California, you are permitted to skip the Driver’s Ed course and driver’s training, however you may still attend.

There are some adult first-time drivers that just don’t feel the confidence they should on the road, which is just why these courses are offered. If you aren’t sure whether you are prepared for obtaining your license, you should definitely attend driver’s training courses to ensure you are ready when it’s time to get behind the wheel.

Studying for Your Road Exam

The California driver’s license for first-time drivers requires a road test to be completed; however, if you are new to the state and have had a valid driver’s license in another state, you may skip this step and move on to obtaining your license. All other drivers who have never before been licensed, however, must first complete the road test before they are given their license.

Studying for your road exam is essential to your success during the test. You will find that there are several different elements to the test, in which you must maneuver and demonstrate proper judgment on the roadways. To study for your exam, you are provided with various resources, which are all found at CA Department of Motor Vehicles Publications. The California Driver Handbook could be your best tool in studying for your driver’s license and can be obtained in one of three ways from the California DMV:

Applying for Your New Driver’s License (Class C or M)

Applying for your new California license must be done in person at the local DMV nearest you. You can find the many DMV field offices by using the online directory at DMV Public Offices by Location 

  • Complete the Driver’s License application form DL 44, which must be obtained as an original copy from the DMV in person or by mail.
  • Provide proof of birth, name, residency, and Social Security number
  • Provide a thumbprint and photo for the card
  • Complete vision test
  • Pay $31 fee

You will then get the opportunity to take your road test, which must be done in your vehicle, which must have the minimum required California liability insurance or other proof of financial responsibility in order to qualify as a test vehicle. There must be no passengers with you, including pets.

Obtaining Noncommercial or Commercial License (Class A or B)

  • There is a bit of a difference when you are applying for a commercial or noncommercial Class A or B license. You will be required to submit additional forms, as well as a form DL 44C instead of DL 44. In addition to the application, you will also need to complete the health questionnaire, which will determine if you are in a healthy state appropriate for operation of the larger vehicles, which can be much more dangerous.
  • Health Questionnaire or Physician’s Health Report

Receiving Your License

After you have completed testing and submitted all the necessary forms and documents, you will then be given an interim license that will provide you with a substitute valid for only 90 days while you wait for your photo license in the mail. If you still haven’t received your photo license after 60 days, you should call the DMV at 1-800-777-0133 to check the status and determine whether there is an error in your address on file.

Getting a Non-Citizen California License

Even those who hold a foreign license are recognized within the state of California; however, if you plan on obtaining a California license, you will be required to follow the steps to receive a new California driver’s license.

  • Verify birthdate, Social Security #, and legal citizenship, which will be then verified with the Department of Homeland Security
  • Follow normal process of Class C license or other type depending on license you are obtaining
  • Pay $31 fee
  • After Department of Homeland Security verifies your legal status, you will be mailed your official California license

Once you obtain your first-time California license, it will remain valid for 4 years, after which you must renew regularly, which can be done by mail or even online.


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