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The License Process

Here we explain the process to get licensed.
Choose UNDER 18 or OVER 18

The License Process For Under 18
To apply for a provisional permit, you will need the following:
  • Be at least 15 ½, but under 18 years of age.
  • Make an appointment before visiting a DMV office (walk-ins are only accepted at our Driver License Processing Centers).
  • Complete a Driver License or Identification Card Application form (DL 44). An original DL 44 form must be submitted. Copies will not be accepted.
    • Have your parents' or guardians' signatures on the application form DL 44.
  • Provide your social security number. It will be verified with the Social Security Administration while you are in the office.
  • Verify your Identity (you may use your California driver license). If your current name no longer matches the name on your Identity document, you will need proof of legal name change.
  • Present your acceptable residency document if you have never had a California driver license or California identification card.
  • Submit the proper form(s) for proof of completion of driver education and/or driver training classes
  • Give a fingerprint.
  • Pay the application fee.
    • This fee entitles you to three tests of any type within the 12-month period and pays for both the instruction permit and the driver license. If all requirements are not met within the 12-month period, the application becomes void and all steps must be completed again.
  • Pass a vision exam.
  • Give your fingerprint again, provide your signature (that will appear on the driver license), and have your picture taken.
  • Pass a knowledge test.
    • There are 46 questions on the test.
    • A passing score is at least 38 correct answers. You can miss 8 or less.
    • You have three chances to pass the test.
    • If you fail, you must wait 7 days before taking it again.
  • If applying for a REAL ID provisional permit and are under 18, you must provide proof of your Identity, SSN, and residency from the list of acceptable REAL ID document options.
  • Note: To allow you sufficient time for testing, DMV will not be administering knowledge tests after 4:30 p.m.
  • Driver Education and Driver Training Form Requirements:
  • If you are 15 ½ to 17 ½ years of age, you will need to provide a:
    • Certificate of Completion of Driver Education OR
    • Certificate of Completion of Driver Education and Driver Training OR
    • Certificate of Enrollment In An Integrated (Classroom) Driver Education And Driver Training Program
  • If you are over 17 ½ but under 18 years of age, you may get your permit without the driver education and driver training certificates however, you will not be able to take the driving test until you turn 18.
  • Once you pass your knowledge test, you will be issued a provisional permit.
  • A parent, guardian, spouse or adult 25 years of age or older, who has a valid California driver license, must be with you when you drive.
    • He or she must sit in a position close enough to take control of the vehicle, if necessary.
    • It is illegal for you to drive alone at any time.

Before being eligible to take your driving test you must:

  • Be 16 years old AND
  • Have held your permit for a minimum of six months AND
  • Have completed driver education AND
  • Have completed 6 hours of professional driver training AND
  • Have completed 50 hours of practice with an adult 25 years or older.
    • The adult must have a valid California driver license and certify to the 50 hours of practice.
    • At least 10 of the 50 hours must have been done at night.

To take your driving test, you will need to:

  • Make a driving test Appointment.
    • Driving tests are not given without an appointment.
    • You may also call 1-800-777-0133 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, to make a driving test appointment.
  • Provide proof of financial responsibility that meets or exceeds California Insurance Requirements.
  • If you fail your driving test, you must wait two weeks before you can take the test again.
    • You have three chances to pass.
  • After you pass your driving test you will be issued an interim license valid for 90 days until you receive your new photo license in the mail. Check your address before you leave DMV and tell the DMV representative if you have moved or if your address is incorrect. If you have not received your license after 60 days, call 1-800-777-0133 to check on the status. Have your interim license with you to provide information when requested.
The License Process For Over 18
To apply for a license, you will need the following:
  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Make an appointment before visiting a DMV office (walk-ins are only accepted at our Driver License Processing Centers).
  • Complete a Driver License or Identification Card Application form (DL 44). An original DL 44 form must be submitted. Copies will not be accepted.
  • Provide your social security number. It will be verified with the Social Security Administration while you are in the office.
  • Verify your Identity. If your current name no longer matches the name on your Identity document, you will need proof of legal name change.
  • Present your acceptable residency document if you have never had a California driver license or California identification card.
  • Give a fingerprint.
  • Pay the application fee.
    • This fee entitles you to three tests of any type within the 12-month period and pays for both the instruction permit and the driver license. If all requirements are not met within the 12-month period, the application becomes void and all steps must be completed again.
  • Pass a vision exam.
  • Give your fingerprint again, provide your signature (that will appear on the driver license), and have your picture taken.
  • Pass a knowledge test.
    • There are 36 questions on the test.
    • A passing score is at least 31 correct answers. You can miss 5 or less.
    • You have three chances to pass the test.
    • If you fail, you must wait 7 days before taking it again.
  • If applying for a REAL ID driver license, you must provide proof of your Identity, SSN, and residency from the list of acceptable REAL ID document options.
  • Note: To allow you sufficient time for testing, DMV will not be administering knowledge tests after 4:30 p.m.
  • Driver Education and Driver Training Form Requirements:
  • You will then be issued a permit if you have never been licensed before.
  • When you practice, you must have an accompanying adult who is 18 years of age or older, with a valid California license.
    • He or she must sit in a position close enough to take control of the vehicle, if necessary.
    • It is illegal for you to drive alone at any time.
  • If you have a license from another country, you will be required to take a driving test. If you have a license from another state, the driving test can be waived.

To take your driving test, you will need to:

  • Make a driving test Appointment.
    • Driving tests are not given without an appointment.
    • You may also call 1-800-777-0133 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, to make a driving test appointment.
  • Provide proof of financial responsibility that meets or exceeds California Insurance Requirements.
  • You have three chances to pass the driving test. If you fail, you may practice for a while, then make another appointment.
    • There is no waiting period, but you must make an appointment.
    • If you fail to successfully complete the driving test on the first attempt, you must pay a $6 fee for each additional driving test that is administered under an application for an original or renewal driver license.
  • After you pass your driving test you will be issued an interim license valid for 90 days until you receive your new photo license in the mail. Double-check your address before you leave DMV and tell the DMV representative if you have moved or if your address is incorrect. If you have not received your license after 60 days, call 1-800-777-0133 and they can check on the status for you. Have your interim license with you to provide information when requested.