How to Get Your California Learner's Permit

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Required Steps for Receiving Your Learner's Permit

You can find all the requirements and necessary forms outlined in our California Driver’s Ed PDF. Download it today and you’ll find everything you need to get behind the wheel.

Getting your learner's permit is a big deal. It puts you one step closer to that coveted driver's license you've been waiting so long for! You should go into the process of getting your California learner's permit knowing exactly what you need to do, so you can get it done faster and get out on the road!

Required Steps for Receiving Your Learner's Permit
First, you must be at least 15 1/2 years of age but younger than 18 years old to start working toward your California DMV-issued learner's permit. You will then need to:

  • Take an approved Driver's Ed course
  • Enroll in a driver training course
    • To apply for your permit, you may take Driver's Ed and driver training concurrently at the time of application, or you can have both done already. Additionally, you can have finished Driver's Ed but be in the middle of your driver training program.
    • Teens between the ages of 17 1/2 and 18 do not need to complete Driver's Ed or driver training. They do, however, need to carry out the other steps.
  • Go to the DMV and turn in a DL 44 form that includes your full name and the signature of a parent or guardian
  • Have a thumb print taken and give your Social Security Number
  • Provide documentation that proves your identity
  • Pay the DMV's fee
  • Pass both a vision test and a written exam on traffic laws
  • Hold your provisional instruction permit for 6 months, during which time you must get a separate 50 hours of driving practice (10 of those taking place at night) with a parent or guardian in the front passenger seat

 Requirements for Your Driver's Ed Course
The fastest, easiest way to complete your California Driver's Ed course is to take it online. But no matter which format you choose for your course, it should meet these criteria:

  • It should be approved
  • It should be 30 hours long; this is the required length in California
  • It should cover vital driving topics, such as:
    • Driving responsibilities
    • Traffic signs and signals
    • Accident prevention
    • Rules of the road

Don't waste your time on an unapproved course! And be sure to find the course that's right for YOU.

 Benefits of Taking Driver's Education Online
There are tons of benefits to taking Driver's Ed online rather than in a classroom. Just a few of these advantages are:

  • You get to take the course on your own terms. Take it whenever, wherever you want.
  • Work through it at the pace that's best for you.
  • You'll be more engaged, with graphics, animations, videos, and more, to help you learn the material!
  • Chapters are short and easy to read
  • You can ask questions at any time thanks to our 24/7 Customer Support team

 Documents You'll Need to Submit at the DMV
When applying for your California learner's permit, you will need to have a few documents in hand:

  • Application form (DL 44)
  • Your Certificate of Completion from your Driver's Ed course, or proof that you are enrolled in one
  • A certified copy of your birth certificate, with the state seal embossed on it (other documents may be accepted in lieu of this; see the California DMV website)

 Up Next: The Provisional Driver's License
This is the big one! You've completed your Driver's Ed and driver training program, you've practiced the minimum 50 hours with your parent or guardian; and now it's 6 months later and you're officially 16. It's finally time to upgrade to your provisional driver's license! To apply for this, you'll need:

  • Proof that you have completed both Driver's Ed and a driver training program
  • Your permit, signed by either your parent/guardian or your driving instructor
  • Your vehicle registration
  • Proof of insurance
  • Proof of identity (a birth certificate, U.S. passport, etc.)
  • Proof of your true full name
  • Your Social Security Number

Then all you have to do is pass your road test, and you'll be the proud owner of a provisional driver's license! You can even download a Parent-Teen Driving Contract to make the transition easier for you and your parents. It all starts with a California DMV-issued learner's permit, so start there and move on up! If you have any questions, feel free to visit our FAQs page.

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