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Driver license restrictions during the first year

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Questions and Answers Regarding Provisional Driver License Restrictions

Q. I was issued my provisional driver license on July 1, 2013, when am I eligible to obtain a license without a restriction?

A. You will be restricted for one year until July 1, 2014, or until your 18th birthday, whichever comes first.

Q. I am not sure when my restrictions began. How will I know when they end?

A. The date located on the bottom right corner of your provisional driver license is when the restrictions began. The restrictions will remain in effect one year from that date or until your 18th birthday, whichever comes first.

Q. Will I be restricted when I turn age 18?

A. You are not subject to the provisional driver license restriction once you turn 18 years of age


Q. Will I have to get a new driver license once the restriction period has expired?

A. No. You are not required to get a new driver license until your current license expires.

Q. Why is the department discriminating against teen drivers?

A. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) does not support discrimination. DMV is responsible for ensuring traffic safety. Statistics show provisional drivers are more likely to receive citations or be involved in a serious accident between 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.  The goal of the law in effect requiring the provisional restrictions is to reduce accidents and save lives.

Q. How will these restrictions show on my driving record?

A. The restrictions will read: "First 12 months of licensure may not transport passengers under age 20, and may not drive between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. without parent/other driver as specified in § 12814.6 California Vehicle Code ( CVC)."

Q. When the restrictions end, will they be removed from my record automatically?

A. Yes, the restrictions will be automatically removed from your record when the 12 months have ended or when you turn age 18, whichever comes first.

Q. I work a summer job which requires me to drive between 11:00 PM and 5:00 AM. Can I apply for an exception?

A. CVC § 12814.6 provides an exception for a person who has to work, provided that reasonable transportation facilities are inadequate. You must carry a signed statement with you from the employer, verifying employment and containing the probable date the employment will end.

Q. Are there any other exceptions to the restrictions?

A. Medical necessity when reasonable transportation facilities are inadequate. You must carry a signed statement from your doctor stating the diagnosis and the probable date the necessity will end.

Schooling or school-authorized activities when reasonable transportation facilities are inadequate. You must carry a statement signed by the school principal, dean or a staff person authorized by the principal or dean, indicating when the schooling or school-authorized activity will be completed.

Necessity of family member including yourself, when adequate transportation facilities are unavailable and you need personal transportation or to transport a family member. You must carry a signed statement by a parent/legal guardian verifying the reason you must drive and the probable date the necessity will end.

Emancipated minor If you have filed documents with DMV to show you are emancipated and have filed either an SR-1P or SR 22 as required by law, you are not held to the provisional driving restrictions. It may be a good idea to carry proof of your emancipated status with you.

Q. I was not aware of the restrictions and I was cited by law enforcement,  what can I do?

A. DMV notifies all provisional licensees about the restrictions at the time of issuance. It is the responsibility of the driver and his/her parents/guardians to be aware of the restrictions. The information is also available on DMVs website at, in the California Driver Handbook and in the Parent-Teen Guide

Q. My friend and I got our licenses at the same time. Why is my license restricted and his is not?

A. Has your friend turned 18 years of age? The restrictions end when a driver turns age 18.

Q. When the restrictions end, will I be mailed a new license without the provisional license restrictions?

A. No, a new driver license will not be mailed. The system will be updated to show the change and you may go to your local field office and apply for a duplicate license without the provisional license restrictions.

Q. Can I drive in the event of an emergency even though my provisional license is restricted?

A. The law does not provide for emergencies; only for exceptions as listed in CVC § 12814.6. It is the discretion of law enforcement to determine if they will cite you for violating your provisional license restrictions.

Related Links:

Provisional Licensing Changes
Parent-Teen Training Aid (PDF)
Teen Treasure Hunt


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