How to apply for a permit if you are under 18
- Be at least 15 ½, but under 18 years of age.
- Complete a California Driver License or Identification Card Application.
- Have both of your parents' or guardians' signatures on the DL 44 application form
- Visit a DMV office ( make an appointment online for faster service).
- Provide your social security number on the application. It will be verified with the Social Security Administration while you are in the office.
- Provide your full legal name
- Bring your original birth certificate or a certified copy. If you are not a US-born citizen, you must provide proof that you are a legal US resident.
- Present acceptable residency documents.
- Submit the proper form(s) for driver education and/or driver training classes. (See below for details)
- Provide a thumb print
- Pay the application fee (This fee entitles you to three exams of any type within the 12-month period and pays for both the 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
- Provide a thumb print again, provide your signature (that will appear on the driver license) and have your picture taken.
- Pass a knowledge test. You must get at least 38 questions right out of 46. You will have 3 chances to take the test, but if you fail a test you must wait 7 days before taking the test again. If you fail the test all 3 times, you must start over by filling out a new application.
If you are between 15 ½ and 17 ½ years of age, you will need to provide proof that you:
- Completed driver education
- Completed driver education and driver training.
- Enrolled and participating in an approved integrated driver education/driver training program.
NOTE: Provisional instruction permits are not valid until the instruction permit is signed by a licensed or authorized driving instructor or the applicant reaches the age 17½.
NOTE: If your driver education and/or driver training were completed in a state other than California, DMV will accept a letter from your out-of state secondary school on the school's official stationery. The letter must be signed by a school official stating that the completed courses you have taken are equivalent to a California secondary school course as described in Section 10020 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations and on form "To Secondary Schools Other Than California Schools" (DL 33)
The "To Secondary Schools Other Than California Schools" (DL 33) form should be sent to your out-of-State School. The DL 33 should not be completed, but rather contains the information for the out-of-state school to complete the letter. Obtain a DL 33 form from your local DMV office or by calling DMV at 1-800-777-0133.
An out-of-state driving instructional permit is not acceptable proof of driver education and driver training.
As soon as you pass your written test, you will be issued a permit.
The Provisional instruction permits are not valid until the instruction permit is signed by a licensed or authorized driving instructor or the applicant reaches the age 17 ½.
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 the front seat in order to take control of the vehicle, if necessary. It is illegal for you to drive alone at any time.