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Provisional Instruction Permits

If you are under 18 and at least 15 ½ you can apply for a provisional driver license. The first step to getting your license is to get your instruction permit. Because you are under 18, your permit and driver license are called, "Provisional." This means you have additional restrictions placed on your permit and driver license that adults (18 and over) do not have.

Your provisional instruction permit will have the following restrictions.

  • You must obey the traffic laws
  • You must drive without a collision
  • You must drive with your parent, guardian, spouse, or an adult 25 years of age or older, who has a valid California driver license.
  • You must hold your permit for six months before you can take your driving test to get your driver license.
How to apply for a permit if you are under 18

Driver License

To take your driving test you must:

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

Before you take your driving test, check your address on your permit to be sure it is correct. When you check in to take your driving test, tell the DMV technician if you have moved or if your address is incorrect.

You will be asked to show you are properly insured before your driving test begins. If you do not have proof of insurance, the driving test will be postponed (California Insurance Requirements).

If you fail your driving test, you must wait two weeks before you can take another driving test. You have three chances to pass your driving test before you have to start your application over. You will have to pay a retest fee to take a second or third driving test.

After you pass your driving test you will be issued a temporary license valid for 90 days. Your new photo license will be mailed to you. If you have not received your license after 60 days, call 1-800-777-0133 to check on the status. Have your temporary license with you to provide information when requested.

The links below contain the information you need to help you prepare for your instruction permit or driver license.