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Teens Ask - How Do I Get a Driver's License?

The California Driver License Process for Teens

See the DMV Teen Drivers page for a detailed overview of the process and requirements.

After you have held your driving permit for 5 months, and you feel ready to take the "behind-the-wheel" driving test, make a DMV appointment by calling 1-800-777-0133 or make a DMV appointment online (select the Behind-the-Wheel Drive Test option). The California DMV computers only schedule 30 days in advance and appointments tend to fill up - so start early. Calculate the day you will become eligible and make an appointment on or after that date. You don't have to go to the same DMV office that gave you your permit, so look for available times at several nearby field offices if you can.

Before being eligible to take your driving test you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Have held your permit for a minimum of six months
  • Have completed driver education
  • Have completed 6 hours of professional driver training
  • 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 Behind-the-Wheel Drive Test appointment (drive tests are not given without an appointment.)
To make an appointment, call 1-800-777-0133 between the hours of 8am and 5pm Monday-Friday. Or you can make a DMV appointment online.

Provide proof of financial responsibility.

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.

If you fail your driving test, you must wait two weeks before you can take the test again. You have three chances to pass.

Still have questions? Be sure to check with the California DMV for changes in laws and procedures. We hope you become a safe and courteous driver.


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