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California Driver's Permit, Drivers Education, Lessons, Tests

How do I get my California Driving Permit?

Requirements for getting your Driving Permit

To earn your California provisional instruction permit, any minor must be at least 15 ½, but under 18 years of age and have completed a DMV approved driver education course, like and have received your DMV Certificate of Completion of Driver Education - DL400C

Once you are at least 15 1/2 years of age, you may take the DMV's written test for your permit. You will need to make a DMV appointment for the written test. We recommend that you wait until you have your certificate in hand before making an appointment to avoid rescheduling. Tests are not given after 4:30pm. Make a DMV appointment by phone: 1-800-777-0133 or online (select the office visit appointment option).
NOTICE: My California Permit is OPEN and is shipping certificates daily. Our DMV Certificates DO NOT EXPIRE. Now is the time to complete your Drivers Ed Course.

So you passed this Drivers Ed course - Now what?

Receive your pink DMV certificate of completion shipped by first class mail. Note: Please CONTACT US if your certificate has not arrived after 2 weeks.

Prepare for the DMV Permit Test - Read the DMV Handbook

Review the DMV California Driver Handbook. Remember, all of the test questions are taken from the California Driver Handbook (available online in multiple formats and languages). Links to the California Driver Handbook and the DMV Parent-Teen Training Guide are in the footer of every page in our website. You can also pick up a printed copy at any DMV office. Start reviewing it while you wait for your certificate to arrive in the mail. The handbook contains vital information and may take you a few days to fully study.

Take Free DMV Practice Permit Tests
Before you go to DMV to take your permit test, take these DMV Sample Practice Tests (Regular Driver - Class C) and be prepared for the way the DMV phrases questions. The practice tests are also available in Spanish and American Sign Language (ASL). 

Be sure to take all of the following to the DMV Permit Test Appointment:

  • Certificate of Completion of Driver Education DL-400C - signed by parent or guardian (the pink slip we mail you when you complete this course)
  • Your Birth Certificate or Legal Presence Papers - originals or certified copies only
  • Social Security Number (REAL ID requires proof of SSN - see list of document options for REAL ID card)
  • One (1) form of proof of residency - REAL ID requires two (2). See the residency document requirements.
  • The DMV has changed the requirements recently due to the REAL ID Act. Please check DMV.CA.GOV for the latest under 18 application requirements.

At the DMV you must:

  • Fill out or bring a completed DL44 application and have both parents sign it (available at DMV offices or complete the electronic DL44 application online ahead of time).
  • Pay the DMV application fee, this fee pays for both your permit and your driver's license.
  • Pass a vision test - if you wear glasses, bring them.
  • Pass the DMV's written knowledge test. You have three chances to pass the test within a year. Remember, questions for this test are taken from the California Driver Handbook.

See the complete DMV under 18 checklist for current requirements. They will ask for these at the appointment window. If you don't have them, you won't get past the window! You will also need to pay the DMV fee and have your picture taken, and give a thumbprint.

Once you pass your written test, you will be issued a provisional permit. 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 a position close enough to take control of the vehicle. It is illegal for you to drive alone at any time.

If you did NOT pass the California Driving Permit test (the written test at the DMV) on your first try, please look at your application. You will see TWO different dates below your name. One says DATE ISSUED and the other says EXPIRATION DATE. You have ONE YEAR to complete the process of getting your permit AND your license, and the clock starts ticking from the day you pay the fee and submit the application. If the 6-month waiting period is beyond the EXPIRATION DATE, you will have to re-take the written test, pay another fee, and get another permit. PERMITS ARE NOT RENEWABLE.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You are required to keep your permit a minimum of 6 months, irrespective of when you turn 16. If you are already 16, you must still keep the permit for 6 months before you will be eligible for the driving test.

Start Now! Get your California Drivers Ed Certificate