Learn the Requirements for Holding a Drivers License in California
There are several requirements for holding a California driving license. These include that you must be at least 16 years of age and free from physical impairments that could interfere with the ability to operate a vehicle. Additionally you can’t have suspended or revoked driving privileges in any other state.
Gather the Required Documentation for Your California DMV Permit
Before you can get your license, you will first need to get your permit. In order to do this you will need to provide documentation that verifies your name, age and address. Generally 2 forms of ID are needed with a picture ID and 3 forms are needed without. You can get a list of acceptable forms of ID from your California DMV. You will also need to provide your social security card when applying which will be verified while you are at the DMV.
Study the California Drivers Handbook
You will need to learn the information in the California drivers handbook in order to pass your California DMV test. This test will allow you to get a permit and will include questions on road and vehicle safety as well as traffic laws. Going to a California drivers ed class is a great way to become acquainted with the information before the test. Plus, if you are under 18 enrollment in a course is required before you can get your permit.
Take Your California Permit Test
Next you will go to the California DMV and take your permit test. This is a written test that will ask multiple choice questions about the various things you learned in the handbook and in your California drivers education course. If you are worried about passing your permit test, you might want to take a California DMV practice test before you go. This is a great way to prepare for your California drivers permit test. You will have 3 tries to pass your permit test without having to pay to take it again. You can only take the test 1 time each day if you are 18 or older, and you have to wait one week before next attempt if you are a minor. The fee for your California drivers license is $31 and is good for 3 tests (either written or behind the wheel) during a 12 month period as well as the physical license.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Once you have your permit, you can start practicing your driving skills behind the wheel. Make sure that you always carry your permit and that you have a licensed driver in the front passenger seat. If you are under 18 the driver must be at least 25 years old. You will need to hold your permit for at least 6 months and to get in at least 50 hours of practice during this time, with at least 10 hours at night, if you are under 18. Adult drivers should get as much practice as possible, although there are no specific hourly requirements.
Complete a California Drivers Ed Course
Prospective drivers under 18 must complete their drivers education course, which includes 6 hours of professional drivers training before they can take their behind the wheel test. When you complete this course, make sure that you get a certificate of completion to turn into the DMV.
Make an Appointment for Your Behind the Wheel Test
When you feel comfortable, and have met time restrictions, you can make an appointment for your behind the wheel test. During this test you will need to demonstrate your ability to safely and defensively drive. Re-tests are possible, each additional test costs $6. Your first tests are included in your licensing fees.
Take Your Driving Skills Test
You will go to the California DMV to take your skills test. During this test you will go on a drive with a test administrator who will make sure that you can change lanes, watch for traffic, park, back up and complete other essential skills.
Receive Your California Drivers License
If you pass both your written and skills test and provide the necessary documentation and fees, you can receive your California drivers license. At first you will be issued a paper interim license until your official license can arrive in the mail which can take up to 60 days.