A Comprehensive California Learners Permit Guideline
Are you a Californian who wants to drive your own vehicle but still not sure about the process of getting a DMV in California? If yes, don’t worry, we are here to help. In order to obtain a California DMV, you must have the DMV California Learners Permit first. Thus, how to obtain a learner permit, and what are the requirements as well as the needed documents? We will give you a California Learners Permit Guideline in this article. Start your reading process now!
1. What is a DMV California learners permit?
A learner permit is the first milestone to get a California DMV. Obtaining a learner permit allows drivers to operate your vehicle under some restrictions of DMV – mostly driving with a supervisor older than 21 years old. In general, drivers have to use the learner permit for one year and more before qualifying for a regular California driver’s license. It helps reduce the probability that a teen driver will get into serious situations while driving in California.
2. What are the age requirements for a California learners permit?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 2000 teenagers between 16 to 19 died in car accidents per year. That’s why California state has enacted the following requirements below for the learner’s permit as well as the license permit:
2.1. For drivers between 15 ½ and 17 ½
In order to obtain a DMV California learners permit, you must complete a California-approved driver’s education course or be currently enrolled in an integrated driver’s ed and driver training program.
Besides, you are required to bring your parents’ sign of agreement that they will take responsibility for your safety.
2.2. For drivers between 17 ½ and 18
You must own a permit at this stage. However, you are not able to take your driver’s license road test until you are 18 years old.
2.3. For over 18 drivers
You are required to drive with your permit for at least 6 months before applying for your license.
3. How to apply for a DMV California learners permit?
In order to apply for a DMV California learners permit, you must come through 5 basic steps:
3.1. Submit the needed documents
We strongly suggest you make an appointment first with your local DMV in California before directly going to the office because it saves your time and makes the process smooth. The DMV California requires you to bring the following documents below:
- DMV license application that has your parents or guardians’ signature (for 15 ½ and 17 ½ drivers)
- Identification proof
- Residency proof
- Social Security Administration
- Driver’s education proof (for under 17 ½ drivers)
3.2. Pass the DMV California Knowledge Test
DMV California Knowledge Test is the written exam that is used to evaluate your understanding of traffic regulations, driving safety as well as the ability to recognize road signs. California knowledge test includes 46 questions, your task is to answer correctly at least 38/46 questions. You have 3 attempts to take this test, if you fail, the application process will start over.
In addition, you are required to bring the following documents below to take your written test:
- REAL ID Online Application
- Proof of Identity
- Social Security Card
- 2 proofs of residency
- DMV fee: $38
>> Read more: DMV Written Test Study Guide
3.3. Pass the vision test
This test is used for your eye’s sight ability. You must wear corrective lenses if you are suffering from a short-sightedness issue.
3.4. Take the California learner’s permit photo and handprint
3.5. Charge for permit fee
4. What are the California learner’s permit restrictions?
Here are the permit’s restrictions of California states that you must know before applying for one:
Restriction number 1
Learner’s permit holders are only authorized to drive between the hours of 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. In addition, you must be accompanied by a professional driving instructor or a licensed driver over the age of 25, who may take over in the event of an emergency.
Restriction number 2
A certified teacher will accompany you for 6 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction. To demonstrate this, bring a DL388 or DL400 form signed by your licensed teacher.
Restriction number 3
50 hours of driving practice with a licensed adult of at least 25 years old. To show this, provide your expired permit with your parent’s or guardian’s signature.
Restriction number 4
Maintain your permit for at least six months. As evidence, bring your expired driver’s license (the date of issuance is on there as proof).
Restriction number 5
When you are ready to take your driving test, you must bring your expired permit, new permit, and the DL388 or DL400 form demonstrating that you have completed 6 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction with a qualified instructor. The expired permit is also essential because it is your sole evidence of credit indicating that you have been in possession of your permit for at least 6 months. If you lose your expired driver’s license and do not have documentation of a previous DMV application, you must wait the entire six months to take your driving test. DMV does not save your previous application once you submit a fresh application for a new permit. It’s critical that you don’t lose your expired permission.
Notice: The permit test can only be retaken at the DMV. Do not take any test outside the DMV, otherwise, that permit is considered invalid and can not be used to operate your vehicle.
5. What are the FAQs of California learners permits?
5.1. How long does a California learners permit?
In California, permits are only good for 12 months. Let us begin with the unpleasant news. You must reapply for a new permit (which costs $35). Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we’re ready to share some exciting news! As long as you have confirmation of completion, you DO NOT need to retake any of the following prerequisites:
- 30 hours of driver’s education (online and in the classroom) Please bring your driver’s education certificate as proof.
- A certified teacher will accompany you for 6 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction. Bring a DL388 or DL400 form signed by your qualified instructor to demonstrate 50 hours of behind-the-wheel experience with a licensed adult over the age of 25. To show this, provide your expired permit with your parent’s or guardian’s signature.
- Maintain your permit for at least six months. As evidence, bring your expired driver’s license (the date of issuance is on there as proof).
5.2. Can I drive with a California learners permit?
You cannot drive alone with a learner’s permit if you are over the age of 18. You must drive with a parent, guardian, spouse, or other adults who are at least 18 years old (25 if you are under 18) and have a valid license until you obtain your regular license.
5.3. At what age can I drive alone in California?
You must be at least 16 years old. Have held your instruction permit for at least 6 months (in California or another state).
5.4. What will happen if I get caught driving with someone in California?
For the first infraction, the punishment is 16 hours of community service and a $35 fine. The second violation carries a fine of $50 and 24 hours of community service. If they accumulate three points in a year, their license is suspended for six months.
5.5. Can I drive to school only with a DMV California learners permit?
You cannot drive by yourself. A parent, legal guardian, driving instructor, or licensed adult over the age of 21 must accompany you in the front seat at all times.
That’s all the information that we want to provide to readers and hope that you can get more understanding as well as obtain the DMV California learners permit successfully. It is not a difficult task and we believe you can do it! If you’re still not confident, practice with DMV California Practice Test now to score high!