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! 


dmv california learners permit guide
DMV California Learners Permit guide

1. Do you need a California DMV learner’s permit before getting a license?

Yes, if you are a new driver in California, you must obtain a learner’s permit before obtaining a driver’s license. A learner’s permit is a provisional license that allows you to practice driving under the supervision of a licensed driver. It is essential to note that obtaining a learner’s permit is not a guarantee that you will get a driver’s license. You must pass a driving test to obtain a California license.


2. What are the California DMV permit requirements?

To obtain a learner’s permit in California, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Age: You must be at least 15 1/2 years old to apply for a learner’s permit.
  • Driver’s education: You must complete a DMV-approved driver’s education course or enroll in an integrated driver’s education and training program.
  • Identification: You must provide proof of your identity and legal presence in the United States, such as a birth certificate, passport, or permanent resident card.
  • Vision exam: You must pass a vision exam to ensure you can see well enough to drive safely.
  • Written knowledge test: You must pass a written knowledge test that covers traffic laws, signs, signals, and safe driving practices.
  • Application fee: You must pay the application fee, which is currently $35.


3. What documents do you need to prepare for the California DMV permit test?

Before taking the California DMV permit test, you are required to provide the following documents in order to take the DMV :

  • Proof of identity: You must provide proof of your identity, such as a birth certificate, passport, or permanent resident card.
  • Proof of legal presence: You must provide proof of your legal presence in the United States, such as a bills, credit card, rental fees, etc
  • Social Security Number (SSN): You must provide your SSN or an acceptable alternative, such as a letter from the Social Security Administration stating that you are not eligible for an SSN.
  • Completion certificate for driver’s education: You must provide proof of completion of a DMV-approved driver’s education course or enrollment in an integrated driver’s education and training program.
  • Completed application form: You must complete the DMV’s application form, which is available online or in person at a DMV office.
  • Application fee: You must pay the application fee, which is currently $35.

NOTE: Make sure to bring all of these documents with you when you go to the DMV to take your permit test.


>> See also: Illinois Instruction Permit


california leaners permit
California driving road 

4. California DMV permit test study guide: How to get a learner’s permit?

Here is the detailed process to get the CA DMV permit test. You should read the steps carefully to be well-prepared learners. 


4.1. Scheduling an appointment

It is advisable to schedule an appointment with your nearest California DMV office, as some locations may not allow walk-ins. Furthermore, booking in advance can save you a significant amount of time at other locations. Additionally, it is worth noting that test areas do not administer the written test after 4:30 pm, so it is beneficial to have an appointment prearranged.


4.2. Submit all the needed paperwork 

Don’t forget to bring all the listed documents above. If you miss one of these, your process will be disrupted soon. 


4.3. Taking the vision screening 

The vision test must be taken before doing the knowledge test. You are allowed to bring your glasses or contact lens while taking to test. However, ask the examiner first to make sure you can wear them without any restrictions. 


4.4. Portrait and thumbprint 

Going to the shooting areas to provide your thumbprint. Then, you will be asked for the picture taken. The picture will be printed on your license, thus, be well-dressed to avoid embarrassing or do-not-look-so-well pictures.  


4.5. Taking the knowledge test 

To obtain a California learner’s permit, you must pass a multiple-choice written exam that assesses your knowledge of driving laws, driver’s safety, and ability to recognize street signs. The exam comprises 46 questions, and a minimum of 38 correct answers is required to pass. If minors fail the exam, they can retake it after a week, while applicants aged 18 or older can retake it immediately. However, if you fail the test three times, you will have to restart the application process and pay the fees again. To determine if you’re ready for the test, try our California DMV practice test


Related article: 

>> DMV Written Test Study Guide

>> DMV Driving Test Study Guide


4.6. Pay the test fee

You can pay for the required fees by: cash, credit/debit cards, checks, or money orders. 


4.7. Validate your permit 

 Your permit won’t be valid until it’s signed by a driving instructor or you turn 17 ½. It’s important to note that your application for a learner’s permit remains valid for 12 months. However, if you fail to activate your permit with ample time to complete the mandatory six-month driving experience, you will need to submit a second application.


California learners permit guideline
Make sure you know all the restrictions of DMV California leaners permit


5. Some restrictions on California DMV permit you should know?

There are some important restrictions that you should be aware of if you hold a California DMV learner’s permit. These include:

  • Supervision: You must be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 25 years old and has held a valid driver’s license for at least three years.
  • Passengers: You cannot transport passengers who are under the age of 20, unless they are immediate family members or you are accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 25 years old.
  • Nighttime driving: You cannot drive between the hours of 11:00 pm and 5:00 am, unless accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 25 years old or you are driving to or from a school or a job.
  • Cell phone use: You cannot use a cell phone while driving, even with a hands-free device.
  • Seat belts: You and all passengers must wear seat belts or other approved safety restraints at all times while driving.


It’s important to follow these restrictions while holding a learner’s permit to ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road. Once you complete the six-month driving experience requirement and pass the driving test, you can obtain a provisional license that will allow you to drive with fewer restrictions.


In conclusion, obtaining a learner’s permit is an essential step toward obtaining a driver’s license in California. By meeting the permit requirements, preparing for the permit test, and following the restrictions, you can become a safe and responsible driver on California roads. Preparing well with Driving Test Pro now!