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California Driver Handbook
Special Section - Minors
A minor is a person under 18 years of age. Minors must have their application for a driver license, or any change of driver license class, signed by his/her parent(s) or legal guardian(s).
NOTE: Minors may not work as a driver for pay and they may not drive a school bus containing pupils.
To get a permit you must:
- Be at least 151/2, but under 18 years of age.
- Complete the Driver or Identification Card application (DL 44) requirements. (See pages 3 and 4.)
- Have your parent(s) or guardian(s) sign the DL 44.
- Pass a traffic laws and road signs test. If you fail the test, you must wait one week before taking the test again.
- If you are 151/2 to 171/2 years of age, you will need to provide proof that you:
- Completed driver education (Form DL 387 Certificate of Completion of Classroom Driver Education or OL 237 Certificate of Completion of Driver Education) OR
- Completed driver education and driver training (DL 387, DL 387A-E, DL 388A-C Certificate of Completion of Driver Training, OL 237, Certificate of Completion of Driver Education, or OL 238, Certificate of Completion of Behind-the-Wheel Training) OR
- Are enrolled and participating in an approved integrated driver education/driver training program (DL 400). Certificate of Enrollment in an Integrated (Classroom) Driver Education and Driver Training Program.
The provisional permit is not valid until you start your behind-the-wheel driver training with an instructor or reach age 171/2.
If you are applying for a motorcycle learner’s permit, you must be between the ages of 151/2 and 171/2 and provide proof of driver education and driver training completion.
If you have a permit and you plan to drive outside of California, check licensing requirements in that state or country.
NOTE: If you are at least 171/2, you may obtain a permit without completing driver education or driver training. However, you can not get a license before you are 18 years old, or you must provide proof of driver education and driver training completion.
You must practice with a licensed California driver: parent, guardian, spouse, or an adult 25 years of age or older. The person must sit close enough to you to take control of the vehicle at any time. A provisional permit does not allow you to drive alone–not even to a DMV office to take a driving test.
If you have an M1 or M2 motorcycle permit, you can not carry passengers, you must ride during daylight hours only, and you can not ride on the freeway.
- Be at least 16 years old.
- Prove that you have finished both driver education and driver training. (DL 387, DL 387A–E, DL 388A–C, OL 237 or OL 238)
- Have had a California instruction permit for at least six months.
- Provide parent(s) or guardian(s) signature(s) on your instruction permit stating you have completed the 50 hours of supervised driving practice (10 hours must be night driving) as outlined in the Parent-Teen Training Guide (DL 603). Visit the Teen Website at www.dmv.ca.gov/teenweb/ or call 1-800-777-0133 to request this booklet.
- Pass the behind-the-wheel driving test. You have three chances to pass the test while your permit is valid. If you fail the behind-thewheel driving test, you must pay a retest fee for a second or subsequent test and wait two weeks before you are tested again.
Once you have your provisional license, you may drive alone as long as you do not have any collisions or traffic violations.
When you become 18 years old, the “provisional” part of your license ends. You may keep the photo license you have or pay a fee for a duplicate license without the word “provisional.”
During the first 12 months after you are licensed, you can not drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. and you can not transport passengers under age 20 unless you are accompanied by your licensed parent or guardian, a licensed driver 25 years of age or older, or a licensed or certified driving instructor.
The law allows the following exceptions when reasonable transportation is not available, and it is necessary for you to drive. A signed note must be kept in your possession for any of the following exceptions explaining the necessity to drive and the date when the driving necessity will end (except emancipated minors):
- Medical necessity to drive when reasonable transportation alternatives are inadequate. The note must be signed by a physician with the diagnosis and probable date of recovery.
- Schooling or school-authorized activity. The note must be signed by your school principal, dean, or designee.
- Employment necessity and the need to operate a vehicle as part of your employment. The note must be signed by your employer verifying employment.
- Your necessity to drive an immediate family member with both a physician’s note and a note signed by your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) stating the reason and probable end date of necessity.
EXCEPTION: These requirements do not apply to emancipated minors. You must have declared yourself emancipated and provided DMV with Proof of Financial Responsibility (SR1P) in lieu of your parent(s) or guarantor(s) signature(s).