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Permit info                                 

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Sample drive test                        

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First year driving restrictions        


Permit Requirements 

To obtain a Minor's Provisional Permit you must:

  • Be at least 15 1/2, but under 18 years of age. (On January 1, 2004, DMV raised the minimum age to get a learner permit to 15 1/2).

  • Fill out the DMV application form (DL 44). Signing this form means you have agreed to this statement, "I agree to submit to a chemical test of my blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of determining the alcohol or drug content of my blood when testing is required by a peace officer acting in accordance with Sections 13388 or 23612 VC." If you refuse to sign this statement, DMV will not issue your permit.

  • Obtain your parents' or guardians' signatures on the application form.

  • Present an acceptable birth date/legal presence document.

  • Present proof of enrollment in driver training, your local driving school can provide you with a copy of DMV form DL 392. (Your first driver training lesson cannot begin until after you obtain your learners permit.)

  • If you are at least 17 1/2' you may obtain a permit without driver education or driver training. However, you must bring in the forms to show you have completed driver education and driver training (DL 387, DL 388, DL 388A, OL 237, or OL 238)* or wait until you are 18 to get a license.

  • Provide your social security number.

  • Pay the required $31 application fee. This fee is good for 12 months and allows you to take the appropriate law test(s) three times, if needed, within the 12-month period. This fee pays for both the instruction permit and driver license, if you qualify for both within that time period. The fee must be paid when you apply for any new or change of class permit or license. It will not be returned. If the application expires, you must start again. This means resubmitting documents, paying the application fee, and taking the required tests.

  • Have your picture taken.

  • Pass an eye exam.

  • Give a thumb print.

  • Pass a traffic laws and road signs test. (If you fail the test, you must wait one week before taking it again. This will give you time to study).


  • You must have your permit for a minimum of 6 months before you apply for a license.

  • The provisional permit may not be used until you are enrolled in behind-the-wheel driver training with an instructor or reach age 17 1/2.

Provisional Permit Restrictions

Minors may use the provisional permit to practice with a parent, guardian, spouse, or an adult 25 years of age or older, who has a valid California driver license. The person must be close enough to take control of the vehicle at any time. A provisional permit does not let you drive alone not even to a DMV office to take a driving test.

If you have a permit that allows you to drive an M1 or M2 vehicle, you cannot carry passengers and you must ride during daylight hours only and not on the freeway.

*DMV changed the numbering system for its forms in 1999. DMV's Form DL387 was previously called DL356. The forms are functionally equivalent. Some DMV publications and web pages still refer to the old form numbers.