Learners Permit

Learners permit requirements in California are standard, but they are also quite strict. Not just anyone is capable of getting a permit. There are restrictions regarding age and other factors, and knowing what’s required and how the process works are crucial. If you are in the market for a learner’s permit in California, you must know which requirements you must meet to get one. It’s easy if you qualify, but you might find you’re not eligible to get one of your own.


Learner Permit Requirements in California

If you plan on obtaining a permit to learn to drive, you must meet all of the following conditions. There are no exceptions to any of these rules.

  • You must be at least 15 ½ years of age
  • You must be younger than 18
  • You must complete a DMV-approved driver’s education course
  • You must have a certificate of approval from the DMV course saying you completed it
  • You must pass a written test at the DMV


The standard age in many states is 15 to obtain a permit, but California law requires all permit applicants spend at least 6 months of their fifteenth year waiting for their permit. During this time you should complete the driver’s education course. The written test must be done at the DMV, and you must make an appointment to take the test prior to showing up for the exam. You have three tries to pass, and there is a practice test available at the DMV if you want to practice prior to taking the real test. All tests are given prior to 4:30 pm only. Anyone who shows up later than this will be asked to come back another day.


What You Need for The Test

When it’s time for you to take the written exam, you must have some specific information on hand. You cannot leave with a permit without this information.


  • You must have the signatures of both of your parents or legal guardians (or proof you only have one) on Form DL 44, the application for a learner’s permit
  • You must have two proofs of residency
  • You must have your DMV course completion certificate from the driver’s education course
  • You must have a social security card
  • You must have a birth certificate, and it must be a certified copy of your birth certificate
  • You must have the $35 application fee in cash, check, money order, credit or debit card form
  • You must be prepared for a vision test, which means bringing and glasses or contacts with you to the exam


Since you are a teenager, it’s up to your parents to find their own proofs of residency to bring along with you while you test. They can bring any of the following:

  • Mortgage bill
  • Utility bill
  • Deed or title to residential property
  • Rental or lease agreement from the landlord
  • IRS tax return
  • Medical documents
  • Employment documents
  • School documents
  • Faith-based documents
  • Property tax bill
  • Court documents
  • Etc.


If you are not certain if your proof of residency is acceptable, you can call the DMV to ask about a specific form. You cannot just show up with the wrong forms and get a license. You must have your parents with you. Furthermore, you must hold your permit for at least 6 months prior to taking the driving test for your provisional driver’s license. Even if you turn 16 before you have you permit six months or more, you cannot take your driving test.

This is just something to keep in mind when you are taking your test. If you are hoping to obtain your license as soon as you turn 16, you want to get your permit as soon as you can when you’re six months into being 15. Utilize the first six months after you turn 15 to take your driver’s education courses and prepare yourself to take your written exam. It’s not something you can change if you wait too long, and it can affect when you get your license to drive without a parent or adult over than 21 in the car.