California Driver Permit

Steps To Get Your First Provisional Instruction Permit in California

California Driver Permit – How to Get One

If you need to know how to get your first provisional instruction permit in California, look no further! Following are the steps you need to take to get your first driver permit in California:

Before The DMV

Before you even make your DMV appointment or apply, you will need to take a few steps to get your driver education training requirements in order. Here are some steps you can complete before going to the DMV:

  1. Complete a Driver’s Education course licensed by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If you are at least 15 years old, you can enroll in our program at All you need to do is complete all the chapters and pass the easy final exam.
  2. Enroll in and complete a behind-the-wheel driver training program. In addition to our online teen drivers ed course, you will need to enroll in a driver training program in order to get a learner’s license.
  3. Gather materials. You will need to get together some important paperwork before you make the trek to the DMV.
  • Complete the original DL 44 application form with parent or guardian signatures.
  • Provide documents establishing your and identity, residency (if applicable) and birth date. The documents must be a certified copy or original document, must contain an impressed seal or original stamped impression, must not be a photocopy, and cannot be laminated. For a list of acceptable documents, see the DMV website here.
  • Provide your full true name and Social Security Number (if eligible).

Then you’re ready for your DMV visit and to apply for your first permit!

At The DMV

  1. You will need to be between the ages of 15 1/2 and 18. Even though you can start and complete your driver ed program starting at 15, you need to be 15 1/2 to apply for your permit.
  2. Make an appointment at your nearest DMV office. Appointments can save you a lot of time – and at some locations, they are the only way to get in at all. Make your appointment early, as some locations can book weeks in advance. Locations also will not give tests after 4:30 p.m. so make an earlier appointment and arrive on time.
  3. Bring all of the necessary paperwork and identification. See the above section for what to gather.
  4. Pass a traffic laws and signs test. The exam is 46 questions long and you will need to answer at least 38 questions correctly to pass.
  5. Pass a vision exam. If you use glasses or contacts, no worries! You will be able to use them for the exam, just make sure the tester knows.
  6. Provide a thumb print and have your photo taken.
  7. Pay the $33 application fee.


  • You must obey all traffic laws.
  • You must drive without a collision.
  • You must drive with a parent, guardian, spouse or adult age 25 or older who holds a valid California driver license.
  • You must hold your permit for at least six months before you can apply for your driver license.
  • The Zero Tolerance law applies until 21 – that means that a teen driver may not drink and drive.
  • The use of cell phones (with or without hands-free devices), laptops, pagers and other electronic devices is prohibited for drivers under the age of 18.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Am I required to take a California driver education course?

    If you are between the ages of 15½ and 17½, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires that you complete 30-hour driver education in order to get a California learners permit.

  • Why should I take online drivers ed instead of a classroom course?

    Our California online drivers education offers benefits and convenience you won’t find in traditional classroom courses. Rather than making time for a scheduled class, online courses allow you study when it is convenient for you. Plus, online courses are generally a less expensive option when compared to in-person training.

  • I’ve never taken an online course before. What is it like? How does it work?

    Online courses offer a very convenient way to learn. Our program is very simple to follow and will teach you everything you need to know to be a safe, confident driver. After you register, you will be able to log on and off as you please. You will read through the California drivers education curriculum, which is enhanced with images, animations, and videos, and answer journal questions and quizzes to prove comprehension. You will have unlimited chances to pass each quiz. Once you’ve completed the entire program, we will send you a certificate of completion that can be taken to the DMV when you are ready to take your permit exam. We even provide a free practice test to make sure you are ready!

  • Is this course approved by the California Department of Motor Vehicles?

    Yes. Our course has been approved by the California DMV and meets all state requirements. You can view our DMV license (#E4608) at any time.

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