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What You Need to Know About California Licensing Procedures

Starting the process of applying for your California learner’s permit or first California driver license can seem very daunting at first, so it helps to have as much information handy as possible. California has a graduated driver license program for California drivers ages 15 and a half to 18, and there are a number of things we want you to be aware of to make sure that applying for your California driving license goes as smoothly as possible. So let’s begin, shall we?

Types of Licenses

You should be made familiar with the three basic types of California driver’s licenses. They are: California learner’s permit, California teen driver’s license, and the regular California driver’s license. Here’s a simple outline of the requirements and restrictions for each license type:

  • California Learner’s permit
  • must be at least 15 and a half years of age, but under 18
  • must be accompanied by a person at least 25 years of age who also has a California * driver’s license
  • cannot drive with passengers under 21 (except siblings)

California Teen Driver’s License

  • must be 18 or have had learner’s permit at least 6 months
  • late night driving is restricted (see details below)
  • requires passing a road test
  • cannot transfer passengers under 21 until 1-year probationary period has passed

California Driver’s License

  • must be 18 or have had teen driver’s license for one year
  • no further restrictions apply

Now that you’ve been introduced to the different types of licenses, here’s what you need to know about applying for each one.

California Learner Permit or California Provisional License

Although you have to be at least 16 to apply for your first California driver’s license, when you’re 15 and a half you can apply for a California provisional license, otherwise known as a California learner’s permit.

So if you’re 15 and a half or older, take the following to your local California DMV.
The $31 free, which entitles you to three exams of any type within a 12-month period, and also includes the fee for your California instruction permit and your California driver license Form DL44, along with your parent or guardian signatures. To save time, you can also make an appointment online here.

The proper identification

Form DL400C, which is your certificate of completion that you will receive once you complete your California online drivers education course.

At your local California DMV, you’ll have to pass a vision exam, as well as a traffic laws and sign test. Once you pass the written exam and vision test, you’ll receive your California instructional driver license, or California learner’s permit. This license will enable you to practice driving providing you have someone 25 years or older in the seat next to you as you learn. However, the driver accompanying you must have a California driver’s license. You can find a few sample tests on the California DMV website here.

California Teen Driver’s License

If you’re 18 or have had your California learner’s permit for at least 6 months, you’re ready to try for a California teen driver’s license! But before you do so, you must complete the following requirements:

Be able to provide proof of financial responsibility (more on this later).
Completed driver education

6 hours of behind-the-wheel training with a professional driving instructor.

50 hours of practice with an adult 25 or older (at least ten of these practice hours must have been done at night)

Have your California learner’s license for at least 6 months

Because you only get three chances to pass the road test, we strongly suggest getting as much driving practice as you can! Any 16 year old applicants must be accompanied by a parent or guardian when taking the California driver’s license road test. After you pass your driving test, you’ll receive an interim California license (valid for 60 days) until your California photo license comes in the mail. If you fail the California driving test, you have to wait two weeks before taking it again.

California Teen Driver License Restrictions and Penalties

There are several restrictions you need to be aware of regarding your California learner’s license or California provisional drivers license.

If you only have your California learner’s permit, you must be supervised by a parent, legal guardian, or person over 25 who has at least one year of driving experience. The person who is supervising you must sit in the front passenger seat. In addition, you cannot drive with passengers under 21 (except brothers or sisters).

If you have a teen driver’s license but are under 18, you are not permitted to drive a vehicle between 11AM and 5AM for the first twelve months unless have a parent, legal guardian with you. Also, you cannot transfer passengers under 21 until your 1 year probationary period has passed.

Exceptions to this restriction are made in the following cases:

  • You have a medical necessity
  • You are participating in a school activity
  • You have an employment necessity
  • You must transport a family member
  • You are an emancipated minor.

If you have further questions, go to the teen page on the California DMV website.

California Auto Insurance California Financial Responsibility Laws
Once you receive your California drivers license, you’re almost ready to drive. What else is need? Auto insurance, of course. Any vehicle registered in California must be covered by liability insurance. The minimum coverage is $15,000 for personal injury and $30,000 for 2 or more persons, and $5,000 for property damage. If you are found to be driving without California mandatory liability insurance, you could face a fine of up to $500 plus court costs. If you are involved in an accident and cannot provide proof of insurance, your California learner’s permit or California provisional license may be suspended.

California Drunk Driving, Cell Phone, and Text Messaging Laws

As a new California driver, it’s important that you learn and take seriously the California drunk driving, cell phone, and text messaging laws. Upon your first California DUI offense, you face:

  • Imprisonment of 96 hours to 6 months
  • A fine of $390 to $1000
  • Your license will also be suspended for 6 months
  • Also, you will have to complete a Driving Under the Influence Program
  • And may be ordered to install an Ignition Interlock Device.

Further California DUI convictions will result in increased jail time, community service, fines, and California license suspension or even California license revocation. As a young driver, now is the time to learn good habits, and one of the most important of these is DON’T DRIVE DRUNK!

Studies show a strong link between text messaging and traffic accidents. Therefore, as of September 2008 the California Legislature passed a ban on text messaging while driving. Driving while texting carries a fine of $20 for a first offense and $50 for each additional offense. No points will be issued on your California drivers license. Drivers under 18 are also prohibited from using a cell phone or wireless device from driving. All drivers must use a hands free device for their cell phone while driving in California.

California Online Driver Education

As stated above, any 16 year old applicants who would like to apply for a California driver license must have completed at least 50 driving hours (signed by a parent, legal guardian, or certified driving instructor) and at least 6 hours of an approved California online driver education course. Check with your local California DMV regarding approved online driver education classes.

LIVE CHAT
California Frequently Asked Questions
California Frequently Asked Questions
  • What methods of payment does TeenDrivingCourse.com accept?

You may make payment in the form of credit card or online check, or you may choose to mail in a payment by check or money order for the TeenDrivingCourse.com California online drivers ed course, but payment must be made prior to taking the final exam.

  • I need to receive the TeenDrivingCourse.com California internet drivers ed certificate of completion within the next week. What shipping methods do you have?

TeenDrivingCourse.com offers several convenient options for shipping! We offer regular US Mail and Federal Express for shipping your California certificate of completion. When you register for the online defensive driving course you will be asked to select your certificate of completion. If you select regular US Mail, your online California traffic school certificate will be delivered in 7-10 business days. If you select Federal Express, you have the option of selecting Priority Overnight (on or before 10:30AM the next business morning), Standard Overnight delivery (by or before 5PM the next business day), Second Day delivery (by or before 5PM on the second business day), Express delivery (by or before 5PM on the third business day), or if you complete your online California traffic school course on a Friday, we also offer Saturday Federal Express delivery (by or before 12PM on Saturday).

  • If I want to take the TeenDrivingCourse.com California online drivers ed course, how can I be sure that your website is 100% secure for payments?

TeenDrivingCourse.com uses the very latest in SSL data encryption technology to make sure that your personal and payment information is 100% secure. We also offer several other payment methods for our California internet drivers ed course, including check and online check.

  • What’s the out-of-pocket cost for taking the TeenDrivingCourse.com California internet drivers ed course?

The standard price for taking the TeenDrivingCourse.com California online drivers education course or new drivers course is $19.99. Discounts may be available if you have a “refer a friend” discount code.

  • I would like to take the California internet drivers education course. How old do I need to be?

In most states, you must be at least 15 1/2 to take drivers ed for your learners permit. Please check with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), California Department of Education, or California Department of Driver License Services to make sure that you are old enough to take California driver education.

Please be aware that although TeenDrivingCourse.com is sufficient for fulfilling driver education requirements in some states, in other states TeenDrivingCourse.com is only offered as a supplement to the driver education and/or training you will receive at a state-approved driving school. To find out if TeenDrivingCourse.com will meet your state’s minimum driver education requirements, we recommend that you check with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

  • I want to take the California TeenDrivingCourse.com internet drivers ed course. If I don’t pass the California final exam, will I be able to retake it?

Yes! Once you finish the California drivers ed internet course, you must take the California final exam. If you don’t pass the California test on your first try, you can retake it as many times as you need until you pass!

  • After I complete the California online drivers ed course that TeenDrivingCourse.com offers, how can I get a California insurance discount applied to my California auto insurance premium?

Whether or not you receive an insurance discount for completing TeenDrivingCourse.com’s online drivers education course depends on which state you live in and which company you are insured with. In some states, insurance carriers do offer insurance discounts to teen-aged drivers who successfully complete an online California drivers education course. We recommend that you contact your insurance agent in California to see what, if any, discount you may qualify for by enrolling in TeenDrivingCourse.com’s California online drivers education course.

  • Once I register for the California online driver education course, can I access it from anywhere?

Yes. Once you have registered for the California online drivers ed course, you can access the California online driver education course from anyplace you like. Any computer with internet access can be used!

  • It is important that I am allowed to start and stop the TeenDrivingCourse.com California online drivers ed course. Is this possible?

Of course. Our California online drivers ed course allows frequent starts and stops when completing the TeenDrivingCourse.com California online drivers education course.

  • I am completing the California online drivers education course. Do you have any type of express mail shipping for my California certificate of completion?

Yes, we do! We offer regular US mail shipping and expedited shipping through Federal Express, so you can receive your California certificate in as little as 24 hours.
How many hours of instruction does the California online driver education course equal?
The total amount of time you will spend taking the California online driver education course will equal about 30 hours of classroom instruction time. There’s a chance you won’t have to spend the full 30 hours taking the California online drivers ed course if you live in a state that does not require timers.

  • How much time do I have to ask for my money back once I start the California online drivers’ ed course?

The TeenDrivingCourse.com refund policy is that refund requests must be made before your California certificate of completion for the California online learners permit course is shipped. Provided that condition is met, you may request a refund at any time during your California online driver education course.

I often struggle to read large amounts of online text. What options are there for me to make this less of a problem while taking the California online driver education course?
If you struggle to read large amounts of text, TeenDrivingCourse.com has made a special “Read Along” feature available. It works by reading the material aloud as you follow along with the California online drivers ed class text. You can order this feature when you register for the California online drivers ed class.

*Does my California local drivers license office know if the California TeenDrivingCourse.com online drivers ed course for new drivers is state-approved?

Yes, the California DMV will be able to tell you if TeenDrivingCourse.com will fulfill your state’s minimum driver education requirements or whether TeenDrivingCourse.com can be taken as a supplement to the driver education and/ortraining you will receive at a state-approved driving school.

What California driver education paperwork will I need in order to learn to drive a car?
You generally need to show a certificate of completion for a California driver education course in order to take take the California learners permit test. However, this is a general rule and may not apply in California. You may want to contact your local California DMV office to find out exactly what documentation you will need to bring with you when you go to apply for your learner’s permit.

  • Can I have access to the reading material of each corresponding California internet drivers ed course chapters while I am taking each of the TeenDrivingCourse.com California internet drivers ed course quizzes?

No, you will not have access to the corresponding California internet drivers ed course chapters while you are taking the TeenDrivingCourse.com California online drivers ed course quizzes.

  • Can you tell me what the differences are between California classroom driver education and California online driver education?

Here’s the difference: with California online drivers ed at TeenDrivingCourse.com, you’re not stuck sitting in a classroom for hours listening to a teacher. Our online California driver education course gives you the advantage of flexibility, allowing you to learn how you want, where you want and you they want! If online driver education is not approved by your state, then you may be required to attend a California driver ed class. If that’s the case, the California driver ed course offered by TeenDrivingCourse.com can still be a valuable resource that will further enhance the things you learn in the classroom.

  • Will my identity have to be verified before I can take the TeenDrivingCourse.com California online drivers education course?

Many states will not require ID verification when taking an online driver education course, although this can vary from state to state. A few states may require us to verify your identity by, for example, asking you personal questios throughout the course. The purpose of this is simply to verify that you are who you say you are.

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