If you are under the age of 18, you will then be issued a permit if you have never been licensed before. When you practice, you must have an accompanying adult who is 18 years of age or older, with a valid California license. This person must be close enough to you to take control of the vehicle if necessary. It is illegal for you to drive alone without a valid license.
To apply for an original driver license if you are over 18, you will need to do the following:
• Visit a DMV office or make an online appointment using the DMV Appointment System
• Complete application form DL 44 (An original DL 44 form must be submitted. Copies will not be accepted.)
• Provide your thumb print
• Have your picture taken
• List your social security number. It will be verified with the Social Security Administration while you are in the office.
• Verify your identity by providing your birth date and citizenship status.
• Provide your legal full name
• Pay all application fees
• Pass a vision exam
• Pass a traffic laws and sign test. There are 36 questions on the test. You have three chances to pass. (Sample Test)
If your name is different on your birth date and/or legal presence document than the one you are currently using, you will also need to provide an additional acceptable document to establish your true full name, such as; a marriage certificate, dissolution of marriage, adoption or name change document that shows your current name.
Note: If you are a visitor in California over 18 and have a valid driver license from your home state or country, you may drive in this state without getting a California driver license as long as your home state license remains valid.
Note: If you become a California resident, you must get a California driver license within 10 days. Residency is established by voting in a California election, paying resident tuition, filing for a homeowner’s property tax exemption, or any other privilege or benefit not ordinarily extended to nonresidents.
To take your driving test, you will need to:
• Schedule your driving test appointment (Driving tests are not given without an appointment).
• Provide proof of financial responsibility
• Meet all California insurance requirements
Note: If you have a license from another country, you will be required to take a driving test. If you have a license from another state, the driving test can be waived.
You have three chances to pass the driving test. If you fail, you may practice for a while, then make another appointment. There is no waiting period, but you must make an appointment. If you fail to successfully complete the driving test on the first attempt, you must pay a $6 fee for each additional driving test that is administered under an application for an original or renewal driver license. After you pass your driving test you will be issued an interim license valid for 90 days until you receive your new photo license in the mail.
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