9Jun 2015

California’s Graduated License Program

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is trying to reduce the number of accidents involving teen drivers by initiating a Graduated Driver License (GDL) program. Through this program first time drivers must go through a number of levels before getting their unrestricted California driver license.

Obtaining your provisional permit, which is commonly referred to as a learner’s permit is the first step on your path to your California driver’s license. Below you will learn what you should expect in the Graduated Driver License (GDL) program.

California’s Learner’s Permit Requirements

You must be at least 15 1/2 years old for you to get your California provisional permit. In addition, if you are below the age of 17 ½ years you will be required to complete Driver’s Education. Below is what you will need:

First you will have to complete a state approved driver education course. The course consists of six hours of driver training and 30 hours of classroom instructions. After finishing your driver education, visit your local DMV and take your Learner’s Permit Exam. You will need to bring the following:

  • A completed Driver License or Identification Card Application (Form DL 44)
  • Proof  of your  Social Security number
  • Your original birth certificate
  • Proof of identity (e.g. Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization or a US passport)
  • Certificates proving you either:
  • Completed Driver’s Education.
  • Completed driver education and driver training.
  • Are participating or enrolled in an approved driver training program.

You do not have to provide certificates of completion for driver’s education and driver training if you are over 17 1/2 years, but not yet 18 years old. However,  you will have to wait until you reach 18 years and take the driving test.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Pass a vision exam.
  • Pass the written permit test.
  • Have your picture taken.
  • Provide a thumbprint.
  • Pay the application fee.

It is illegal to drive alone at any one time if you have a provisional learner’s permit. Your parent, legal guardian or an adult who is 25 years or older and has a valid driver’s license must accompany you. In addition, your guardian must be seated close enough to allow them to take control of the vehicle if necessary.

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