California Teen Drivers Ed License Checklist

CA License Checklist

Click open each step below to view more details: 

Completing the full course is your first step to getting your license.
You've finished the course and now you need to tell us where to ship your certificate! We are required to mail the certificate per state regulation. An e-cert will not be accepted at the DMV.

Make sure to choose the shipping that works best for you. If you haven't chosen shipping already, we'll ask you when you complete the course. There are a few different options to choose from, depending on how fast you need to receive it:

  • USPS Standard Shipping (5-12 business days)
    • FREE with the course, so if you're not in a hurry, you can choose this
  • USPS 2nd Day Shipping (2 business days) - $25
  • FedEx Overnight (Monday - Friday Delivery) - $40
    • Next business day by 10:30am or 5:00pm (for more remote areas)
If you submit your shipping order by 10:00am PST Monday - Friday, your certificate will be mailed out that day.
While you wait for your certificate to arrive, schedule an appointment to take your written test at the DMV nearest you. We recommend calling the DMV to make a Permit Test apt at 1-800-777-0133

 

> It's time to take your written knowledge exam at the DMV. The test has 46 questions. You just have to get 38 of the questions right and you'll be ready to roll. You can get prepared by taking unlimited free practice tests from Aceable. If you don't happen to pass, don't worry! You get two more attempts. You'll have to wait a week between re-tests, but that gives you plenty of time to study. Just make sure you pass by the 3rd try or you'll have to retake the course.


WHAT TO BRING

Here's a list of things to bring with you to the DMV (We suggest double checking on the DMV website to make sure you have everything):
  • Aceable Certificate of Completion of Driver Education
  • Two proofs of California residency
    • School documents, utility bills, lease agreements, deeds, employment documents, etc. Anything that has you or your parents'/guardians' names and address on it to prove where you live
    • If you don't have documents of your own, you can use your parent's or guardian's documents. In order to do this, you must also bring a birth certificate or other document verifying that you are related/under their care
  • Original document verifying birth date and legal presence:
    • Birth certificate, US Passport, permanent/temporary resident card
  • Your social security number
    • You don't need to bring a social security document, but you will need to know your number
  • A parent or guardian
  • A CA Drivers License Application (DL 44)
    • This document must be signed by both parents. It's available online for free!
  •  $35 Application Fee
    • This fee is good for your exam (even if you have to take it more than once) and your license
It's finally time to learn how to drive! Your permit is valid for 12 months, so you should plan on being able to get your driver license before your permit expires. If your permit expires, check out this helpful page that goes over your next steps. To learn the ropes of being behind-the-wheel, you need to find a professional instructor for a two-hour course in-car lesson. These two hours must be completed before you can move on.


WHERE

There are a number of available schools, find a place that works for you. When you're done with the lesson, the instructor will sign your permit to verify you did it.


COST

The cost for this will vary depending on the driving school you choose. You have the option of doing all three two-hour professional training steps with the same instructor or choosing different instructors each time. If you're 17.5 years or older, this step is not required (you can just check it off).
In total, you'll need to complete 50 hours, at least 10 at night, of behind-the-wheel practice under the observation of a licensed driver (must have a California driver license) 25 years or older.

We suggest doing only 25 hours now, and another 25 hours after your 2nd professional instruction.

When you finish the 50 hours, have your behind-the-wheel parent/adult instructor sign the second page of your provisional permit (right under the professional instructor signature) to verify that you're done.

If you're 17.5 years or older, this step is not required, but it is still recommended that you practice as much driving as possible with a licensed adult driver over 25.
You finished at least 25 hours with a parent/guardian and now it's time to head back to the pro for what is usually your freeway lesson (unless your parents are really brave and want to be the first ones to see you drive 55!).

If you want, you can head back to the same place you went before. If not, find another location here.

If you're 17.5 years or older, this step is not required.
If you've been following Aceable's suggestion, now is a good time to do the final 25 hours of behind-the-wheel practice. In total, you'll need to complete 50 hours, at least 10 at night, of behind-the-wheel practice under the observation of a licensed driver (must have a California driver license) 25 years or older.

When you finish the 50 hours, have your behind-the-wheel parent/adult instructor sign the second page of your provisional permit (right under the professional instructor signature) to verify that you're done.

If you're 17.5 years or older, this step is not required, but it is still recommended that you practice as much driving as possible with a licensed adult driver over 25.
This is the last behind-the-wheel training you have to complete before you can get your license, and is best done just before you take your driving test to be sure you haven't fallen into any bad habits. Like with the other steps, you can go back to the same instructor or find another one.

If you're 17.5 years or older, this step is not required.
Before scheduling your driving test, you should make sure that you have everything completed by the day of your driving test! You'll need to meet these requirements:
  • You have held your permit for at least 6 months
  • Your permit is not expired (permits expire after 12 months)
  • You have completed 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training with a professional instructor
  • You have completed 50 hours of behind-the-wheel practice
If your permit has expired, check out this helpful page for your next steps!


HOW

To schedule your driving test, you'll go through the same system that you used to schedule your permit test. You have three options for scheduling:
This is your final step! You scheduled your appointment and now you just have to ace your driving test. If you pass, you'll receive a temporary license that is valid for 90 days until your real driver license arrives in the mail.

Always carry your temporary license with you when you're out on the road. You can also take a picture of your temporary license and keep that with you.

If you fail your driving test three times then you will need to pay a $34 fee again in order to take the driving test again.

WHAT TO BRING

  • Your permit, signed by your parent/guardian verifying completion of 50 hours of behind-the-wheel training
  • Completion of Behind-the-Wheel Training (DL388 or DL400D) from your professional instructor
  • Proof of financial responsibility
    • Copy of your car insurance policy for the car you're using
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