Laws, Licensing, And Registration Page 1
The California Driver License
- Getting your drivers license is a
privilege, not a right.
- A drivers license shows that you have been
given permission by the State of California to drive on public roadways.
- You must apply for your license at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
need to know that there are different types of drivers licenses, as well
as different classes of licenses for various types of vehicles. These
depend on their size, weight, what can be towed, what can be carried, and whether it is a motorcycle or a two wheeled
- In this course you will learn a great deal about driving. This will help you with both your permit test and your drive test. It's
important that you prepare yourself before taking either test.
matter how much you practice, you cannot go from being a beginning driver
to a fully experienced, safe driver, overnight.
California is one
of the many states with the "graduated drivers license" system. This system is based on the idea that a teenager with a new drivers
license needs time, and guidance, to gain driving experience and increased skill levels.
Graduating Drivers License Means You Gain More Driving Privileges In Stages.
- The first stage of the graduating drivers license
system is obtaining your California Provisional Permit.
- To get
your permit you must be 15.5 years old, complete the drivers education
course, and enroll in behind-the-wheel training. You must have your Social Security Number and
your parent's signature on your application (form DL44). You must bring a CERTIFIED COPY OF YOUR BIRTH CERTIFICATE to DMV and take the written test.
- The current fee is $25
- The permit test consists
of 46 multiple choice questions. You can miss as many as 8 and pass.
The California Vehicle Code (CVC)
- The California Vehicle Code contains
the laws and regulations governing the licensing process, the expiration
and renewal of a drivers license, and the suspension and revocation of a
- Special certifications or endorsements are
required to, operate a tow truck, operate a farm labor vehicle, transport hazardous materials, (d) drive fire fighting vehicles,
drive ambulances, transport passengers, drive school or youth
buses, drive a commercial vehicle, pull large trailers, or
ride a motorcycle.
- The California Vehicle Code specifies what types of trailers and
vehicles can be towed, what types of vehicles are necessary for towing
different trailers and vehicles, and what licenses, certifications, or
endorsements are necessary to be able to tow these trailers and
- The California Vehicle Code specifies the types of hazardous
materials that can be transported, under what conditions, and the
licensing or certification of persons necessary for operating the
- The California Vehicle Code addresses the definition of words and
phrases relating to motor vehicles, licensing and registration
administration issues, the registration of vehicles, and
certificates of title.
Drivers Licenses And Permits
- There is more than just one type
of driver license. Different types and classes of licenses, and
instruction permits, are required and issued for various types of vehicles.
- These depend
on the weight of the vehicle, what can be towed, what can be
carried in the vehicle or trailer, and whether the vehicle is a
motorcycle or other 2-wheeled vehicle.
- They also depend on whether you are learning
to drive, your age, and whether you have completed a driver
- Some licenses and permits have special restrictions as to
when, with whom, under what conditions, and what type of vehicle you can
- DMV provides ID cards which are not driver
licenses. These ID cards are useful for identification, but are
not legal for driving a vehicle.
Application For A Drivers License
To obtain a driver license you must:
- Be in the United States legally.
- Provide proof of age, residence,
and a social security number.
- Completed a
driver education and driver training course (if under 17.5 years of
- Give a thumb print.
- Pass a vision test, a
written test showing that you understand the traffic laws of California,
and a behind-the-wheel test of your driving skills.
You can call to make appointments at the DMV to
apply for your license and take your test, instead of waiting in line. Call 1-888-777-0133. You can also go to DMV's web site:
www.dmv.ca.gov for appointment
- When you complete the application process, you
must be prepared to have your photograph taken. It cannot be taken at
a later time. Your license will be mailed to you by DMV.
- If you use a false name or knowingly make false
statements on your license application, your license will be denied, and
if it was already issued, it will be revoked.
- Fees must be paid to obtain an
original license, renew a license, reinstate a license (if it has
been revoked or suspended), obtain a duplicate license, upgrade
your license to another class, or add an endorsement.
- You must also pay fees to resubmit an
application for a license if you fail three written tests or three
- You must take written and vision tests before you can get your learners permit. Teenagers must also complete drivers education.
- Adults must schedule and pass a behind-the-wheel test at DMV.
- Teenagers must have their learners permit for 6 months, complete 6 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction, had 50 hours of practice (at
least 10 at night). Then they can schedule and take the behind-the-wheel test for their drivers license.
- Written and vision tests are required when you
apply for an original, renewal, or upgrade to a different class of
- Appointments can be
made to take the permit test by either phoning the DMV (1-888-777-0133)
or scheduling it on-line at DMV's web site: www.dmv.ca.gov. You must
call to make
an appointment for your drive test.
- If you successfully complete
all the procedures, requirements, and examinations for a license you
will be issued a temporary (paper) license.
- This will permit you to operate a
motor vehicle for a period of 60 days, or until your actual license has
been issued or refused.
- If you are under 18 you
will receive what is also called a Provisional Permit. You are in a special
group to receive the provisional permit.
- As a minor you may
use your permit (after you have completed at least 1 hour of behind-the-wheel instruction) to practice driving with your parents. (You may
also drive with a guardian, or spouse who is age 25 or older and has a
valid drivers license).
- The person you drive with must sit close
enough to take control of the car at any given time.
- With a
Provisional Instruction Permit you may not drive alone - not even to the
DMV office to take your drive test for your drivers license.
- There are differences between an instruction permit and a regular
driver license for both minors and adults. These include restrictions on
when, where, with whom, and under what conditions you may drive. In addition, there are differences in how an instruction permit is
obtained for minors and adults.
Provisional Drivers License
- A drivers licensed issued to a person younger than 18 years of age is
called a provisional license.
- To obtain a provisional instruction permit you can be no younger than
15 1/2 years old. If you are not at least 17.5 years old you must
have completed driver education classes and enrolled in a driver
- Persons with a provisional license (under 18) may not be employed to
drive a motor vehicle.
- You must be 21 years of age or older to apply for a license to drive
commercial vehicles if used in the interstate commerce or to transport
- In addition to other licensing requirements, provisional license
applicants must complete 50 hours of supervised behind-the-wheel driving
practice, 10 of which must be a night.
Possession Of Your Driver's License
- If you are a resident of
California, you must have a California Drivers License with you when you drive in this state.
- If you
get pulled over you must show it to any peace officer who may ask to
- You must also show it to the other driver if you're
involved in an accident.
- It is the most widely used form of identification in California.
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