March 4

Requirements For Obtaining A California Driver’s License In 2023

When you apply for an original California Driver’s License, you must present acceptable document(s) establishing your identity, residency (if applicable), birthdate, and provide your social security number (SSN), if eligible. The document(s) provided:

  • Must be a certified copy, or an original document.
  • May contain an impressed seal or original stamped impression.
  • Must not be a photocopy.
  • Must not be laminated.

If you present a legal presence document your DL/ID card may expire on the same date as your legal presence document. If the name on your document is different from the name on your DL/ID card application, you must also bring an acceptable true full name document. Your fingerprint, signature, and picture will also be taken (refer to the “Application Requirements for a Basic Class C Driver License” section on page 4). For any other DL/ID card transaction, you must present photo identification.

Examples of acceptable documents include: U.S. Birth Certificate, U.S. Passport, U.S. Armed Forces ID Cards, Certificate of Naturalization, Permanent Resident Card, or a foreign passport with a valid I-94. The I-94 expiration date must be more than two (2) months from the DL/ID card application date.

Examples of true full name verification documents include: Adoption documents containing your legal name as a result of the adoption, name change documents containing your legal name both before and after, a marriage certificate, a certificate or registration document verifying the information of a domestic partnership, or a dissolution of marriage document containing your legal name as a result of the court order.

A complete list of accepted documents is available online at

Application Requirements For A Basic Class C Driver License

To apply for a Class C driver license, you must:

Submit a completed and signed Driver License or Identification Card Application (DL 44) form. Signing this form means you agree to submit to a chemical test to determine the alcohol or drug content of your blood when requested by a peace officer. If you refuse to sign this statement, the DMV will not issue a permit or driver license.

  • Present an acceptable document(s) establishing your identity, residency (if applicable), and birthdate.
  • Provide your true full name.
  • Provide your SSN, if eligible, which will be electronically verified with the Social Security Administration.
  • Pay a non-refundable application fee. The fee is good for 12 months and allows you to take the appropriate law test(s) three times. If you fail the law test and/or driving test three times, your application will be void and a new application and fee are required. This fee pays for both the instruction permit and driver’s license if you qualify for both documents within the 12-month period. If the application expires, you must resubmit documents, repay the application fee, and retake the required tests.
  • Pass a vision test. You must be able to pass a vision test, with or without corrective lenses, with visual acuity better than 20/200 in at least one eye without the use of a bioptic telescopic lens or similar bioptic device to meet the minimum vision acuity standard (CVC §12805(b)).
  • Have your picture taken.
  • Give a fingerprint scan.
  • Sign your name.

How To Get A Driver’s License As A New Driver Under The Age Of 18

If you have never had a driver’s license in California and you are under the age of 18, you’ll first need to apply to get a provisional driving permit. Fill out this form and have your parents sign it to get the process started.

Next, you’ll need to take a driver’s ed course. Most people these days are using an online driver’s ed course to fulfill this requirement. This course is very fast and can be completed in just a day or two. Listed below are the top 4 online driver’s ed courses in California for 2023.

The 4 Best Online Driver’s Ed Courses In California

Once you’ve completed your California online driver’s ed course, it’s time to get your permit so you can start getting some actual driving experience.

You will need to get at least 50 hours of behind-the-wheel driving time and a minimum of 10 of those hours must be nighttime driving experience. You must get this driving time in with a licensed California driver who is 25 years of age or older.

When you are finished with all of your required driving practice, you can go to the DMV, pass a written and driving exam, then get your shiny new driver’s license!

How To Get A Driver’s License As A New Driver Over The Age Of 18

If you’re a new driver over the age of 18, you can skip the driver’s ed and even the required driving practice.

All you need to do is complete the application, then make an appointment at the DMV. Once at the DMV, you’ll provide them with all your required documents, get fingerprinted, have your photo taken, pay a fee of $37, complete a vision exam, pass a written exam & driving exam, at which point you get your license. No classrooms, no driving instructors, and no permits. Easy-peasy.

How To Get A Driver’s License As A New Resident Of California In 2023

In the state of California, you are required to apply for a driver’s license 10 days after establishing residency. Obtaining a license if pretty easy if you already have one from another state.

Go to the DMV with your proper documents, take a vision exam, and in some cases, you may need to pass a written exam. Other than that, you’re good to go. Just make sure you schedule an appointment at the DMV instead of walking in without one.

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