How do I receive a California Driver's License if I am a teen?

Once you have received your Learner's Permit, you need to wait six months before you can take your driving test to receive your provisional driver’s license.

California drivers license

A provisional driver’s license is a driver's license with the following limitations:

  • You are not permitted to drive using your provisional driver’s license between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • You are not permitted to drive using your provisional driver’s license having a passenger under the age of 20 unless there is a licensed driver over the age of 25 in the car.

Exceptions to the above rules are:

  • Medical necessity (you must have a signed statement from your doctor).
  • Going to school (you must have a signed statement from your principal or another authority in your school).
  • Necessity of family member (you must have a signed statement by a parent/legal guardian verifying the reason you need to drive for the family).
  • Emancipated minor.

Your provisional driver’s license automatically becomes a standard driver's license after one year of having your provisional driver’s license or after you turn 18, whichever comes first.  The DMV will not mail you a new driver's license that does not have the provisional information printed on it. However, if you like, you can go to the DMV office and apply for a duplicate copy of your license without the provisional information printed on it.

To be eligible to receive a provisional license, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old and have your California Learner's Permit for a minimum of six months.
  • Have completed at least 50 hours of driving practice with an adult 25 years of age or older, under the following circumstances:
  • At least 10 hours of the 50 hours must be at night.
  • The adult must have a valid California driver’s license.
  • Have completed at least 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training from a DMV-approved behind-the-wheel instructor.