Driver License



You are excited to ride your car but you don’t have your California driver license yet. Here are the easy steps that leads to obtain a driver license in California:

Eligibility to obtain California Driver License

You must at least be 15½ years old to be eligible. If you are under 18, you need your parents or guardians approval.

You can then get an appointment from DMV website or you can visit the nearest local DMV office. If you want to get the driver license a.s.a.p., visiting local DMV office is a much better choice hence if you try to get online appointment, DMV will arrange an appointment 2-3 weeks later at earliest if you are lucky enough.

California Driver License

DMV Office

You need some papers that proof your identity, residence, etc. Here is a list of items you need:



You need to fill out “Driver License or Identification Card Application”  aka DL 44″. There is no option to fill this card online but you can call DMV and order it by mail or you can fill it out when you visit local DVM office. Too see a sample of DL-44 card, click here.

California Driver License fee

You have to  pay application fee which is  $ 33 for non-commercial class c California Driver License. Click here for all other Driver License/Identification Card Application Fees.

If you are under 18, you’ll take 46 questions, if you are over 18, then you’ll take 36 questions. You need to to score 85 over 100 points in order to pass the test. If your native language is not English, you can take the test in your mother tongue.

Here is the list of other languages:

Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Cambodian, Chinese, Croatian, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Persian/Farsi, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Samoan, Spanish, Tagalog/Filipino, Thai, Tongan, Turkish, and Vietnamese.

Proof residency for Driver License

You must provide at least 2 documents to proof your residency in California. Your lease contract, your home utility bill, your school or employment documents may proof your residency.

Vision Exam



DMV officials check your vision and if you are qualify, you are ready for the test. If not, you can be guided to use eye-glasses.

Driver Test Sample

Go to the local DVM office as early as possible. After you fill out the application form and pay the fee, you’ll take the written Driving Test. To test yourself click here.

If you pass the test at your first try, DMV officials will take a photo of you. If there is nothing suspicious related to your documents (Such as F1 visa requirement etc.), you’ll get your license in 2-3 weeks by mail. It may take up to 3-4 months because of other security checks.

DMV will give you a temporary permit till you get your original driver license. You also have to take on wheel driving test. After you complete test, you need to take another appointment for behind the wheel driving test. You can set the appointment online. Click here for online appointment.

There are some tips and trick not to fail behind the wheel driving test. Click here for the tips.

California driver’s license issue date

California driver’s license issue date might be difficult to find on your driver license. If you look at the driver’s license card carefully, you can see that your California driver’s license issue date is written on the right bottom corner of your card, marked as ISS.



California Driver's License Issue Date

In the sample California driver’s license card, you can see ISS is September 30, 2010. So this is your official issue date. It is the abbreviation of Issue Date, shortened as ISS. And here how the reverse side of Driver License looks:

California Driver's License Issue Date

What is DD on California Driver’s License?

There is also other abbreviations on the card. On the left of ISS, you can see “DD”. If you wonder what is DD on California driver’s license?



California Driver's License Issue Date



DD stands for “Document Discriminator” which shows your drivers license number and also these numbers indicates which DMV you got your license from.

What does RSTR stand for?

RSTR stands for “Restrictions”. There are various restrictions which can be placed on a driver’s license. Most common example is, some drivers must have prescription glasses when driving.  If you have any restriction codes listed, you probably should already know what they mean. If not, log onto the DMV website, and there should be some easy explanation. It is not worth making a trip to the DMV. You can try internet and find your RSTR.

Register to DMV for a better service

Click this link for easy registration

There are some online services and applications in DMV that requires registration. In order to get a better service you can register. DMV will allow registered users personalized access to additional services.




If you want to check information regarding below, you have to register:

  • Driver Record
  • Vehicle Record
  • Change of Address
  • Driver License/Identification Card Renewal
  • Traffic Accident Report – SR1 Eform
  • Vehicle Registration Email Reminder Program

In order to become a registered user, what you need is:

  • Valid email address
  • Driver license or identification card number
  • Last four digits of your social security number