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You are excited to ride your car but you don’t have your California driver’s license yet. Here are the easy steps that lead to obtaining 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 parent’s or guardian’s approval.

You can download Driver License Application Form (DL 44) for English click here, for Spanish click here.

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


You need some papers that prove 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 the local DVM office. To see a sample of the DL-44 card, click here.

California Driver License fee

You have to pay the application fee which is  $ 33 for a 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 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 prove your residency in California. Your lease contract, your home utility bill, your school or employment documents may prove your residency.

Vision Exam

DMV officials check your vision and if you are qualified, 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 on 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’s license. You also have to take on wheel driving test. After you complete the test, you need to make another appointment for behind-the wheel driving test. You can set an appointment online. Click here for an online appointment.

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