You need a California driver’s license if you drive in California or want to. The process of obtaining a driver’s license is simple and the California DMV will issue your license if you meet their requirements (know the rules, show you can drive safely, and submit the proper paperwork). Contact the California DMV for more services like renewing your driver’s license, reporting a California car crash, car dealer regulations, and more.
Residents of California who have never held a valid driver’s license must go through some extra hoops. Fortunately, it’s not that complex, and you can finish several steps online. Here’s a rundown of everything you need to know to receive your California driver’s license quickly and easily.
DMV lineups are notorious. Turn up without an appointment if you have the time. Making an appointment with the local DMV can help you avoid the wait. You can schedule in-office and behind-the-wheel driving tests.
You must complete the Identification Card Application (Form DL-44) or the Driver License Application before you schedule an appointment. In-person filling out this form is possible at DMV locations. However, doing it online will save you time. A person at the DMV office will be able to confirm that the paperwork is complete once you come for your appointment.
The California DMV requires personal information for identity verification. You’ll need these to get a California driver’s license:
- Military ID or social security number
- Two California residency documents
- Validation of your correct and full name
- One certified or original document verifying your birthdate and national identity
Authorities will take thumbprints and photos. Your driver’s license will feature your photo for identification purposes. The fingerprint scan aids in identification verification and is stored for future reference.
Obtaining a driver’s license in California is a worthwhile investment, but there is a cost associated with doing so. You must make a payment of $37 to take a written test. You get three opportunities to take the written and driving tests within 12 months for the price you pay.
Every license applicant must pass a vision exam. A vision of at least 20/40 (without or with glasses) is necessary. Each eye’s vision is evaluated individually and collectively. The vision test at the California DMV is administered with either a Snellen chart or an Optec 1000 Vision Tester.
You will receive a temporary paper driver’s license, valid for 90 days as you wait for your photo license to arrive via mail. It takes 60 days to show up. Contact 1-800-777-0133 for an update if it has not been delivered within a few months.
First-time license holders in California must pass the driving test. You must provide a properly insured and safe car for the driving test. A safety inspection must take place before the test.
The examiner keeps your score on a sheet awarding you a satisfactory or an unsatisfactory one. Your results will be available at the DMV once you return there. The examiner will evaluate the score sheet with you.