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How to Get Your License in California

Whether you’re making a trip to the DMV to get your driver’s license for the first time or want to renew or replace your license, we’ve got you covered.

Our goal is to make it easy for you to find all the answers you need about getting a driver’s license at the DMV. So we created this step-by-step guide that will walk you through the driver's license process!

Step 1: Make Sure You're Old Enough

Let’s begin with the age requirements for driving because if you aren’t old enough to drive you can’t get behind the wheel at all.

In California, you can start driver's education at 15 years and 6 months old. But there’s a small catch. Before age 16 you can only hold a learner's permit, meaning a parent or legal guardian has to be in the car at all times while you’re driving. Once you turn 16 you may be eligible for a provisional California driver's license if you’ve met all of the drivers ed requirements and don’t get a ticket while driving with a permit.

If you’re already 16 years old you might be thinking, "Maybe I skip this whole permit part?" The short answer is, no. Everyone between the ages of 15.5-17.5 must take a state-approved California drivers ed course and hold a learner's permit before they can obtain a provisional driver’s license.

If you’re 18 or older drivers ed isn’t required, but it’s highly recommended. Failing the written test or road test can be costly and time consuming.

Step 2: Get Your Learner's Permit

If you’re within the legal driving age there are a few steps you have to take before you’ll be issued a California learners permit, also known as a provisional instruction permit.

Take Drivers Education

Prepare for a Successful Visit to the DMV

Pass the Instruction Permit Knowledge Test

Are you ready to take the first step toward getting your license? Learn all about our fun and convenient online driver's ed course and ask your parent or guardian to sign you up!

Step 3: Start Driving...Under Supervision

Now that you have your learner's permit in hand, you can get behind the wheel! But, a learner's permit comes with many limitations to help you stay as safe as possible while learning the skills needed for the upcoming road test.

Behind-the-Wheel Training

Practice With a Licensed Driver

Step 4: Get Your License!

Meet the Requirements for Getting a License

Gather All Forms and Documents for Your DMV Visit

Pass the Road Test

Get the Aceable Treatment!

Want to know why so many new drivers choose Aceable? Read reviews from thousands of Aceable's happy students in California! We've helped teens and adults across the state earn their drivers licenses the easy way!

Other Licensing Services Provided by the California DMV

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How to Renew Your California Driver's License

You’re going to have to renew your driver's license eventually, which is why we made a guide to make sure the process is as painless as possible.

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How to get your Motorcycle Permit in California

We’ve all dreamt of it, riding into the sunset on a motorcycle with the wind blowing through our hair. Well, if you want to make that dream a reality you can read our guide on getting your motorcycle permit at the DMV.