The California Driver’s License


You are finally fifteen and ready to gain the independence of controlling your very own transportation. But it is vital to remember that such is a privilege, not a right. Understand that the permission to operate a vehicle comes with a great deal of responsibility and practice.

Drivers Education

To begin your process of acquiring a driver’s license, start by taking a Driver’s Education course. Such a course can be completed through your school, a private company, or online. Each of the options provides its own benefits. For example, taking the course through your school is not only free, but also provides you with high school credit. However, such courses typically run for a great deal of time – up to 6 weeks – in order to fit in with your daily school schedule. Taking Driver’s Ed through a private company usually will enable you to finish the course in two weeks, if you are willing to take several 8 hour courses. Finally, the most efficient method is taking Driver’s Ed online, which enables you to complete the course at your own pace (typically meaning that students can finish extremely quickly).

After finishing the Driver’s Ed course, you are ready to take the permit examination, which is a written multiple choice test that determines if you are qualified to begin your behind-the-wheel training. Even after you pass the test, you are not quite granted permission to begin driving. You must take your first hour of professional Driver’s Training to finish the certification process. You can sign up for Driver’s Training with a number of certified local companies.

Driver’s Training

Driver’s Training is composed of 6 hours of professional training that teaches you everything from the basics of vehicle operation, to more advanced lessons such as city driving and freeway driving. Typically, the 6 hours are spaced out over a span of 6 months, with each lesson being around an hour long. Of course, you need more than 6 hours to gain the experience needed to be a driver. The DMV requires a minimum of 50 hours of driving, including 10 hours of nighttime vehicle operation. To get the full 50 hours, your parent, guardian, or anyone over age 25 with a valid driver’s license, should take you on the road to gain experience.

California DMV

After completing your hours, you are ready to take your road examination with the California DMV. It is highly recommended that you schedule an appointment before time, as the California DMV is notorious for making individuals wait in line for hours – even after scheduling an appointment. Often times, those without an appointment are simply turned away after having waited in the line for long periods of time. Your road examination will consist of DMV staff sitting in the vehicle with you as you navigate around the city. This means that you will face unknown variables, including other dangerous drivers, local pedestrians, and a myriad of other hazards. Be safe, be careful, be aware, and you will be fine.

If you pass, you will finally be issued the coveted driver’s license – almost. Actually, if you are not 18 years old, it is a provisional license that comes with a few reasonable restrictions. For example, you may not driver during the late night hours, from 11 pm to 5 am. In addition, you may not transport other minors, as statistics have shown that the greatest number of accidents occurs when students get in a vehicle together and become distracted. Be sure to follow these rules, as they are in place for your own safety. Finally, remember to be a safe driver and practice defensive driving, one of the key lessons of Driver’s Education. This will prevent accidents, and let you avoid traffic violations and the dreaded Traffic School.