Let's Get Started!
"I am approaching 15½ years old. What should I do now?"
You can start anytime, though you WILL have to wait until you are15½ before you may obtain your permit from the DMV. Just follow the steps below!
Step 1: Take Driver's Education
Step 2: Obtain Your Permit From the DMV
To Obtain a Permit, fill out a DL44 (DMV Permit/LicenseApplication), have your parents sign it (we are happy to give you one!), and:
If you are 17 1/2, present your birth certificate, Social Security number, and pass the permit test*.
If you are 15 1/2, present a Driver's Education Completion Certificate*, original birth certificate (this has purple ink or the state seal embossed on it – NO COPIES!), Social Security number (though if you have your card, it is our experience that it is best to have it with you), and pass the permit test*. The DMV will be taking your picture on this day, so be prepared for that.
You must have a DL-44 signed by both parents (or guardians) who have legal (though not necessarily physical) custody of you. You should NOT sign the application until you are at the DMV and instructed to do so. (The DMV employee has to watch you sign the form). Be sure to sign your legal name. (No nicknames – and it is a good idea to have established your consistent and legible signature by this time). Check your permit for errors while still at the DMV. If your name, birth-date or address is not correct, let the DMV employee know immediately. Be sure to bring your passport or original birth certificate (the official birth certificate is issued by the registrar of the county/city in which you were born, not the hospital!) If you were born in Los Angeles County, you may obtain a copy of your birth certificate by contacting the County Registrar's office at (800) 201-8999. Ask for the 'long' copy. If the DMV employee has any problem with your paperwork, before you leave the DMV,call us! We are open whenever they are, and can be reached at 310-824-4444. The test is tough, but if you can pass our final exam, it will be easy for you. Do Not take the test lightly! There are 46 questions on the DMV test, and you must wait a week to try again if you miss more than eight. Read every question completely. You have one minute for each question. Put something before the time is up or it is marked wrong.
* Note: As of June 15, 2010, an OL392 (Behind-the-Wheel Enrollment Certificate) is obsolete and should not be required, according to DMV Memo OLIN 2010-03 Driver Education and Driver Behind-the-Wheel Training Certificates)
** Note: As of July 1, 2016, (2) forms of proof of residency is required. Please see DMV website for the complete list of acceptable forms of ID.
Step 3: Driver's Training (behind-the-wheel)
You must complete your first driver training lesson prior to driving with your parent!
Driver Training is accomplished in a vehicle with a licensed DMV instructor. (No, your parent cannot legally do this). It can be taken any day of the week with an appointment. (These may be made for the same day when our schedules permit). Appointments are more difficult to make during holidays, so call early to get the appointments best for you if you want them then. Keep in mind though, we will not schedule a teenager who does not currently possess a valid permit and there are times when schedules at Westwood book up more than one month in advance..
The six-hour training requires three days, driving two hours per day, to complete. We do not make one-hour appointments. Driver's Training does not automatically cover freeway driving and parallel parking. Once the student masters basic driving skills, freeway driving and parallel parking may be included, if time permits, at the discretion of the instructor.
Step 4: Practice, Practice, Practice!
You must be 16 years old and have completed at least 50 hours of practice, (ten of which are at night) with someone over 25 years of age to be eligible for your provisional license. They will require your parent or guardian's signature on your permit, along with their license number as proof that this has been done. You must also hold your permit for a minimum of six months before you are eligible to receive a license.
Step 5: Take the DMV Behind-the-Wheel Test!
Call 1-800-777-0133 or go on line at www.DMV.ca.gov to schedule your behind-the-wheel test. It usually requires at least two weeks notice to book the test and sometimes three months. The DMVs in this area are usually open Monday through Friday only. Bring your permit (signed by an instructor and your parent), Driver Training Completion certificate, your registration and your insurance card. Make sure you have practiced in an area similar to the DMV of your choice, so you are familiar with the type of driving you will be tested on. Do NOT drive on the route before the test, nor ask our instructors to take you on the route (This is illegal). The examiner knows you are nervous. Pay attention to road signs.
Step 6: You are a Licensed Driver!
For the first 12 months of your provisional license, you may not drive with anyone under 20 or drive between the hours of 11PM and 5:00 AM, unless someone over 25 is in the car with you. (There are exceptions, just ask our office.)
Good Luck and Thanks for Choosing Westwood Driving School!