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Safe driving practice uses a technique called scanning. This means that you don't focus on the road directly in front of you, but that you scan side to side, in front of you, and glance in your rear and side view mirrors periodically to be aware of road and traffic conditions.

License Requirements

To obtain a Minor's Provisional License you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Have held your instruction permit for at least 6 months.
  • Prove you have completed driver education and driver training (DL 387, OL 388, DL 388A, OL 237 or OL 238).
  • Provide a parent's or guardian's signature on your instruction permit verifying that you have completed 50 hours of driving practice (10 hours must be night driving). Refer to the Parent-Teen Training Guide, available at any DMV office.
  • Call 1-800-777-0133 during normal business hours to schedule a behind-the-wheel driving test.
  • Pass the behind-the-wheel driving test.
    • If you fail, you must wait two weeks before taking the driving test again and pay a $5 retest fee for each subsequent driving test.

Minor's Restriction Exceptions

Effective January 1, 2006, you must be accompanied and supervised by a licensed parent, guardian, other licensed driver 25 years of age or older, or a licensed or certified driving instructor when you:

  • Transport passengers under 20 years of age at any time for the first twelve months.
  • Drive between 11 PM and 5 AM for the first twelve months.

NOTE: Local laws may further restrict or prohibit driving during specified hours.

Minor's Restriction Exceptions

When reasonable transportation is not available and it is necessary for you to drive, the law grants the following exceptions for minors to drive between 11 PM and 5 AM orli to transport an immediate family member unaccompanied and unsupervised.

A signed note must be kept in your possession for any of these exceptions explaining the necessity and the date when the driving necessity will end (except emancipated minors).

  • Medical necessity when reasonable transportation alternatives are inadequate. The note must be signed by your physician, and contain the diagnosis and probable date of recovery.
  • Schooling or school-authorized activity. The note must be signed by your school principal, dean, or his/her designee.
  • Employment necessity and the need to operate a vehicle as part of your employment. The note must be signed by your employer verifying employment.
  • Your necessity or the necessity of an immediate family member. The note must be signed by your parent or legal guardian.
  • If you are an emancipated minor, no documentation is needed. However, you must have already declared yourself emancipated and provided DMV with Proof of Financial Responsibility (SR 1P) in lieu of your guarantors' signatures.

Minors With an Out-of-State License

The provisional restrictions also apply to any minor who surrenders an out-of-state driver license fo r an original California license.

Provisional Driver License Sanctions

Currently a 30-day restriction is required if your driver record shows a violation point count of two or more points in 12 months.

A six-month suspension and a one-year term of probation shall be imposed if your driver record shows a violation point count of three or more points in 12 months. Also, the court is required to impose community service hours or fines for violation of specific provisions.

NOTE: Probation means: no tickets, no accidents, and any current restriction or suspension will run its full term even if you turn 18 before the restriction or suspension ends.