California State Driving Law For Minors

Do you know the California state laws for minors behind the wheel? A minor with a driver’s license has rules and restrictions until they are 18 years of age. Here is a quick refresher so you can be safe when your child begins their driving journey.

The driver’s license holder must be at least 16 years of age

According to California state law, here are the basic requirements to obtain a valid driver’s license as a minor:

  • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Prove that you have completed both driver education and driver training.
  • Have had a California instruction permit or an instruction permit from another state for at least 6 months (refer to the Out-of-State Minors section below).
  • Provide parent(s) or guardian(s) signature(s) on your instruction permit certifying that you have completed 50 hours of supervised driving practice (10 hours must be night driving) as outlined in the California Parent-Teen Training Guide (DL 603)Visit the teen website at or call 1-800-777-0133 to request this booklet.
  • Pass the behind-the-wheel driving test. You have 3 chances to pass the driving test while your permit is valid. If you fail the behind-the-wheel driving test, you must pay a retest fee for a second or subsequent test and wait 14 days (2 weeks), not including the day the test was failed before you are retested.

Further restrictions apply for the safety of the minor and others

Once a valid driver’s license is obtained, there are still some restrictions to driving as a minor. For the safety of the minor and others on the road, follow these rules accordingly:

“During the first 12 months after you are licensed, you cannot drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. and cannot transport passengers under 20 years old, unless accompanied by a California-licensed parent or guardian, a California-licensed driver 30 years old or older, or a licensed or certified driving instructor. When you become 18 years old, the “provisional” part of your DL ends. You may keep your provisional photo DL or pay a fee for a duplicate DL without the word “provisional.” (

If You Have Been Injured…

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact a personal injury lawyer experienced in representing motor vehicle accident victims to preserve your right to recovery. Our founding attorney, Scott J. Corwin, has recovered $125+ million and has 25+ years of experience in representing accident victims injured in all forms of motor vehicle accidents, including motorcycle and bicycle accidents, in the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, San Diego, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and throughout the state of California.