Teen Driving Laws

Teen drivers wishing to apply for a provisional permit must be between 15 ½ and under 18 years old. To receive a provisional permit the teen driver must pass a vision exam, and a sign and traffic laws test. Applicants between 15 ½ and 17 ½ years old must provide proof for one of the following:

  1. Completed driver education and are currently enrolled in a drivers training course.
  2. Completed driver education and Completed drivers training.
  3. Currently enrolled in an approved integrated driver education and driver training program.

Teen drivers over 17 ½ but under 18 years old can get a provisional permit without driver education and driver training but will not be able to take the driving test until they turn 18 years old. Teens between 17 ½ but under 18 must still pass the written test to receive a provisional permit.

Once a teen driver has received a provisional permit, they are allowed to drive only when a parent, guardian, spouse or adult 25 years of age or older holding a valid California driver license is present. The adult must sit in close enough proximity to the teen driver to take control of the vehicle if necessary. The provisional permit holder is not allowed to drive alone.

Before the teen driver is eligible to take their driving test they must meet the following criteria:

  1. 16 Years of Age Minimum
  2. Held Their Permit for a Minimum of 6 Months
  3. Completed Driver Education
  4. Completed Six Hours of Professional Driver Training
  5. 50 Hours of Driving Practice With Adult – Certified
  6. 10 Hours of the 50 Hours of Driving Practice Above Must Have Been at Night

Finally, once the teen driver has passed the driving test they will receive an interim license that is valid for 60 days. Prior to the 60 day expiration, you should receive your photo license by mail.

Alcohol and Teens

Young people are over-represented in driving accidents involving alcohol. In a recent year, people aged 16 to 24 were involved in 28 percent of all alcohol-related driving accidents, although they make up only 14% of the U.S. population. Young people are also over-represented in drinking driver injuries and deaths. Even when their blood alcohol contents (BACs) are not high, young drinkers are involved in driving accidents at higher rates than older drivers with similar BACs. Know the law by visiting the CDC Alcohol Impairment Levels chart.

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