This Step: Practice Driving
Practice Driving in California
Practice Driving in California
With your new California learner's permit, you'll get the chance to practice driving in preparation for your DMV driving test.
Regardless of your age, you'll be required to log a minimum amount of behind-the-wheel practice hours before advancing from your learner's permit to your provisional license.
Before you hop in the driver's seat and get some driving practice under your belt, you'll need to make sure you follow your learner's permit restrictions. See below.
CA Driving Practice Requirements
The minimum of driving practice/behind-the-wheel training you'll need to complete before your driving test includes:
- A total of at least 50 hours.
- At least 10 hours of the total completed at night.
Once you complete your supervised driving practice, you'll be ready to schedule an appointment for your driving test and obtain your provisional license.
If you are younger than 18 years old, your parent or legal guardian will need to accompany you to your local DMV office when you take your road test and apply for your driver's license. He or she will need to sign your application, which is only available at the California DMV.
NOTE: If you are younger than 17 1/2 years old, you'll also need to complete at least 6 hours of additional driving practice with a licensed and certified professional driving instructor. Professional driver's training may either be integrated into your Driver's Ed course or taken separately.
Learner's Permit Restrictions
With your provisional learner's permit, you cannot drive by yourself. You'll need to be accompanied by your parent, guardian, spouse, or a licensed adult with a valid California driver's license who is at least 25 years old.
Your supervisor will be a valuable asset during your driving practice. He or she will be able to give you tips that will help you pass your driving test and take control in the event of an emergency on the road.
Schedule Your Driving Test
Once you've completed your driving practice, you can schedule your driving test appointment online on the CA DMV website. You'll need to provide the California DMV office with proof of financial responsibility/car insurance when you arrive for your test.
NOTE: If you fail your driving test, you'll need to wait 2 weeks before you can try again. You have a total of 3 chances to pass the road test.
Continuing Your Driving Practice
Just because you've earned your driver's license and can get on the road by yourself does not mean that you're an experienced driver.
NOTE: If you're younger than 18 years old, you must be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 25 years old for the first year when you:
- Transport passengers younger than 20 years old.
- Drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
You'll need to continue to apply to skills you've gained during driver's education, driver's training, and throughout your supervised driving practice to the time you spend behind the wheel with your provisional license.
It's important to keep your driving skills sharp as you never know what situations may develop on the road, whether they're caused by environmental conditions or other drivers.
It's your responsibility to be safe, defensive, and aware of your surroundings and road conditions.