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Home / California / Teen Drivers Ed / What to Bring on the Day of Your California Permit Test

Getting your learner's permit is the first step on the road to obtaining your driver's license. That's why it's important that you're well prepared for your visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to take your California permit test.

What do you need to take your permit test? California, you must be at least 15 12 to get your permit. Once you've reached that age and you're ready to take your California permit test, schedule an appointment at the DMV. Appointments are required unless you visit a Driver License Processing Center to apply for your permit.

What to Bring to the DMV

For some young drivers, the trickiest part of getting their permit is making sure they have all the correct paperwork. It's not uncommon for the DMV to turn away would-be motorists who are missing documents. If you are wondering what do I need to take my permit test, when visiting the DMV, all teen drivers should bring:

  • A completed application form. Each form has a unique barcode, so they're not available online. You can pick one up, however, from your local DMV office or call the state's automated phone line at 1-800-777-0133 to ask that a form be mailed to your home. If you're under 18, this form must be signed by a parent or guardian.
  • Your social security number. You're only required to bring your physical social security card, however, if applying for a commercial license or you're changing the social security number on file.
  • Two different forms proving your California residency. Acceptable items include school and medical documents.
  • Your $35 application fee.  * Please check with your local DMV office for up to date pricing.

If you're under 18, you'll also need to provide proof that you completed your driver's education requirements.

What to Expect From the California Permit Test

You'll begin your visit to the DMV by presenting all your documents to the clerk who will confirm that you have all the necessary paperwork. Next, you'll take a vision test. If you need glasses or contacts, you'll be able to wear them during this portion of the exam so don't forget to bring them along. Finally, you'll take the knowledge portion of your California permit test.

The knowledge exam includes 46 questions on California's road signs and traffic laws, as well as safe driving practices. You need to earn a score of at least 38 to pass. You will get three attempts to pass the test. After three attempts, you'll have to wait one week to try again.

What to Expect After you Complete the Exam

If you pass your vision and knowledge exams, you're ready to get behind the wheel—but be sure that you've got an adult who is 25 or older and has a valid California driver's license in the front seat! Once you've got your permit, it's important that you abide by all its restrictions. Otherwise, you may be delayed from getting your license.