Nowhere does the thrill of the open road beckon more than it does in Los Angeles. Yes, there is rush hour gridlock to slow you down. Still, there's nothing quite like cruising along the boulevards, feeling a dry breeze on your face, and smelling eucalyptus in the air.
If you plan to get your California driver's license, you're probably looking forward to this sense of freedom and exploration. Here's how to get the job done.
The Process for Already-Licensed Drivers
The Golden State makes it easy for drivers with a valid out-of-state license to obtain a California license in Los Angeles.
Establish State Residency
In order to become a state resident, you'll need to live in California for at least nine months out of the year.
The second thing you'll need is an official address.
If for some reason, you don't have a permanent address, you can use other official documents to prove that you reside in California, such as employment documents, a voter registration card, school documents, IRS returns, and a letter from a shelter on official letterhead.
Apply for a Driver's License in Los Angeles
Although California lets you keep driving with your out-of-state license as long as it is valid, you'll need to get the application process started within 10 days after becoming an official state resident.
You won't need to take a driver's test if your license from another state is still valid.
The Process for New Los Angeles Drivers over the Age of 18
1. Schedule an Appointment with the Los Angeles DMV
The main field office is located at 3615 S Hope Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007, though there are other locations nearby in Santa Monica, Inglewood, and Culver City. If you schedule the appointment in advance, you can avoid those notorious long lines!
2. Fill out Your Driver's License Application Form Online
When filling out your application, you'll need to provide the following:
A Social Security number
Your true full name
Proof of identity, such as a birth certificate
One residency document (see above)
The Los Angeles DMV only accepts certified copies or original documents for proof of residency and identity.
4. Pay a Non-Refundable License Fee
This fee is good for 12 months, which is the amount of time you have to complete all the requirements. Within this time frame, you'll get three tries to pass both the written test and driving test.
5. Pass Your Written Test
Even though you get three tries, why not avoid the uncertainty by taking an approved adult driver's ed course? Adult drivers can earn an insurance discount by taking the course.
6. Pass Your Driving Test
If you're an adult facing Los Angeles traffic for the first time, drivers ed behind the wheel will both help you pass the test and give you some added confidence on the road.
7. Finish the Final Paperwork
Go through a fingerprint scan and get your photo taken at the Los Angeles DMV. Then, pass a vision test, with or without corrective lens.
The Process for New Los Angeles Drivers Under the Age of 18
Los Angeles teenagers between the ages of 15.5 and 17.5 are eligible to apply for an instruction permit. Between the ages of 16 and 17.5 permit holders may receive a provisional driver's license. Once you are over 17 and have a provisional license, you can apply for an adult license.
The process of applying for an instruction permit is very similar to that of applying for an adult license. The main difference is that teens under the age of 17.5 are required to take a driver's education course. Above that age, the course is optional but recommended.
We Educate Los Angeles Drivers of All Ages
Whether you want to improve your confidence behind the wheel or teen drivers ed in California to get your permit, DriversEd.com has you covered. We offer California state-approved driver's ed courses and in-car driving lessons for people of all ages.