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Navigating the Driver’s License Process: What Teens and Families Should Know

Photo of Corie Maue

Let’s be honest, the prospect of guiding a young teen through the licensing process can feel a bit overwhelming. Years ago, Driver’s Ed was offered as a high school elective, and the path to licensing was clear and easy to navigate.

Any family with a 15-year-old is likely feeling the pressure to understand how to help them successfully make their way through the process.

Following these simple steps will alleviate stress and ensure success:

1. A few months before the student turns 15 1/2, enroll in a DMV-approved Driver’s Education Course. Many students find an online self-paced course best suits their learning style and activity schedule. Students may take the permit exam once they are 15 1/2.

2. Complete a Driver’s License application online and schedule a written test appointment with the DMV. The DMV requires:

  • Driver’s License Application (DL44) Form completely filled out with both parents’ signatures.
  • Certificate of completion of driver’s education (provided by the driving school)
  • Proof of CA residency with both parent’s names on it
  • Social Security Number
  • $35 application fee
  • Take a vision test and have your photo taken
  • Study for the knowledge exam – use the California Driver Handbook as a guide. or via this App: The exam is proctored on a DMV computer, but students may request a paper test if they wish.

3. Enroll in behind-the-wheel training.

  • Begin behind-the-wheel training course – the state of CA requires 6 hours of professional, licensed driver training.
  • Begin driving with your parents. State requirements are 50+ hours of supervised driving, including 10 hours at night.

4. Take the Driving Test. When you have completed all of the above and have had a permit for a minimum of 6 months and are at least 16 years old, you may make an appointment to take the final driver’s license test. What to bring to your Driver’s Test:

  • Original Completion Certificate for Driver’s Training (the Driving School will provide this)
  • Original Learner’s Permit
  • Proof of vehicle registration and insurance
  • A parent or guardian

5. Take it to the Next Level. Enroll in an all-day Advanced Training focusing on collision avoidance. These next-level defensive driving skills are invaluable, and many insurance companies offer a discount to graduates.

  • Collision Avoidance
  • Hazard Recognition
  • Speed Management
  • Space Management
  • Controlled Skid Pad
  • Instructors are Active Duty or Retired Law Enforcement

Teen Road to Safety – Temecula is proud to offer complete concierge service from online driver’s education, to one-on-one behind-the-wheel instruction packages of 6 to 20 hours with expert law enforcement officers as instructors, to Advanced Training hosted once a month in South Orange County. Behind the wheel teen safety is our passion and purpose, and we will gladly hold your hand every step of the way.

For more information and pricing:

Visit: or
Call: 855-81-DRIVE
Voice or text: 951-516-1452

Written by Corie Maue

Behind the wheel teen safety is our passion and purpose, and we will gladly hold your hand every step of the way.
Call: 855-81-DRIVE
Voice or text: 951-516-1452

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