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Drivers license requirements for teens in California

My 16 year old daughter took an online driving course, we then went to the DMV to get her learners permit so that we could then enroll her in a behind the wheel course....the lady at the info desk said, "nope, she needs her behind the wheel first, before getting a permit"...

This doesn't seem right, many of her friends say they took the online course, then got the permit and then took behind the wheel, they say you can't take behind the wheel (because you are driving, on the road) without a permit...

The second scenario sounds more confused...which is correct??

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 1:42 AM on Sep. 29, 2009 in Teens (13-17)

Answers (7)
  • Hmm...I went to a class and then I got a learner's permit before I took the test on the road. Then took the road test and then got my license. So the second one seems more reasonable to me. But, I'm not in CA so I am not positive. It may be different there.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:46 AM on Sep. 29, 2009


    The above link is the straight scoop from the State of California.

    Answer by gdiamante at 1:47 AM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • I got mine in california and I had to have my permit before my behind the wheel course, but that was umm 17 years ago..EEK. I have since moved out of state so I am not sure if its still the same but it would seem silly to let someone behind the wheel without a permit.

    I would ask to talk to a supervisor, I have found people at CA DMV's can be a little ditzy sometimes.

    Answer by 3_ring_circus_ at 1:55 AM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • To get my permit I did in class courses and right after my last course I went and got my permit, so I didnt have to be behind the wheel yet. Oh I forgot I got my permit and it isnt valid until you have one behind the wheel signed by an instructor...maybe thats what she was talking about.

    That was a couple years ago, there may have been some changes in the laws since then. go to the DMV's website and check

    Answer by DomoniqueWS at 1:59 AM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • I would talk to someone else at the dmv because that person is stupid. You by law have to have your learners permit before you can take the behind the wheel class. The instructors sign the permit so that if they were to get pulled over the officers know that they took them. There is no reason to take a behind the wheel class if you don't have a permit seeing as how both the driver and the school would be fined up the butt!

    Answer by Jessie1689 at 2:03 AM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • I don't know about CA exactly, but we just did this last school yr with our ds in WA. What we had to do was ENROLL him in the drivers ed class - but, BEFORE it started, we had to go into the DMV (with a paper from the drivers ed class) showing that he was already enrolled and paid for so that he could then get his learners permit.

    Idk, maybe that's what the lady meant?

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 2:48 AM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • I did the online classes and then i had to get my permit. But i think you have to be enrolled in the behind the wheel class before you can get your permit. I would call the dmv and find out. But thats what i did. Just make sure you have her social security car and birth certificate. Im sure she needs those to get it.

    Answer by Shelii at 8:59 AM on Sep. 30, 2009

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