If you are over the age of 18 and do not have your driver’s license, obtaining one can be a very time consuming process.
In California, you can drive with any state license as long as you remain a visitor. If you decide to change your legal residence to California, then you have 10 days to get a California license.
Obtaining a California license is one step toward establishing legal residency in California. If this is your first time getting a license, the best thing to do is make an appointment with the DMV; this will give you much faster service. After making an appointment with the DMV, you will need to complete an application form DL 44, give a thumb print, and have your picture taken. After that, you will need to verify your social security number, birth date and legal presence, provide your true full name, and pay the application fee.
After completing the paperwork to obtain your license, you will need to complete the testing portion of your driver’s license application. You will need to pass a vision exam first. Then you will take the traffic laws and sign test. The traffic laws and sign test consists of 36 multiple choice questions and you will have three chances to pass (a sample test can be found online at http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#two500).
If you pass both of these tests, you will be issued a driver’s permit. Somebody who is 18 or older and holds a valid California license must be in the car with you at all times while driving on a permit.
In order to obtain a driver’s license, you must schedule an appointment for your driving test (tests are not given without an appointment). When you show up for your driving test, you will need to show proof of insurance and proof of financial responsibility. Upon completion of the driving test, you will be issued an interim license, which is valid for 90 days. After California processes all of your information, you will receive your official photo driver’s license in the mail.