Getting Started

Let’s Get Started!

“I am approaching 15½ years old. What should I do now?”

You can start anytime, though you WILL have to wait until you are15½ before you may obtain your permit from the DMV. Just follow the steps below!

Step 1: Take Driver’s Education

We offer the Online Driver Education. At the end of the course you will be sent a completion certificate.

Step 2: Obtain Your Permit From the DMV

To Obtain a Permit, fill out a DL44 (DMV Permit/LicenseApplication) on line at the DMV web site, Also make an appointment to take the permit test at the same time.

If you are 17 1/2, present your birth certificate plus one other proof of birth, Social Security card, two forms of proof of residence and pass the permit test.

If you are 15 1/2, present a Driver’s Education Completion Certificate*, original birth certificate and one other form of proof of birth, Social Security card, two forms of proof of residence and pass the permit test. The DMV will be taking your picture on this day, so be prepared for that.

Check your permit for errors while still at the DMV. If your name, birth-date or address is not correct, let the DMV employee know immediately. Be sure to bring your passport and original birth certificate (the official birth certificate is issued by the registrar of the county/city in which you were born, not the hospital!) If you were born in Los Angeles County, you may obtain a copy of your birth certificate by contacting the County Registrar’s office at (800) 201-8999. Ask for the ‘long’ copy. If the DMV employee has any problem with your paperwork, before you leave the DMV, call us! We are open whenever they are, and can be reached at 310-791-1111. The test is tough, study the CA Handbook and it will be easy for you. Do Not take the test lightly! There are 46 questions on the DMV test, and you must wait a week to try again if you miss more than eight. Read every question completely.

Step 3: Driver’s Training (behind-the-wheel)

You must complete your first driver training lesson before you drive with your parent!

Driver Training is accomplished in a vehicle with a licensed DMV instructor. (No, your parent cannot legally do this). It can be taken any day of the week with an appointment. (These may be made for the same day when our schedules permit). Appointments are more difficult to make during holidays. Go on line early to get the appointments best for you.

The six-hour training requires three days, driving two hours per day, to complete. We do not make one-hour appointments. Driver’s Training does not automatically cover freeway driving and parallel parking. Once the student masters basic driving skills, freeway driving and parallel parking may be included, if time permits, at the discretion of the instructor.

Step 4: Practice, Practice, Practice!

You must be 16 years old and have completed at least 50 hours of practice, (ten of which are at night) with someone over 25 years of age to be eligible for your provisional license. They will require your parent or guardian’s signature on one of the pages that came with the permit, along with their license number as proof that this has been done. You must also hold your permit for a minimum of six months before you are eligible to receive a license.

Step 5: Take the DMV Behind-the-Wheel Test!

Call 1-800-777-0133 or go online up to 45 days in advance to schedule your behind-the-wheel test. It could require up to 4-6 weeks to schedule the test. The DMV in this area are usually open Monday through Friday only. We recommend the Torrance, San Pedro or Hawthorne DMV to our students but you can go anywhere is CA. Bring your permit with all the pages (one is signed by the instructor and your parent), Driver Training Completion Certificate (GOLD), your registration and your insurance card. Make sure you have practiced in an area similar to the DMV’s of your choice, so you are familiar with the type of driving you will be tested on. Do NOT drive on the route before the test, nor ask our instructors to take you on the route (This is illegal). The examiner knows you are nervous. Pay attention to road signs.

Don’t sweat the small mistakes. Stay calm. Few teens pass on the first try, so do not think you are unusual if you fail. (Usually,it is a matter of obtaining more practice). If you have not completed your fifty hours with your parents, this will be apparent to the examiner. Parallel parking and freeway driving are not part of the test.

Step 6: You are a Licensed Driver!

For the first 12 months of your provisional license, you may not drive with anyone under 20 or drive between the hours of 11PM and 5:00 AM, unless someone over 25 is in the car with you. (There are exceptions, just look in the CA Handbook in the Table of Contents – Gold Colored Sections.)

Do you have any questions? Please feel free to Contact us.

Good Luck and Thanks for Choosing South Bay Driving School!