California Driver License

California Driver License

In the state of California, it is hard to live without a car. Almost every member of a family has their own car. But, you cannot drive without a driver’s license. Even if you’re a guest in the state, you cannot drive a car for more than 10 days.

It is not so hard to obtain a California driver’s license. Just decide which license class you need and get prepared for that.

  • Firstly, you should make an appointment with your local DMV
  • Secondly, complete the driver’s license application
  • After that provide the required documents and then pass the test and the driving exam

You will also need to check your vision and provide a photo of you, which should be attached on the front side of the license.

You will also need to renew your California driver’s license every five years. You can do it online, by mail, by phone or in-person by visiting your local DMV.

To obtain a California Driver license you should pay $83. The renewal fee is $34 or $43, depending on the license class.

Be sure to obtain and renew the California driver’s license on time, in order to avoid legal problems.

California driver license requirements and steps to obtain

In California, the process to obtain a driver’s license is very straightforward. Moreover, many of the steps you can take online.

  • Firstly, schedule an appointment with your local DMV. The appointments can be scheduled for in-office tests and the behind-the-wheel driving test.
  • Secondly, complete the driver’s license application. You should submit the application before the appointment day. So, when you arrive at the DMV office for your appointment they can verify that the form is completed properly

The required documents

Thirdly, provide the required personal documents. For example:

  • Social security number
  • Proof of your full name (if you have changed your name or got married or divorced, provide all the documentation)
  • Document to show your birth date and legal presence
  • Your residency documents (You must provide 1 California residency document if applying for a DL or renewing a California commercial DL, and 2 California residency documents if applying for a REAL ID Compliant DL.)

Payments and exams

  1. After that, Take a photo and your fingerprints (the photo will be used on your driver’s license for identification purposes. The fingerprint scan helps to verify identity and will be kept on record.)
  2. Then pay the license fee. You will pay only for your California driver’s license test and for the California driver’s license practice test. In short, the California driver’s license cost will be $37
  3. Now you are ready to pass the written exam. But, before it, you should check your vision. The California DMV uses the Snellen chart or Optec 1000 Vision Tester to conduct the vision test
  4. Finally, the last step is passing the driving test. But, before you pass the test your car must be deemed safe. Before the test begins you should do a safety inspection

If you don’t pass the driving test, the examiner will explain your mistakes and you will have 2 weeks to get prepared, pay the $7 fee and retake the test.

After you pass the exam the DMV will announce your California drivers license issue date.

AB 60 driver’s license

AB 60 driver’s licenses (DL) are for individuals who are unable to provide proof of legal presence in the United States (U.S.), but who meet California DMV requirements and are able to provide proof of identity and California residency.

To obtain an AB 60 drivers license you should:

  1. Firstly, complete a Driver’s License or Identification (DL/ID) Card Application
  2. Secondly, get ready for the DL test
  3. Thirdly, schedule an appointment with DMV
  4. After that, provide all the required documents
  5. Take a driving test

California driver’s license replacement

If you have lost your DL or ID, you should:

  • Firstly, complete a new DL/ID application
  • Secondly, gather the required documents
  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of social security number
  • Two proofs of California Residency
  • After that, make an appointment and visit a DMV office to complete the process

In this case, you will be given a temporary license valid for 60 days. Your new DL or ID will be ready within 4-6 weeks.

NO m/c meaning and California driver’s license issue date

You can see a sign on the back of the California license, which indicates the class of the license. In this case, NO m/c means “No motorcycle endorsement”. Moreover, on the right bottom corner of your card, you can see your California driver’s license issue date.

California driver license classifications

As you may know, there are several classes and types of driver licenses. But, the most popular and common for the drivers is Class C.

With your Class C drivers license you may drive:

  • 2-axle vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,000 pounds (lbs.) or less
  • 3-axle vehicle weighing 6,000 lbs. or less gross
  • 3-wheel motorcycle with 2 wheels located in the front or back
  • Vanpool vehicle designed to carry more than 10 persons, but no more than 15 persons including the driver

Moreover, you may tow a single vehicle with a GVWR of 10,000 lbs. or less, including a tow dolly, if used.

Noncommercial Class A

In short, with your non-commercial class A license you may have any vehicle under Class C, travel trailers weighing over 10,000 lbs. GVWR, and 5th-wheel travel trailers weighing over 15,000 lbs. But, the last two should not be used for hire.

Noncommercial Class B

In short, with your noncommercial Class B license, you may have any vehicle under Class C, and any housecar over 40′ but not over 45′, with endorsement.

Commercial Class A

To clarify, with a Class A CDL and the proper endorsements, you may drive the following types of vehicles: Tractor-trailers, truck and trailer combinations, tank vehicles, livestock carriers, and flatbeds.

Commercial Class B

To clarify, with a Class B CDL the Drivers may be able to operate straight trucks, box trucks (like delivery trucks), large school buses, city buses, or tourist buses, and dump trucks with small trailers.

Commercial Class C

To clarify, a Class C commercial driver’s license is required to operate a vehicle that is designed to transport 16 or more occupants (including the driver). Moreover, for transport materials that are classified as hazardous under federal law.

Motorcycle Class M1 and M2

In short, With a Class M1, you can operate any 2-wheel motorcycle and any vehicle in Class M2. On the other hand, with a Class M2, you can only operate any motorized bicycle or moped, or any bicycle with an attached motor.

But, there are also several types of driver’s licenses, which are issued only in rare cases.

Commercial endorsements, ambulance driver certificate, school bus endorsement, tow truck driver certificate, verification of transit training certificate, farm labor vehicle certificate, and firefighter endorsement.

California driver license renewal

It is very important to check your California drivers license status. To clarify, this is important because you need to renew your DL every 5 years. About 2 months before the expiration date you will receive a renewal notice from the California DMV.

You can renew your license online, by mail, over the phone, or in-person at a local DMV office.

California driver’s license renewal requirements

To renew your DL you should:

  • Firstly, you should be under 70 years old
  • Secondly, your license shouldn’t be suspended, and you shouldn’t be on driving probation
  • Thirdly, your driver’s license should expire within 60 days
  • And most importantly, you should have an in-state driver’s license

Ways to renew your DL

Online renewal

To be able to renew your license online you shouldn’t have changed your address and the CA DMV should have your SSN on file.

  1. Login at the DMV online services portal
  2. Renew your personal information
  3. Pay the renewal fee, which is from $34 to $43. It depends on the license class

Renewal by mail

To renew your DL by mail fill the California Driver License Renewal by Mail Eligibility Information Form and send it by this mail address:
Department of Motor Vehicles
ATTN: Renewal By Mail Unit
P.O. Box 942890
Sacramento, CA 94290

There are two more options for your CA DL renewal: you call or visit your local DMV.

Elen G

Elen G

Elen is an English-Armenian-Russian translator and interpreter. But recently she tested her skills in content writing. According to her words, it's her new passion. Elen finds it more interesting to make searches and write content rather than look through the dictionaries to find a good synonym for a word. She hopes, that she will succeed in this field too, and will continue to grow and learn every day.