Finally got your California learners permit? Kudos to you! We know it's a great feeling, finally being able to get behind the wheel and go for a drive. However, one thing to remember that this is not a full license yet and you must follow all California learners permit restrictions to the word! While these CA permit restrictions may seem as a nuisance to you at the moment, they were carefully crafted to keep you safe and sound during your initial license stage and they are based on statistics we have about teen crashes. All California driver's permit restrictions are age-dependent, since they are part of the graduated license system and you must learn what restrictions you will need to follow. We will try to cover as many of the California DMV learners permit restrictions as possible in this article, read on to keep your record clean!
Why Does California Have These Restrictions?
The answer is simple - permit restrictions are there to keep you and those around you safe. If you think about the reasons that frequently lead to traffic accidents, lack of experience will probably be somewhere at the top of your list. Driving is such a big part of our lives that we hardly pay any attention to operating a vehicle, most of the actions are done on autopilot. This is the result of experience, something all new drivers don't have yet. In order to counteract this, the California Department of Motor Vehicles sets a number of restrictions that were designed to keep you out of trouble until you become a safer driver.
Although the driving restrictions are set by the DMV, the rules are enforced by the California Police Department. If you are caught breaking one of the California DMV permit rules, the matter will be forwarded to a local courthouse that will in turn suspend or withdraw your driving privilege.
Age Dependent Learner's Permit Restrictions in California
According to the current statistics, if you are a driver who is under 18 years of age, you are 2 and ½ times as likely to be involved in a traffic accident as an average driver out there. In addition to lack of experience, minors are also more likely to be distracted by peers and they are more prone to risk-taking behavior. This is the reason why California learner's permit holders who are under 18 years of age are subjected to more permit restrictions than older drivers. Permit restrictions for minors are governed by California graduated drivers license laws and are described in the California drivers handbook.
Common California Permit Restrictions
For those who are over 18:
- Supervised driving only. You can operate a vehicle provided there is another drivers seated next to you. The supervising drivers must be 18 years old or older and must have a valid California drivers license. The supervising driver must be prepared to take control of the vehicle should any dangerous situation arise.
- Those who have a motorcycle permit are not allowed to carry any passengers and cannot go onto highways. Daylight driving only is permitted.
For those who are younger than 18:
- Supervised driving only. The supervising driver must be your parent, legal guardian, spouse, a professional driving instructor or another licensed driver who is at least 25 years old and has a valid California drivers license.
- No cell phones. You are not allowed to use communication devices of any sort, neither hand held nor hands-free. If your phone rings, you have to stop, observing all traffic rules, park the car, switch off the engine and then you can answer the call. No texting is allowed either. As an exception, you can make an emergency call to contact law enforcement, a health care provider or the fire department should such need arise.
Driving permit rules don't apply after the student passes the drivers test and get the drivers license. However, drivers license holders who are younger than 18 will be subject to another set of the intermediate license restrictions.
California Provisional License Restrictions
Please remember: these intermediate drivers license restrictions apply only to those who receive the drivers license before they turn 18. California provisional license restrictions are applicable for the first 12 months after the license was issued or until the licensee turns 18.
- Curfew. Although you are allowed to drive unsupervised most of the time, you cannot drive alone between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
- Passenger restrictions. You are not allowed to have any passengers under the age of 20 unless you are supervised by a parent or legal guardian.
Applying for California Drivers Permit
If you haven't got your permit yet, it is too early for you to worry about the restrictions. If you are applying for the California driver permit, you will have to complete a California drivers education class and take the California permit test. Preparing for the CA learners permit test has never been easier with our free online practice test questions you can take as many times as you wish! Start with this free California practice permit test, work your score up to at least 90% every time you take the test, then move on to taking this CA DMV practice test! Polish everything off with a California practice drivers test and you are good to go! Don't go to the DMV until you feel comfortable with most of the sample permit test question that appear on practice exams!
While all these California permit restrictions may seem as a nuisance now, they do work and they do save lives every day! Once you get some driving experience and upgrade to a full unrestricted drivers license, all permit restrictions are removed and you can enjoy the road to the max!