Teen learning to drive or taking driving test.

Online Driver’s Education for California Teens

Getting a driver’s license for a teenager is considered a rite of passage and allows them to travel to school, to work or to see friends, which gives them a sense of freedom. Unfortunately, motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death among teens in the United States, and according to the California Office of Traffic Safety, a 16-year-old is 20 times more likely to be killed in a crash than an adult.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles requires all teen drivers to complete a California Driver Education Course, which can be taken in person or online at CaliforniaDriverEdCourse.com through the American Safety Council®.

Read on to learn more about the affordable, flexible and 100% online California Teen Driver Education Course, as well as the steps to obtaining a driver’s license in the state of California.

California Driver’s Ed Course Requirements

Because accidents are so common among teens, it is especially important for them to learn the rules of the road, safe driving techniques, how to prevent accidents and so forthwhich is why the California DMV requires them to pass a teen driver’s education course.

Anyone between the age of 15.5 years old and 17.5 years old must take a state-approved Driver’s Ed Course and pass a written permit exam to get a provisional permit. The driver training course must consist of the following:

  • At least 30 hours of professional classroom instruction, which can be completed in-person or online.
  • At least six hours of behind-the-wheel professional instruction.

Here’s what you need to know regarding on-the-road driving hours with professional instruction:

  • The teen’s behind-the-wheel driving practice must not exceed more than two hours per day.
  • Observation time does not count toward the required six hours of driving practice.
  • The six hours of behind-the-wheel driving instruction that is required for the driver education requirement does not count toward the 50 hours of supervised driving that is required for the California Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) process which begins after obtaining their permit.

Rather than sign up for 2.5 semester periods of driver’s education, California teens can now learn their driver’s education online, with unlimited customer support and addition prep, before taking their permit exam and earning their provisional license.

California Online Driver’s Ed Course Details

In their first year on the road, teens are almost 10 times more likely to be in a crash and nine out of 10 teens reported it was common to see teens driving while talking on a cell phone. The best way to prevent crashes and distracted driving is to educate young drivers. This is why the CA driver’s ed course will teach them:

  • Basic fundamentals of being safe and responsible while driving, including car maintenance and repairs
  • Important driving skills that will help them safely operate a motor vehicle
  • California laws and road rules including who has the right of way, how to merge onto traffic and how to identify California-specific road signs
  • Driving in specific weather conditions
  • How to respond in emergency situations, including accidents, as well as what to do in construction zones, railroad crossings, etc.

About Our Online Course Units

According to a study, 75 percent of serious teen driver crashes are due to “critical errors.” The three most common errors, which accounted for nearly half of crashes in 2011, were:

  • Lack of scanning, which is needed to detect and respond to hazards
  • Driving too fast for the road conditions
  • Being distracted by something inside or outside of the motor vehicle

To prevent these errors from occurring, we want to ensure that teen drivers learn as much as they can before getting on the road, which is why the course is broken into various units. All California students must complete each unit to pass their teen driver education online course and take the final permit exam.

The specific units are:

  • Driving Is Your Responsibility
  • The Driver
  • Natural Forces Affecting the Driver
  • Signs, Signals and Highway Markings
  • California Vehicle Code and Rules of the Road
  • Causes and Costs of Accidents
  • Differences In Urban and Rural Driving
  • Critical Vehicle Systems and Subsystems
  • Pedestrian Safety
  • Effects of Alcohol and Drugs
  • Motorcycle Safety
  • Risk-Taking and Perceptions of Teenagers
  • Substance Abuse
  • Driving Inexperience
  • Road Rage

Reasons for Taking Our Course

Between work, school and extracurricular activities, teens tend to have busy schedules and without a car, they rely on parents or friends to take them to and from these places.

Rather than taking driver’s ed at a driving school and spending weeks in a classroom, teens can sign up for the California Teen Driver Education Course at CaliforniaDriverEdCourse.com, which fulfills the state licensing requirements. By registering your child for this online course, the American Safety Council guarantees:

100% Online Material

The course is completely online so you can work from your home, school or wherever.

State Approval

The California DMV has approved this course so you will fulfill the driver’s ed requirements (DMV License #E4608).


Students can login and log off at any time and their progress will be saved.

Mobile-Friendly Access

The course is available on all web-accessible devices, including phones.

24/7 Customer Support

With access to driver education experts and course trainers, you’ll have the support you need any time of day.

Official DMV Certificate

Upon completion, the student will be mailed a DMV Certificate.

Unlimited Chances

With numerous attempts to complete the course, the student should have no problem completing all units.

Although the course will take a minimum of 25 hours to complete, as required by the state of California, you can study and complete the course at your own pace.

Contacting Customer Support

This course is provided by the American Safety Council, a California DMV-approved provider. We provide you with 24-hour-a-day telephone and email access to certified driving safety instructors. If you have any questions about the course, we are ready to assist you.

Preparing for the Permit Exam

The permit exam must be taken in person and consists of 46 questions. To pass, the student must answer at least 38 of the questions correctly. However, taking the exam can be stressful, and many students fail on the first try. If you fail on the first time, you have to wait a week to take it again. You are given three attempts to pass it.

To ensure that the student passes on their first attempt, sign them up for our permit test prep and online course, which offers 50 test questions to practice and a DMV practice test. The material is easy to understand and accessible 24 hours per day, seven days per week to ensure that students are confident and prepared to take the permit exam.

Register for Online Driver’s Ed at CaliforniaDriverEdCourse.com

Registration is quick, easy and secure. Once you input your personal information, which should match all of the information you plan to bring to the DMV, choose your login details and pay—then you can start the course as soon as today.

Sign up for the California Driver Ed Course online or choose the California Driver Ed Package, which includes the course and permit prep as well as a free practice test from the DMV.

Teenager learning to drive

Obtaining a California Provisional Learner’s License

To obtain a learner’s permit, which is also called a driver’s permit or learner’s license, California teen drivers between the age of 15.5 and 17.5 years old must complete a state-approved driver’s ed course, but what else is required for drivers wanting to obtain a learner’s instruction permit in California? Here is a list of requirements, as specified by the California DMV.

  • Verify your age and identity with birth certificate or passport and provide proof of residency.
  • Complete permit application, Form DL 44, with signature from parent or guardian.
  • Pay $35 application fee.
  • Pass a vision exam and traffic laws and signs exam.

Please note: Any student under 17.5 years old needs to complete a California teen driver education course to obtain their permit license, but if they are older, they are not required to take driver’s education before obtaining their California permit license.

In addition, the following restrictions are in place for any teen drivers who hold a provisional learner’s permit:

  • Obey the traffic laws.
  • Avoid a motor vehicle collision.
  • Drive with an adult 25 years or older who has a valid California license.
  • Hold a permit for six months before taking the driving test.

Obtaining a California Provisional Driver’s License

To obtain a provisional driver’s license, teen drivers must learn the rules of the road and practice driving, which is why the provisional permit exists. For students wanting to obtain a provisional drivernot permitlicense in the state of California, they must complete the following requirements:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Have held the permit license for at least six months
  • Complete driver’s education
  • Complete six hours of professional driver training
  • Complete 50 hours of behind-the-wheel practice driving with an adult who is at least 25 years old or older who holds a valid driver license (at least 10 of the practice hours must be driven at night)
  • Pass the behind-the-wheel driving test

Taking the California DMV Driving Test

To obtain a California driver’s license, provisional or not, students must make an appointment with their local DMV office to take the driving test. When the student arrives for the behind-the-wheel test, they must provide:

  • Their own vehicle
  • Proof of registration
  • Proof of insurance

To better prepare for the exam, students should study safe driving techniques and practice the following skills, which they will learn in our California teen driver education course.

Skills to Practice for Your Driving Test:

  • Making right and left turns
  • Accelerating smoothly
  • Stopping at intersections
  • Paying attention to crosswalks and pedestrian walkways
  • Practice using windshield wipers and turning on headlights
  • Making lane changes
  • Obeying speed limits and road signs
  • Using traffic signals when turning
  • Driving and merging onto street traffic
  • Scanning for potential hazards and checking mirrors
  • Practicing different types of parking

To learn more about the driving test and to better prepare for the written exams, all students should obtain the California Driver Handbook, which is available through the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles.

If a driver has a California provisional driver’s license, it will become an unrestricted license after one year or when the driver turns 18 years old.

California Teen Driver Education: Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to complete the entire driver’s ed course before applying for or obtaining a learner’s permit?

Yes, the student will take the driver’s ed course before taking the permit exam. The education course will prepare them for the exam and fulfill the state’s education requirement.

Are there restrictions on the provisional driver’s license?

Yes, the California DMV requires that teen drivers with a provisional driver’s permit be accompanied by a certified driving instructor or licensed adult who is 25 years or older when:

  • Transporting any passenger who is under the age of 20 during the first twelve months of obtaining the provisional driver’s license
  • Driving between 11 pm and 5 am during the first twelve months of obtaining the provisional driver’s license

What happens when you arrive for the driving test?

The driving test is one of the final stages to obtaining a California driver’s license, but here are a few things to keep in mind when showing up to the driving test:

  • You can ask the examiner to show their DMV identification (ID) badge, if desired.
  • The examiner will make sure that the vehicle is legally registered and functions safely.

The student must have proof of registration and show financial responsibility. To learn more, visit the DMV website.

What is defensive driving and what does it entail?

Defensive driving is a safe driving technique. Some safe driving techniques include:

  • Check mirrors frequently
  • Check cross streets before entering intersections
  • Follow vehicles at a safe distance
  • Prepare for the reactions of other vehicles

When you complete the driver’s ed course, how will you obtain the official state certificate?

American Safety Council will send the official certificate to the address that is included in your registration. It will be sent for free via U.S. first class mail and may take up to ten days to arrive.