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Obtaining a California Driver's License
for 18+ year olds

Congratulations on taking the next step to obtaining your driver's license!

Tahoe Driving Academy is the ONLY driving school that includes winter driving skills at no extra charge.
We are also the most affordable private driving school in the Lake Tahoe/Truckee region.


 At Tahoe Driving Academy, we focus on giving our students unparalleled training skills allowing them to confidently and courteously, conquer the challenging Sierra Nevada mountain highways throughout all seasons,
especially on snow and ice.

Your instructor, John Gomez is experienced, dependable, and passionate!

Steps to getting a drivers license for 18 and over year olds.

Official CA DMV website


Understanding the CA DMV website can be a bit confusing, for your convenience, we have summarized what is needed for 18 and over year olds to get their driver's license.  

Winter Driving Request

Unique Situations


Situation #1: “I’ve never had a DL.”
If you are over 18 years of age and you have never had a DL in any state or country, you may obtain an instruction permit until you are ready to take your driving test.

Once you complete the requirements of the instruction permit, you can take the driving test to get a California DL.

Situation #2: “I have a DL issued by another state.”

Situation #3: “I have a DL issued by another country.”
If you have a DL issued by another country, follow the application process listed above for “I have a DL issued by another state.”

You’ll also need to pass a driving test to obtain an original California DL.

To take your driving test:

  • Schedule a driving test appointment (driving tests are not given without an appointment).

  • Provide proof of financial responsibility (insurance) that meets or exceeds California insurance requirements.

NOTE: If you have a valid DL from another country, an accompanying driver is not required to and from the drive test.

Your application fee allows you three attempts to pass the driving test. If you fail the driving test, you must schedule a new driving test on another day and pay a $7 retest fee. If you fail the driving test three times, your application is no longer valid and you must reapply.

Situation #4: “I am ineligible for a DL, but can prove legal presence in California.”
Any Californian who can prove their current legal presence in the United States (U.S.) with one of the accepted identity documents (original or certified copy) is eligible to receive a standard or REAL ID driver license or identification (DL/ID) card. This includes all U.S. citizens, permanent residents who are not U.S. citizens (Green Card holders), and those with temporary legal status, such as recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and holders of a valid student or employment visa. For Californians with temporary legal status, their DL/ID card will expire depending on their immigration status, will expire on the same date as their U.S. legal presence document, and they can receive a new card with a documented extension of their legal status.

See the full list of acceptable identity documents for a Federal Non-Compliant or REAL ID Compliant DL/ID card.

There are many other ways to prove that you are legally present in the United States:

If you were born in the U.S., you may provide a U.S. birth certificate, passport, or passport card.
If you are an immigrant to the U.S., you may provide a U.S. citizen naturalization or citizenship document, or a Permanent Resident Card.
If you are a non-immigrant, but are authorized to be in the U.S., you may present a Temporary Resident Identification card or other temporary resident documentation.
Your DL will remain valid until the expiration date printed on the card.

If you no longer maintain U.S. legal presence, you can convert your DL to an AB 60 DL.

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