Questions and Answers about the Changes to Provisional Driver License Restrictions:

Q. What changes are there to the provisional driver license restrictions?

A. Effective January 1, 2006, persons under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian or other person specified by law when:

  • Transporting passengers under 20 years of age, at any time for the first twelve months.
  • Driving between the hours of 11:00 PM and 5:00 AM for the first twelve months

Q. I was issued my provisional driver license on May 1, 2005, and was already restricted for six months. Now, I drive friends to school everyday who are under 20 years of age. Will I be restricted again in January 2006?

A. Yes, you will be restricted through April 2006, or until your 18th birthday, whichever comes first.

Q. When I was issued my provisional driver license, DMV said I would be restricted for six months. Now, DMV is saying 12 months. Does that mean 12 additional months after the six months I already completed?

A. No. The restrictions last a total of 12 months from the date of issuance that displays on your provisional driver license.

Q. I am not sure when my restrictions began. How will I know when they end?

A. Look at the bottom of your driver license. Just to the left of your photograph is the date when the restrictions began. Calculate one year from that date to determine the date the restrictions end.

Q. Will I still be restricted when I turn age 18?

A. When you turn age 18, you will no longer be under the provisional driver license restrictions.

Q. There are two dates at the bottom of my license. Which one indicates the day the restrictions began?

A. The date closest to the photograph is the date the restrictions began.

Q. Will I have to get a new driver license?

A. No. You will not need to get another license.

Q. Why is the department discriminating against teen drivers?

A. The department is not discriminating. It is implementing legislation to save lives. Recent statistics show that citations/serious accidents involving provisional drivers during the 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM period have dramatically increased over the past five years. The change in law should reduce accidents and save lives.

Q. How will these restrictions show on my driving record?

A. The restrictions will read: "First 12 months of licensure may not transport passengers under age 20, and may not drive between the hours of 11:00 PM and 5:00 AM without parent/other driver as specified in Section 12814.6 CVC."

Q. When the restrictions end, will they be removed from my record automatically?

A. Yes, the restrictions will be automatically removed from your record when the 12 months have ended or when you turn age 18, whichever comes first.

Q. I work a summer job which requires me to drive between 11:00 PM and 5:00 AM. Can I apply for an exception?

A. California Vehicle Code Section 12814.6 provides an exception for a person who has to work, provided that reasonable transportation facilities are inadequate. You must carry a statement with you that is signed by your employer verifying your employment and indicating the date your employment is expected to end. An application for an exception is not necessary.

Q. Are there any other exceptions to the restrictions?

A. There are a few exceptions that you need to be aware of:

  • Medical necessity when reasonable transportation facilities are inadequate. You must carry a signed statement from your doctor stating the diagnosis and the probable date the necessity will end.
  • Schooling or school-authorized activities when reasonable transportation facilities are inadequate. You must carry a statement signed by the school principal, dean or a staff person authorized by the principal or dean, indicating when the schooling or school-authorized activity will be completed.
  • Necessity of family member including yourself, when adequate transportation facilities are unavailable and you need personal transportation or to transport a family member. You must carry a signed statement by a parent/legal guardian verifying the reason you must drive and the probable date the necessity will end.
  • Emancipated minor. If you have filed documents with DMV to show you are emancipated and have filed either an SR-1P or SR 22 as required by law, you are not held to the provisional driving restrictions. It may be a good idea to carry proof of your emancipated status with you.

Q. I did not receive the letter notifying me of the new restrictions and I was cited by law enforcement for violating these restrictions. What can I do?

A. The department has made a reasonable effort to notify every driver and his or her parents /guardians by mail and has notified the newspapers and media about this change in the law. It is the responsibility of the driver and his or her parents/guardians to be aware of changes in the law affecting the driving privilege.

Q. My friend and I got our licenses at the same time. Why is my license restricted and his is not?

A. Has your friend turned 18 years of age? The restrictions end when a driver turns age 18. Make sure your friend is aware of the new changes in the law.

Q. When the restrictions end, will I receive a new license?

A. No, a new driver license will not be issued.

Q. Can I drive in the event of an emergency even though my provisional license is restricted?

A. The law does not provide for emergencies; only for exceptions as listed in Vehicle Code Section 12814.6. It is the discretion of law enforcement to determine if they will cite you for violating your provisional license restrictions.

Q: How many hours of behind of the wheel must I take?

A: For students under the age of 16, they MUST take 6 hours of driving with a qualified instructor for the purposes of observation. For more information please visit :