Can a teen driver with a learner's permit drive in California if (s)he follows the restrictions of the permit?

1 Answer 1



  1. In California, you must be at least 16 years old to drive with an out-of-state permit. Since some states offer permits to persons younger than 16, those would not be valid in CA until the individual's 16th birthday.
  2. An out-of-state learner's permit is only valid for 10 days following the date of entry (inclusive). For periods longer than 10 days, one must apply for a Nonresident Minor's Certificate.

Cal. Veh. Code § 12504(a) takes the previous two sections on nonresident licensing, which apply to persons over the age of 18, applies them to persons aged 16-18, and adds the 10-day caveat as described above:

(a) Sections 12502 and 12503 apply to any nonresident over the age of 16 years but under the age of 18 years. The maximum period during which that nonresident may operate a motor vehicle in this state without obtaining a driver's license is limited to a period of 10 days immediately following the entry of the nonresident into this state except as provided in subdivision (b) of this section.

(b) provides that the 10-day restriction does not apply where the person has a license and has a Nonresident Minor's Certificate:

(b) Any nonresident over the age of 16 years but under the age of 18 years who is a resident of a foreign jurisdiction which requires the licensing of drivers may continue to operate a motor vehicle in this state after 10 days from his or her date of entry into this state if he or she meets both the following:

  1. He or she has a valid driver's license, issued by the foreign jurisdiction, in his or her immediate possession.
  2. He or she has been issued and has in his or her immediate possession a nonresident minor's certificate, which the department issues to a nonresident minor who holds a valid driver's license issued to him or her by his or her home state or country, and who files proof of financial responsibility.

General learners permit information for non-residents travelling in the 50 states can be found here.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.