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THE CALIFORNIA DRIVER LICENSE
The reliability, integrity, and confidentiality of the California driver license (DL) and identification (ID) cardis of prime concern to all levels of government, and the private sector as well.
It is critical that these documents be completely authenticated and accurate. The California Legislature has declared the DL/ID card as the primary identification documents in this state. California law requires that all customers who apply for an original California DL/ID card submit proof of legal presence in the U.S. as authorized under federal law. Your true full name, as shown on your legal presence document, will appear on your DL/ID card.
A driver license shows that you have been given permission by the state to drive on public roadways. You may apply for a driver license at most DMV offices.
If you have no outstanding actions on your record, you will receive a license after you pay the fee, correctly answer questions about the law and safety rules, show that your physical and mental condition is satisfactory, and demonstrate your ability to drive safely. If you have a medical condition or a disability, DMV may require you to take a driving test and/or present a statement from your physician regarding your condition.
A person must be at least 21 years old to drive most commercial vehicles for hire in interstate commerce and to transport hazardous materials or wastes.
To replace a lost or damaged driver license, you must go to a DMV office and pay a fee for a duplicate. You should also present photo identification. If DMV cannot confirm your identity, you will not be issued a temporary license. If you are a minor, your parents must sign the DMV application form (DL 44).
Once a duplicate license has been issued, the previous license is not valid. Destroy it if you find it later.
Change your name with the local Social Security Administration (SSA). DMV electronically verifies your name, birth date and social security number (SSN) with the SSA.
If you change your name, you must take your old DL/ID card to a DMV office with acceptable verification of your ‘true full name‘. (See section above for more information about identification ) You must pay the applicable fee and a new picture and thumb print will be taken. Your old photo DL/ ID card will be invalidated and returned to you.
DMV issues a regular DL for a fiveyear term. The license expires on your birthday in the year shown on the license. It is against the law to drive after your license expires.
DMV sends a renewal notice to your address of record about two months before your license expires. Follow the instructions on the renewal notice. If you do not receive a renewal notice, go online or call to make an appointment.
If DMV cannot confirm your identity, you will not be issued a temporary license.
A driving test may be required as part of any driver license transac tion. Driving tests are not required simply because of age.
Qualified drivers may be eligible to renew by mail or online at DMV’s website.
Refer to the California Commercial Driver Handbook (PDF), the Recreational Vehicles and Trailers Handbook, or the California Motorcycle Handbook (PDF) for additional license information.
This handbook assumes your interest is in a basic Class C license.
With a valid Class C license you may drive:
any 2-axle vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26,000 lbs. or less.
any 3-axle vehicle weighing 6,000 lbs. or less gross.
any housecar, 40 feet or less.
a vanpool vehicle, designed to carry more than 10 but no more than 15 persons including the driver. The driver must have a valid medical certification on file with DMV and carry a valid medical card. The driver must also have a signed certification stating he/she has not been convicted of reckless driving, drunk driving, or hitand- run in the last five years. (VC Section 12804.9[j] ).
A farmer or employee of a farmer may drive:
any combination of vehicles with a GVWR of 26,000 lbs. or less if used exclusively in agricultural operations and it is not for hire or compensation.
You may tow:
a single vehicle with a GVWR of 10,000 lbs. or less including a tow dolly, if used.
With a vehicle weighing at least 4,000 lbs., you may tow:
a trailer coach or 5th-wheel travel trailer under 10,000 lbs. GVWR when towing is not for compensation.
a 5th-wheel travel trailer exceeding 10,000 lbs. but under 15,000 lbs. GVWR, when towing is not for compensation and with endorsement.