What You Need to Know About Costa Mesa California Licensing Procedures
Starting the process of applying for your Costa Mesa California learner's permit or first Costa Mesa California driver license can seem very daunting at first, so it helps to have as much information handy as possible. Costa Mesa California has a graduated driver license program for Costa Mesa California drivers ages 15 and a half to 18, and there are a number of things we want you to be aware of to make sure that applying for your Costa Mesa California driving license goes as smoothly as possible. So let's begin, shall we?
Types of Licenses
You should be made familiar with the three basic types of Costa Mesa California driver's licenses. They are: Costa Mesa California learner's permit, Costa Mesa California teen driver's license, and the regular Costa Mesa California driver's license. Here's a simple outline of the requirements and restrictions for each license type:
Costa Mesa California Learner's Permit
- must be at least 15 and a half years of age, but under 18
- must be accompanied by a person at least 25 years of age who also has a Costa Mesa California driver's license
- cannot drive with passengers under 21 (except siblings)
Costa Mesa California Teen Driver's License
- must be 18 or have had learner's permit at least 6 months
- late night driving is restricted (see details below)
- requires passing a road test
- cannot transfer passengers under 21 until 1-year probationary period has passed
Costa Mesa California Driver's License
- must be 18 or have had teen driver's license for one year
- no further restrictions apply
Now that you've been introduced to the different types of licenses, here's what you need to know about applying for each one.
Costa Mesa California Learner Permit or Costa Mesa California Provisional License
Although you have to be at least 16 to apply for your first Costa Mesa California driver's license, when you're 15 and a half you can apply for a Costa Mesa California provisional license, otherwise known as a Costa Mesa California learner's permit.
So if you're 15 and a half or older, take the following to your local Costa Mesa California DMV.
At your local Costa Mesa California DMV, you'll have to pass a vision exam, as well as a traffic laws and sign test. Once you pass the written exam and vision test, you'll receive your Costa Mesa California instructional driver license, or Costa Mesa California learner's permit. This license will enable you to practice driving providing you have someone 25 years or older in the seat next to you as you learn. However, the driver accompanying you must have a Costa Mesa California driver's license. You can find a few sample tests on the Costa Mesa California DMV website here.
Costa Mesa California Teen Driver's License
If you're 18 or have had your Costa Mesa California learner's permit for at least 6 months, you're ready to try for a Costa Mesa California teen driver's license! But before you do so, you must complete the following requirements:
- Be able to provide proof of financial responsibility (more on this later).
- Completed driver education
- 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training with a professional driving instructor
- 50 hours of practice with an adult 25 or older (at least ten of these practice hours must have been done at night)
- Have your Costa Mesa California learner's license for at least 6 months
Because you only get three chances to pass the road test, we strongly suggest getting as much driving practice as you can! Any 16-year-old applicants must be accompanied by a parent or guardian when taking the Costa Mesa California driver's license road test. After you pass your driving test, you'll receive an interim Costa Mesa California license (valid for 60 days) until your Costa Mesa California photo license comes in the mail. If you fail the Costa Mesa California driving test, you have to wait two weeks before taking it again.
Costa Mesa California Teen Driver License Restrictions and Penalties
There are several restrictions you need to be aware of regarding your Costa Mesa California learner's license or Costa Mesa California provisional drivers license.
If you only have your Costa Mesa California learner's permit, you must be supervised by a parent, legal guardian, or person over 25 who has at least one year of driving experience. The person who is supervising you must sit in the front passenger seat. In addition, you cannot drive with passengers under 21 (except brothers or sisters).
If you have a teen driver's license but are under 18, you are not permitted to drive a vehicle between 11AM and 5AM for the first twelve months unless have a parent, legal guardian with you. Also, you cannot transfer passengers under 21 until your 1 year probationary period has passed.
Exceptions to this restriction are made in the following cases:
- You have a medical necessity
- You are participating in a school activity
- You have an employment necessity
- You must transport a family member
- You are an emancipated minor.
If you have further questions, go to the teen page on the Costa Mesa California DMV website.
Costa Mesa California Auto Insurance Costa Mesa California Financial Responsibility Laws
Once you receive your Costa Mesa California drivers license, you're almost ready to drive. What else is need? Auto insurance, of course. Any vehicle registered in Costa Mesa California must be covered by liability insurance. The minimum coverage is $15,000 for personal injury and $30,000 for 2 or more persons, and $5,000 for property damage. If you are found to be driving without Costa Mesa California mandatory liability insurance, you could face a fine of up to $500 plus court costs. If you are involved in an accident and cannot provide proof of insurance, your Costa Mesa California learner's permit or Costa Mesa California provisional license may be suspended.
Costa Mesa California Drunk Driving, Cell Phone, and Text Messaging Laws
As a new Costa Mesa California driver, it's important that you learn and take seriously the Costa Mesa California drunk driving, cell phone, and text messaging laws. Upon your first Costa Mesa California DUI offense, you face:
- Imprisonment of 96 hours to 6 months
- A fine of $390 to $1000
- Your license will also be suspended for 6 months
- Also, you will have to complete a Driving Under the Influence Program
- And may be ordered to install an Ignition Interlock Device.
Further Costa Mesa California DUI convictions will result in increased jail time, community service, fines, and Costa Mesa California license suspension or even Costa Mesa California license revocation. As a young driver, now is the time to learn good habits, and one of the most important of these is DON'T EVER DRIVE DRUNK!
Studies show a strong link between text messaging and traffic accidents. Therefore, as of September 2008 the Costa Mesa California Legislature passed a ban on text messaging while driving. Driving while texting carries a fine of $20 for a first offense and $50 for each additional offense. No points will be issued on your Costa Mesa California drivers license. Drivers under 18 are also prohibited from using a cell phone or wireless device from driving. All drivers must use a hands free device for their cell phone while driving in Costa Mesa California.
Costa Mesa California Online Driver Education
As stated above, any 16-year-old applicants who would like to apply for a Costa Mesa California driver license must have completed at least 50 driving hours (signed by a parent, legal guardian, or certified driving instructor) and at least 6 hours of an approved Costa Mesa California online driver education course. Check with your local Costa Mesa California DMV regarding approved online driver education classes.