California Drivers Ed: An Online Option for Teens

By Jordan Fabel •  Updated: July 27, 2021  •  10 min read  •  Driving
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If you’re ready to get your California driver’s permit and you want to get your license, an online California Drivers Ed course is perfect for you. As long as you meet the requirements and you choose a DMV-approved course, you will be well on your way to getting your driver’s license.

With an online California drivers ed course, you will gain a super-convenient way to learn the rules of the road. With driver’s ed, you may gain discounts from your insurance company, and you can become a better driver with the right instruction.

Drivers Ed California

The state of California requires a driver education course before you can get your instruction permit. This course needs to be completed, but you don’t have to go to a classroom to do it. Instead, you can use an online driver’s education course in California to meet the same requirements as the online driver’s ed course.

Requirements to Take California Drivers Ed

No matter the type of driver’s education course you want to take in California, you will need to be at least 15 years and six months old. The course is offered for those under 18 as they work towards getting a provisional permit. It’s necessary to complete a state-approved driver’s education course to get your permit, along with passing the written test.

With an online course, you can complete all the requirements necessary to get your permit. You will also get practice permit tests to take as you prepare for the real test. If you want to make sure you pass the test the first time, an online driver’s education course in California offers a great option.

Topics Covered in California Drivers Ed Courses

The driver’s education courses approved in California will cover several topics, including:

When you choose to complete your California driver’s ed course online, you will gain access to work at your own pace and at a time that works best for you.

Online Drivers Ed vs. Classroom Drivers Ed in California

The most traditional way to complete drivers’ education in California is in the classroom. However, many online classes are approved by the state and offer an alternative to showing up at a specific time for your driver’s education courses.

With an online driver’s ed course in California, you can work at your own pace. You get to take the course how you want and where you want. As long as you can access the internet, you can work through the materials. Many online courses guarantee you will pass, as well.

With a classroom course, you have to go to an actual class at a set time and listen to the instructor teach. This type, of course, doesn’t allow you to work at your pace and work through the material when you prefer.

Another thing to keep in mind, with an online California driver’s ed course, you can work on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. As long as you can get an internet connection and choose a program with an app, you can work on any smart device and even switch from one device to another without losing your place.

Getting Your California Driver’s Permit

Before you can get your drivers’ permit in California, you will need to be at least 15 years and six months old but no older than 18. It’s necessary to complete a state-approved driver’s education course or be enrolled in a course. You will also need to fill out applications form DL 44 with signatures from your parents or guardians.

The DMV recommends you make an appointment to ensure you gain access to faster service. Also, make sure you bring the necessary documents, including your driver’s education certification or enrollment forms.

You will need to pass a vision test and the traffic laws and sign test. Also, you will need to pay the application fee, give a thumbprint, and have your picture taken before you will be issued a driver’s permit in California.

How an Online California Drivers Ed Course Works

When you’re ready to complete your driver’s education, you may want to choose one of the main online course options. This type of course will be easy to follow and often provides a more interactive experience than a classroom course.

Once you have registered with your chosen course, you will work through each section of the driver’s education course. Some options provide quizzes at the end of each section to help you see where you’re at and what you should keep studying. These quizzes often give you unlimited chances to pass.

After you’ve completed your entire online driver’s education course, you will receive a certificate of completion. This certificate is taken to the DMV when you’re ready for the permit exam.

Top 3 Benefits of an Online Drivers Education Course

1. No Classroom Distractions

Sure, it might be fun to take driver’s education in a classroom with your friends, but driver’s ed isn’t about having fun. It’s about learning the necessary rules of the road to pass your driving exam and get your permit and, ultimately, your driver’s license.

Peers in the classroom can be very distracting. With an online California driver’s education course, you don’t have to worry about distractions.

2. More Parental Involvement

Parents cannot attend classroom driver’s education courses with their teenagers. However, when an online course is used, they can work with their children through the driver’s education instruction. Some online courses even provide specific features for parental involvement in the process.

3. Self-Paced, Learn from Anywhere

Not all students can learn well in a classroom setting. With an online driver’s education course, you can log in and out from your computer or smartphone. You can log in and out at your convenience, allowing your progress to be saved every time.

There are many benefits to an online version of California driver’s ed. It’s a great option for those looking to complete the requirements without spending hours sitting in a classroom.

Drivers Education vs. Drivers Training

As you prepare to get your driver’s permit and license in California, you will likely come across the terms driver’s education and driver’s training. These two things are very different and shouldn’t be confused.

Drivers’ education in California is the classroom portion, which can be completed online. You will learn about the rules of the road, vehicle safety, and more. It’s necessary to prepare you to pass the written permit test.

Driver’s training, on the other hand, is in-car driving lessons with a licensed instructor. It’s necessary to take six hours of driver training before taking your road test in the state of California if you’re under 17.5 years of age.

Traffic school in California is another course that is available online and is typically taken to dismiss a ticket or for an insurance discount.

How to Choose the Right California Drivers Ed Course

Before choosing the course right for your needs, it’s important to consider whether you want to complete the driver’s education portion online or in a classroom. With the online version, you get to work at your page, where you want, and when you want. There are many online and classroom options to choose from.

A few tips to help you choose the right California drivers ed course for you include:

When you’re ready to choose the right online California drivers ed course, you want to make sure you choose a  state-approved option to help you prepare for your permit test. A list of approved driving schools for driver’s ed in California can be found here.

Choosing the Right Driving School After Driver’s Education

After completing your California drivers ed course, you will still need to complete the behind-the-wheel training with an instructor. You can find many local driving schools on the DMV website to help you choose the right one.

It’s a good idea to compare the costs as the fees can vary slightly from one driving school to another. Also, make sure you choose a school with good instructors that have passed the necessary training courses, and you trust with your teenager.

Frequently Asked Questions About California Drivers Ed

Who should take a California driver’s ed course online?

Anybody from age 15.5 to 17.5 looking to get a permit in the state of California can take an online driver’s education course. You can take the course when you are at least 15 years and six months old, and it’s required to get your permit.

Does the California DMV approve online California driver’s ed courses?

Yes, there are many courses available online that have been approved by the California DMV.

How much time will it take to complete driver’s education in California?

The state of California requires driver’s education courses to last at least 30 hours. This includes 25 hours of actual learning with five hours of scheduled breaks throughout the course.

How many questions are found on the California permit test?

The permit test in California is made up of 46 total questions. You must answer at least 38 questions correctly to pass the test. With the right permit prep course online or online driver’s education course, you can make sure you’re well prepared to pass the test the first time.

When are you allowed to start driving in California?

The state of California allows you to start driving with a permit at age 15 years six months. You can get your actual driver’s license at age 16, but the restrictions won’t be lifted until you turn 18.

How much does California driver’s ed cost?

The cost of your driver’s education course in California will be determined by the option you choose. Online courses tend to be much less expensive than classroom options. Most online driver’s education courses will cost around $80, on average. Some even include free roadside assistance for a month or longer.

What if I fail the exam at the end of the driver’s education course?

When you take an online California drivers ed course, you will likely need to pass a final exam at the end of the course. This is necessary to get your Certificate of Completion.

If you fail the exam, you can retake it. Most online driver’s education courses will allow you to take the final exam as many times as necessary to pass it. You won’t even need to pay for it again, but you will still need to take and pass the written exam from the DMV.

Will my online driver’s education offer DMV practice tests?

Most online driver’s ed courses approved for use in California will provide at least one DMV practice test. Many will offer multiple tests giving you the ability to build your confidence before taking the real test.

When you’re ready to start working towards your California driver’s license, a driver’s education course will be necessary. It’s one of the requirements to get your driving permit, and you will have to complete it either in a classroom or online.

Choosing the right California driver’s ed course will make a big difference. If you prefer to work at your own pace from anywhere, you will likely thrive with an online version of the course. Compare a few good options and choose the one you think fits your needs best.

Jordan Fabel

Jordan Fabel

Covering different 'paths' that people's lives can take. Creative, foster parent, ticket dismissal, you get the idea. Exploring the requirements, certifications, exams, and obviously, approved courses along each path.