Ultimate Guide to Transferring your Driver License to California


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Here's the ultimate guide to transferring your out-of-state license to a California driver license. This is specifically if you have a US driver's license from another state and want to change it to California driver license. If you have a driver license from another country, check out getting a driver's license in California.

What You’ll Need to Transfer your Driver License to California

  • Debit card or cash to make $36 payment
  • Proof of your Social Security number (Social Security card or Military ID)
  • Proof of your birth date and legal presence (U.S. passport or birth certificate)
  • Proof of your California residency (i.e. Mortgage bill; Utility bill; or Rental or lease agreement signed by your landlord)
  • A valid out-of-state driver’s license

What You’ll Need To Do

  1. Make an appointment for earlier than 4:30 pm at your nearest DMV office.
  2. Fill out the Driver License or Identification Card Application (form DL 44 - now available online!) for a Class C (non-commercial) driver’s license.
  3. Prepare for the written test by completing a practice exam.
  4. Provide required identification documents.
  5. Complete the vision and written tests (not administered later than 4:30pm).
  6. Have thumbprint and ID photo taken.
  7. Pay $36 fee (cash, check or debit card).
  8. Receive a temporary license that is valid for 90 days.
  9. Receive your new CA license via U.S. mail (within a few weeks).
Need to transfer your driver license to California?

Caveats and Exceptions

  • Is your license from abroad?  If you have a non-US driving license, you'll have to take the road test, aka the behind-the-wheel test as well. This concierge service can help you with that.

Need other California DMV help?

We're here to help. Start a free 15 day trial of Skip Plus to get personal assistance and help here. We'll even help you get DMV appointments and priority access to our line waiting service.


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transferring drivers license to california


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