Restrictions on Teen Provisional Driver License

Written By | Doreen Almirol | 20+ years CA DMV Licensed Driving Instructor


Gaining a driver’s license is a momentous occasion for teenagers nationwide. In California, teenagers can attain this achievement as early as 16 years old when they receive their provisional driver license, allowing them to gain driving experience while abiding by specific restrictions. California has carefully established regulations and exemptions concerning restrictions on a teen provisional driver license. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure road safety for both young drivers and fellow road users.

In this article, we will delve into the crucial aspects of the restrictions associated with a teen provisional driver license.

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Provisional Driver License Restriction for


  One of the primary restrictions for provisional driver license holders in California is the limitation on passengers. For the first 12 months after receiving a provisional license, a teen driver is not allowed to carry passengers under the age of 20, unless accompanied by a licensed adult aged 25 or older. This rule is designed to reduce distractions and encourage responsible driving behavior.

Provisional Driver License Restriction for


 Another important restriction for provisional drivers is the curfew hours. Teen drivers are prohibited from driving between 11:00 PM and 5:00 AM during the first year after receiving their provisional license. This limitation aims to reduce the risks associated with nighttime driving for inexperienced drivers.

Provisional Driver License Restriction for


The use of cell phones while driving is a significant distraction and safety hazard. California’s provisional driver license holders under the age of 18 are prohibited from using any electronic device while driving, unless it is for emergency purposes. This includes talking or texting on a cell phone, even if using a hands-free device.

Provisional Driver License Restriction for


Teenagers with a provisional driver license must adhere to California’s zero-tolerance policy for alcohol and drugs. Any detectable presence of alcohol or drugs in their system while driving is strictly prohibited. Violating this rule can lead to severe consequences, including the suspension or revocation of the driver’s license.

Exceptions & Penalties

It’s crucial for teen drivers to understand that violating the restrictions mentioned above can result in penalties and consequences, including fines, probation, and even the possibility of a license suspension. Moreover, accumulating too many points on their driving record can lead to the suspension of their provisional license.

Obtaining a provisional driver license in California is a significant milestone for teenagers, but it comes with specific restrictions aimed at ensuring the safety of both the young drivers and the general public. Adhering to these rules is not only a legal requirement but also a crucial step toward becoming a responsible and experienced driver.

For further reading or more information on provisional licensing, visit the California DMV website.

There are EXEMPTIONS to these Restrictions!

Whether you’re navigating the road as a new teen driver or guiding your teen through this exciting phase of life, there’s much more to explore. Continue reading to gain a comprehensive understanding of these restrictions, exemptions, and how they impact the journey to safe and responsible driving. Stay informed, stay safe, and continue reading!