A minor (person under 18 years of age) cannot obtain a driver's license or driving permit without a parent/guardian accepting financial responsibility for their minor child. The permit and, later, their driver's license is provisional. This means that their permit or driver's license will remain valid as long as the minor continues to meet certain criteria. The parent/guardian accepting financial responsibility for the minor is one of those provisions. A parent/guardian may withdraw that acceptance and petition the DMV to withdraw the minor's license to drive for any reason. Visit California DMV for extra information on this. A minor's application for a driver license must have the signatures of:
Both parents, if the parents are California residents and have joint custody, or
Both parents, if divorced, with joint custody, or
One parent, if that parent has full custody, or
Guardians of the minor, if neither parent is living or has custody, or
The person(s) having actual full and complete custody, if no legal guardian is appointed.
NOTE: Nonresident parents cannot sign the application form and cannot accept liability for a minor in California. Nonresident military parents stationed and living in California can sign the application form and accept liability for a minor.
When parents or guardians sign for a minor to get a driver license, they are stating that they will accept financial responsibility for that minor. Financial responsibility in California requires that drivers and vehicle owners carry the following minimum monetary limits:
$15,000 for injury or death of 1 person per accident
$30,000 for injury or death of 2 or more persons per accident
$5,000 for any property damage per accident
Evidence of financial responsibility must be carried at all times in the vehicle. Most Californians maintain financial responsibility through insurance companies, which provide the policy holder with an identification card to be used as evidence of coverage. The card must state the insurance company's name and address, the period of coverage, and policy number.