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The California Department of Motor Vehicles publishes all its driver manuals online for residents to download free, in many different languages.
If you've got Adobe's free Reader software, then you can download the California Driver Handbook. If you prefer, the manual is also available in HTML format, which does not require you to download anything.
Catering to the state's diverse culture, the California Driver Handbook is available in various languages:
Get your handbook by mail by calling your local DMV office or call (800) 777-0133 between 8:00 am and 5:00.
If you need or want HTML versions of any of handbooks listed here, visit the California DMV's Publications page.
What's in the Driver Handbook?
The California Driver Handbook covers topics such as:
- Who must have a license.
- Information for military personnel.
- Identification required for a first license.
- Changing your address.
- Replacing a lost or stolen license.
- Minor's permit requirements.
- The exam process.
- Renewing your license.
- Limited-term license.
- Laws of the road.
But the California Driver Handbook is much more than just the basics―you can find information on other pertinent driving issues as well:
- Becoming an organ donor.
- How to avoid road rage.
- Driving in rain, fog, and snow.
- Myths about seat belts.
- Ways to avoid gridlock.
- Safety for the aging driver.
- Handling emergencies.
- Liability insurance requirements.
- Vehicle theft prevention.
- How to lose your license.
Reading through the California Driver Handbook from time to time is a great way to refresh your knowledge of the state's driving rules and regulations―and it's a good way to pick up on bits of information you might have missed before.
If you're interested in applying for a commercial driver's license (CDL), there is a driver's handbook just for you:
You can view the California Motorcycle Handbook for information on endorsement requirements and safety tips.
California even provides a handbook for special vehicles, such as trailers and motor homes.Other Topics in This SectionTrue or False
Doctors don’t work with the same urgency to save your life if they know you’re an organ donor.