Foster youth, both dependents and wards, may apply for a driver's license if the application is signed by:
- a grandparent,
- a sibling over the age of 18,
- an aunt, an uncle,
- or a foster parent with whom the minor resides,
- a probation officer or
- child protective services worker
if the foster youth files proof of financial responsibility.
Once a youth has a driver's license, his or her parents or guardian are responsible for any damages resulting from any accident or injury caused by the youth while driving a motor vehicle. The same is true for any person (including a foster parent) who signs a driver's license application on behalf of a youth. (Only state and county probation officers and county social workers are specifically exempted from the joint liability provisions of VC Sections 17707 and 17708.)
Therefore, probation officers and county social workers may sign driver license applications on behalf of foster youth irrespective of the joint liability provisions if the foster youth files a proof of financial responsibility. For details, go to ACL No. 01-30.
If a driver license if not obtained, you can apply for an official Identification Card issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. For purposes of identification, this ID is the same as a driver license.
In general, both a driver license and an ID card require that you:
- visit a DMV office,
- complete an application form,
- give your thumb print,
- have your picture taken,
- provide your social security number,
- verify your birth date, and
- pay the application fee.
For specifics, go to California DMV.
For more information, please call
the Office of the Foster Care Ombudsman at