It depends.

If you are under 18, you probably have a provisional license.  In California, in order to drive passengers under 20 years old, even your own child, you need to have a “supervising driver” in the car or a letter signed by an adult.

There are three different types of adults that can write this letter for you, depending on the reason why you need to drive with your child in the car.  See below to decide who to ask. See here for an example of a letter. Once you have a letter, put it in your car and keep it there.  You want a copy nearby in case you are ever stopped by the police.

 
Letter signed by Parent or Guardian
Your parent or guardian can sign a letter.  The letter needs to state you have a “need” to drive your child and the reason why you need to drive your child.  It also must include a probable date when the need will be finished (It can state a specific calendar date or the date you think you will receive your official driver’s license).
“Need” can include:
  • Driving to school or a school-authorized activity with your child in the car when there is no other form of transportation available.
  • Driving to work with your child in the car when there is no other form of transportation available.
  • Driving to your child’s medical appointment or childcare when there is no other form of transportation available.
Letter from School Principal, Dean, or School Staff Member designated by the Principal or Dean
  • Your school principal, dean, or school staff member designated by the principal or dean can also sign a letter if you need to drive to school or a school-authorized activity with your child in the car.
  • This letter needs to state that you are a student and include a probable date that the schooling or school-authorized activity will be finished.
Letter from Your Employer
  • Your employer can also sign a letter if you need to drive to work with your child in the car.
  • This letter needs to state that you are employed and include a probable date that the employment will be finished.
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