Top Policies

The minimum age requirement to take the GED® test is 18 unless you meet any one of the additional requirements.  See below.

If you are underage, you must meet one of the following additional requirements:

  • You must be within 60 days of your 18th birthday (regardless of school enrollment status).
  • You are within 60 days of when you would have graduated from high school had you remained in school and followed the usual course of study. (Candidates testing under this criterion may not be enrolled in high school.)
  • You are 17 years of age; have been out of school for at least 60 consecutive days; and provide a letter of request for the test from the military, a postsecondary educational institution, or a prospective employer. The letter is to be provided to a test administrator at a local Pearson VUE test center that delivers the GED® test for the administrator’s review and approval.

For those testing on the Online Exam: 

  • Online testing is available in California for any test-taker who meets the eligibility requirements for California.
  • A test taker under the age of 18, with an approved waiver from the California Department of Education due to additional requirements may be eligible to test.
  • A parent or guardian must be present at the pre-test check-in to give consent and authorize the under 18 test taker to be recorded during testing. If the parent or guardian is not present, the exam session will be revoked. 

You will be required to provide identification on the day of the test. The following types of identification will be accepted:

  • Photographic driver license, with a signature, issued by any US state or foreign government
  • Photographic identification card, with a signature, issued by any of the US Armed Forces, any US state, or any foreign government (*military IDs are not allowed for Online Proctored testing)
  • Photographic Tribal enrollment card with a signature.  
  • Photographic identification card or badge, with a signature,  issued by a California department or agency (e.g., California Conservation Corps)
  • Photographic passport, with a signature, issued by the US or a foreign government

In California you are required to be a resident, as defined in Government Code section 233, or a member of the armed services assigned to duty in California.  If the form of identification you intend to bring does not prove your California residency, you must additionally bring at least one of the following to prove your residency:

  • Current rental or lease agreement
  • Current deed or title to residential real property
  • Current mortgage statement
  • Current home utility bill
  • Current cable or phone bill
  • Current employment documents
  • Current insurance documents
  • Current Internal Revenue Service or California Franchise Tax Board tax return
  • Current property tax bill or statement
  • Court documents that list the applicant as a California resident
  • Current California certificate of vehicle or vessel title or registration
  • Completion of the California High School Equivalency Declaration of California Residency

If you do not provide documentation to prove that you are a resident, you will not be allowed to test and will lose the testing fee that was paid.

Some states allow people who do not live in that state to take the GED® test and others do not. Arizona and Oregon currently do not have a residency requirement; while Nevada does. You should check the current residency requirement for the state that you are interested in testing in.

No, you are not required to take a class before taking the GED® test. However, instruction prior to testing is a benefit to test takers.

The practice test can provide information about your readiness to test, and offer guidance for further study if needed.

For those testing in-person at a Testing Center: 

  • No, you’re not required to take the GED Ready® practice test before taking the official GED® test. 

For those testing on the Online Exam: 

  • Yes, you are required to take the GED Ready® practice test before taking the official GED® test online. 

Price & Payment

What is my cost if I test at a Test Center?

  • In California, the fee is $35 per subject for the GED® test, and there are four test subjects. Of the fee, $5 is for the state administrative cost.

What is my cost if I test Online?

  • (As of 9/1/21) In California the fee is $41 per subject for the GED® test taken online, and there are four test subjects. Of the fee, $5 is for the state administrative cost.  

You will pay for the test online with a debit or credit card when you schedule your test.

Test Retake Policies

For those testing in-person at a Testing Center 

  • In California, there is no waiting period for your first two retakes. After taking a test subject 3 times, you will have to wait 60 days before retesting.

For those testing on the Online Exam: 

  • The Online Proctored Exam allows for one retake before a 60-day waiting period. After taking a test subject 2 times online, you’ll have to wait 60 days before retesting.  

For those testing in-person at a Testing Center: 

  • You will receive two discounted retakes for every GED® test subject you purchase but don’t pass. You have 365 days after your full price test to use these retakes. After receiving two retakes at the reduced price, the price of the test subject returns to the regular price. If you do not pass that subject again, you will receive two more retakes at the reduced rate. GED Testing Service waives its $20 testing fee, however additional testing fees may still apply in your state. 
  • In California, there is a $15 test center fee for test retakes. 

For those testing on the Online Exam: (As of 9/1/21) 

  • The Online Proctored Exam costs $41 for a retake in California. Discounted retakes are not offered on the Online Proctored Exam. 

Transcripts & Diploma

Links to the electronic transcripts and certificates are often emailed within hours of obtaining your credential.  By logging into your account, you can click on the link to order additional transcripts or certificates. Through that link you can verify your mailing address and obtain a free paper certificate.  

Links to the electronic transcripts and certificates are often emailed within minutes of the order, but all orders should be processed within 2 weeks.  If you have not received your documents within 2-3 weeks, please call GED® Customer Service at 877-392-6433.

California uses GED Credentialing for GED® transcripts and certificates earned after 1990 and for some GED® transcripts and certificates earned before 1990, depending on where you tested. Be sure to include the following information when you request your transcript:

  • Testing center or school district name
  • Any city and state you likely tested in
  • The year or range of years when you earned your GED® credential
  • Any possible combination of name/names that may have been used (including aliases or maiden name)

If you tested before 1990 and your city does not have online transcript requests through GED Credentialing you must contact the test center where you tested. A fee may apply for duplicate transcript/diploma requests.  You can view the list of test centers maintained by GED® here.

The California High School Equivalency Certificate.


For those testing in-person at a Testing Center:

  • Yes, in California you can take all subjects in the same day if you can find a test center with hours that can accommodate the scheduling of all four subjects.

For those testing on the Online Exam:

  • No, you must schedule your test appointments separately, one at a time. After you complete one online exam you may schedule another, based on appointment availability.

Yes, in California you can test in English or Spanish and you can combine tests from different languages to earn your credential.

Check the residency requirements in that state to determine if you can continue testing in your new state.

If you have passed two GED® test subjects in the current testing series and you are currently a resident of California, you may continue testing within California and receive a California High School Equivalency Certificate. Please check the California residency requirements for more information.

Don Killmer
GED Administrator
State GED® Office
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 4202
Sacramento, CA 95814-5901
Public Hotline: (916) 445-9438
Fax: (916) 319-0962