Top Policies

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

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.

Important note: If you pass the GED® test at 17 years of age, you will not receive your California High School Equivalency Certificate until you are 18 years of age. A “Pending” alert will appear in the account of a 17 year old student who has passed the GED® test. To clear alerts in your account, please check the authorized test centers in California for the center nearest you, and bring the proper documentation with you to the test center. A letter of intent is available upon request via e-mail at, stating that your certificate is being held pending your 18th birthday.

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. Generally, current (non-expired) copies of the following documents are sufficient to establish eligibility:

  • California driver license
  • California identification card
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. military identification
  • A combination of other documents deemed sufficient by the CDE to establish eligibility.

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.

No. The practice test is recommended but not required. The practice test can provide information about your readiness to test, and offer guidance for further study if needed.

Price & Payment

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.

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

Test Retake Policies

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 each time before retesting.

You will receive two discounted retakes for every GED® test subject you purchase but do not pass. GED Testing Service waives its $20 testing fee. However, California charges a $15 fee for test retakes. Once you have taken your first 3 tests, the payment cycle begins again at $35 per subject area test and $15 for 2 retakes.

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 1-866-895-8860.

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.


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.

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

Yes, in California you can combine different language versions of the GED® test 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