From the California Driver Handbook:

To apply for a Class C driver license, you must:

  • Present an acceptable birth date/legal presence documents establishing your identity, residency (if applicable), and birthdate.

  • Provide your true full name.

  • Provide your SSN, if eligible, which will be electronically verified with the Social Security Administration.

[Plus six other requirements.]

Based on my perception, I still have my doubts if the word applicable here really means if needed or if exist .

I have no idea what eligible in this specific text really means.

2 Answers 2


You ask for two verbs, so:

- eligible
Originally it means "you can be elected", sharing the same root with "election". Just as like with most elections restrictions exist as to who may be choosen or qualify for a certain position (I'm German, so I'm not eligible as president of the US), eligible in a broader sense means to qualify for something, to fulfil certain demands.
A much simpler phrase could be "if you may have/do [something]".

Has the meanings "fitting for", "appropriate" and "relevant". In forms, applicable usually means "if this data exists". A typical example is an academic title: some people have one, some don't.


...[R]esidency (if you need to show that you are a resident or non-resident)....

...SSN, (if you can get an SSN)....

(If you don't qualify for an SSN, you don't need to give your SSN.)

  • Your summary of the "residency (if applicable)" clause might be exactly the opposite of what the author intended. The author might have meant that U.S. citizens don't need to "establish residency", but non-U.S. citizens do need to "establish residency". But since your interpretation reasonable and made in good faith, any misinterpretation (if any) should be blamed on the author.
    – Jasper
    Feb 19, 2015 at 21:13
  • I better term would be (if necessary). I think everyone has to establish their residency (you have to live in Calif. to get a CDL), but it is likely already known from other ID documents you provided (passport, Permanent Resident Card, etc.) that you would normally update when your residence changes. In that case, separate proof of residence document(s) are not needed.
    – user3169
    Feb 19, 2015 at 22:24

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