Indiana Learner’s Permit: A First-Time Teen Driver Guide

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Indiana provides miles and miles of the open road, it’s no wonder a teen can’t wait to start driving! Before they can, teens need to apply and pass Indiana learner’s permit requirements.

The learner’s permit is part of the state’s graduated licensing program. This program helps new drivers ease into driving through testing and practice. After the permit, teens can upgrade to an intermediate restricted or unrestricted license – these eventually become adult, unrestricted licenses.

This post shares what items teens need to present and how the steps required for earning their license.

Applying for an Indiana Driving Permit

You can begin applying for an Indiana permit by meeting these requirements:

  • Be at least 15 years old and enrolled in a driver’s education course
  • Be at least 16 years old (does not require the driver’s education program)

The driver’s education course consists of 30 hours of classroom or online instruction. Plus, 6 hours of behind-the-wheel experience with an approved instructor. Check online for an IN driver’s education program for your needs if you’ve yet to take one.

Indiana requires first-time drivers to apply in person at an Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) office.

At the DMV, teens will:

  1. Provide a Certificate of Driver Education Enrollment
  2. Show proofs:
    1. Identification
    2. IN residency (2 docs) or parental signed Residency Affidavit
    3. S. lawful presence
    4. Social Security number
  3. Pass your tests:
    1. Vision
    2. Knowledge
  4. Pay the $9 permit fee

The knowledge test is a multiple-choice test about traffic rules, signs, signals, safety, and drug/alcohol awareness. Teens can refer to their driving manual to study for the test. Else, they can use online IN knowledge tests to get an understanding of the topics.

For New IN Residents

Indiana does not transfer a learner’s permit if bringing one from out-of-state. You will need to apply for a permit using the steps above. Those with an OOS license they’ve held for more than 180 days can transfer their license given they meet the state’s requirements.

IN Driving Permit Restrictions

The permit has different instructions if you’re in driver’s ed or not

  • With driver’s ed: Drive with a licensed adult (25+), licensed spouse (21+), or driving instructor
  • Without driver’s ed: 16 – 18yo drives with a licensed adult/spout/instructor, 21yo+ may practice driving with any licensed driver over 21

The licensed driver must sit in the front, or passenger seat at all times.

Behind-the-Wheel Experience

The state expects you to gain 50 hours of driving practice before you upgrade to a provisional. This includes at least 10 hours of nighttime driving out of the 50 total hours. A licensed instructor, driver over 25, or spouse over 21 must accompany you during the practice.

You will record your progress in the Log of Supervised Driving Practice (54706) form. This is turned in when upgrading your license – so be sure to not lose it!

Getting Your Provisional Driver’s License

Teens will hold their learners for 180 days and meet these requirements to get a provisional license:

  • Be 16 years and 90 days old and have completed a driver’s ed course
  • Be 16 years and 270 days old without a driver’s education
  • Completed the behind-the-wheel practice

Ready for the next step? Click to go to our Indiana Teen License Guide.