Getting a learner’s permit is usually the important first step in becoming a legal driver on the road. For first-time drivers, most states require that you first obtain a learner’s permit before you can apply for a driver’s license. However, that age at which you can legally obtain a learning permit and the length of time you are required to use the permit does vary from state to state. Luckily, there are a few basic steps that each state requires before you can get your learner’s permit, so as a first-time driver you can be prepared when you apply at your local DMV.
Why Are Learner’s Permits Required?
Learner’s permits are a great way for new drivers to get used to driving on public roads while still under certain restrictions. In most cases, a learner’s permit is required if you are of legal age to drive but still under 18 or 21. Depending on where you live, age requirements for a learner’s permit will vary. Additionally, you may have access to different types of learner’s permits including a standard permit, driver education learner’s permit, and driver awareness permit.
What Do I Need to Get a Learner’s Permit?
Before you can apply for a learner’s permit, you must meet the age requirements outlined by your state laws. Additionally, you will also need to provide:
- A completed application
- Proof of identity (military ID, birth certificate)
- Proof of lawful presence in the US (birth certificate, US passport)
- Social Security number
- Proof of residency (if under 18, a bank statement or utility bill with your parent’s information may be used)
- Any fees due
You will also be required to pass a written skills test and vision test before you can obtain your learner’s permit. If you are worried about passing your test on the first try, there are many online tools available, including practice tests to help you get it right on the first try.
- Once you pass your permit test, you will be required to drive with a licensed adult present and log a certain number of practice hours before you can apply for your driver’s license.
- Certain states may ask for a specific amount of night-time practice hours to be logged.
- You may also be required to hold a learner’s permit for a specified amount of time before you can apply for a driver’s license.