A learner’s permit enables new drivers to gain valuable firsthand driving experience under the supervision of a licensed adult.
While the typical pattern in many states is to apply for a learner’s permit at 15 years old or so, take driver education classes, and apply for a license at age 16, some people feel less confident about their driving abilities and wish to stick with the permit for a bit longer.
Basic Steps for Renewing Your Learner’s Permit
If you want to renew your learner’s permit, follow these simple steps.
- Know when your learner’s permit expires so you can begin the renewal process early. In most states, a learner’s permit expires after two years. Waiting until the last minute (or worse, until after your permit has already expired) can result in a lapse in your driving privileges.
- Practice for the permit test. You can find sample permit tests online, and can be a real help in renewing your learner’s permit. Consider also an online drivers’ education course, or review your notes from an earlier drivers’ education class.
- Go to your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) branch. Some places require an appointment for the permit test, so be sure to call ahead.
- Meet the learner’s permit requirements. Not having proper documentation will almost certainly result in your not having your permit renewed. In general, you will need proof of your identity (think birth certificate, previous learner’s permit, or Social Security card), and proof of residence (a few pieces of mail often suffice). Most states charge a fee for renewing a learner’s permit, so call ahead to see how much money you need to bring, or what types of payment the DMV will accept.
- Be prepared to retake the permit test. Some states require only the written or vision portions of the permit test, but not both. Others require a driving test, similar to the one you take when applying for a license. Still others require you to retake the test only if the permit has already expired (another reason to begin the process early).
NOTE: The process may vary slightly from state to state. Check your state’s driver permit regulations.
Did you decide to hang on to your driver’s permit for a little longer?