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Requirements to Get a Driver Permit

Date posted: 06/07/2012

by Melissa Crumish on
in Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers)

595 Requirements to Get a Driver PermitNo more riding in the backseat. It’s time to take the wheel. But before your right foot can tap the gas pedal, you first need to obtain a drivers permit, or what some states call an instructional permit or a learners permit.

Driver’s Permit Requirements

The exact how depends on your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office. Each one governs differently. But in general you will need to meet all or some of the following requirements:

  • You must be a minimum age. This age requirement for teen drivers varies by state. For example in Kansas, teens can apply for a driver permit at 14, while Connecticut teens must wait until 16.
  • Have parental or legal guardian permission. All states mandate this. In most situations, your parent or guardian must accompany you to the DMV office and sign your drivers permit application.
  • Proper documentation proving that you are you. Don’t guess at this requirement and then wonder why the DMV agent rejected  your Subway Sandwich card as proper ID. Double-check with the DMV before visiting. All DMVs provide detailed lists of acceptable documents.
  • Pass a multiple-choice permit test (also known as a written knowledge test). Prepare before arriving by studying your state’s drivers license manual and by taking at least one practice permit test.  Manuals and practice permit tests can be found online.
  • Pass a vision test.
  • Proof of school enrollment, if applicable. Maryland, for example, requires all learners permit applicants under the age of 16 to provide proof of acceptable school attendance.
  • Proof of completing a state-approved driver’s ed class and behind-the-wheel driver’s training course, if applicable. For instance, Minnesota applicants under the age of 18 must provide proof when applying.
  • Proper payment for driver permit fee. Some DMV offices do not accept credit cards. Call ahead to confirm.
  • Proof of auto insurance coverage.

Look Online for Specific Driver Permit Info By State

Remember, each state maintains different requirements. Refer to our Checklist for Teen Drivers or our dedicated page on getting a driver’s permit.

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