Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) in Louisiana
Insurance first, license second. We'll get you started.
1. Start Your Quote:
The first step in earning your Louisiana driver's license is to decide what type of license you need. In most cases, residents choose to receive either a Class E or Class D license.
A Class E license allows for the operation of any single motor vehicle less than 10,001 pounds, recreational vehicles, and certain farm use vehicles not defined as commercial vehicles. This is the license most teens and adults work toward, and the license discussed here.
A Class D license lets you operate any single vehicle having a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of between 10,001 pounds and 26,001 pounds if it's not placarded for the transportation of hazardous materials, as well as transport passengers for hire if the vehicle doesn't require a commercial license. Learn more about Class D licenses in our Special Licenses section.
The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) also issues the following license classes:
NOTE: If you're younger than 18, you must obtain a learner's permit and then an intermediate license before you can apply for your full Class E license. Our Teen Drivers section provides details about your application process.
Younger than 18―You must present a certificate of successful completion of a 38-hour driver education course or a six-hour pre-licensing course that has been approved through the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.
18 and Older―You are also required to take driver's ed classes. This can be fulfilled by the successful completion of a 38-hour driver education course or a six-hour pre-licensing course that has been approved through the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.
You can learn the basic rules of the road in the Louisiana Class D & E Drivers Guide. You can also check out our Practice Tests, Driver Education, and Drivers Training sections for additional information.
To apply for your license, you'll need to visit your local OMV. Larger stations are open during regular business hours, but small stations have more limited service times.
To avoid the frustration of a wasted trip, call ahead to confirm the hours of the location you wish to visit.
A bit of preparation will make the process of getting your license much easier, so before you head to the OMV, have ready:
- A completed Application for License or Identification Card.
- Two primary, or one primary and two secondary, proofs of identification. The OMV recommends your birth certificate as a primary form and your Social Security card and a payroll stub as secondary forms. (If the name on your Social Security card doesn't match the name on your license or permit, you'll need to make the necessary changes with the Social Security Administration.) If you have a Louisiana ID card or driver's license with a photo and your Social Security number on it, that will fulfill all identification requirements.
- Any court documents, marriage licenses, or divorce decrees as proof of any name changes.
- The appropriate fee for your age and location (cash only).
There's no need to be nervous when taking the written exam for your driver's license. If you've reviewed the Louisiana Class D & E Drivers Guide and possible taken a driver education course, you should have all the knowledge you need to pass.
The exam is designed to test your knowledge of the road signs, rules of the road, and driver's license regulations. You must answer 80 percent of the questions correctly to pass.
The OMV requires that you provide your own vehicle for your driving test. If you decide a used car is the best option, remember to request a vehicle history report before your purchase. This will provide you with information, such as accident records or odometer roll backs that could become a problem in the future.
It is against the law to operate a motor vehicle without a valid insurance policy, even if you're still working to earn your first driver's license. For assistance choosing a policy that best fits your needs and minimum coverage requirements, visit our Insurance Center.
You don't have to take a driving test if you already hold an out-of-state license, but you do have to test if you're a first-time applicant.
The OMV doesn't require appointments for the driving skills test, but does suggest you plan to take your road test between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The OMV doesn't administer tests from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Consider calling ahead to determine the best time to arrive.
If you wish, you may have a state-certified third-party tester administer your driving skills test for an additional fee. Third-party testers can lease a vehicle to you to take the test and administer the exam in inclement weather conditions or at a time that is more convenient for your schedule.
Once You Pass
The OMV will issue your license, which you must renew on your birth date every four years.
If You Fail
The examiner will ask you to spend more time practicing your driving skills before retaking the exam at a later date.
If you're visiting and have a valid driver's license from another country, you may drive within the state for up to 90 days.
You may also want to get an International Driver Permit from your home country. The permit basically translates your foreign-issued license to make it understandable to U.S. officials. Keep both documents with you when driving.
How to Apply as a Non-Citizen
The process you follow to obtain a license will vary depending on your status. Refer to the Louisiana Class D & E Drivers Guide for details about apply as an immigrant alien, a non-immigrant alien, and a refugee.
Other Topics in This Section
Your Opinion Matters To Us!Send Feedback
- New Study: Voice Texting and Traditional Texting Equally Distracting
- Bicycling While Boozing
- Federal Agency Stirring Around the Idea of Lowering BAC Limit to .05 Percent
- Pot Runs to Legalized Marijuana States Putting Cops on High Alert
- Behind the scenes: Iron Man & rental car insurance
- 5 Reasons to Welcome Big Brother Into Your Car
We put a lot of effort into making our content helpful & accurate. Please let us know if you see something that isn't clear or correct; we are here to ease any frustrations you may have while navigating DMV topics. We are not a government agency, please reach out to your local DMV, insurance agent, or respective professional for further assistance on specific situations.