Drivers Permits in Louisiana
The first step toward earning driving privileges in the state of Louisiana is to apply for a learner's permit.
Louisiana, like many other states, has a graduated licensing system for teen drivers. The system is formally known as the RYAN (Reduce Youth Accidents Now) Act. The name is in recognition of Ryan Lee, a Louisiana teen who lost his life in a traffic accident shortly after receiving his license.
The graduated licensing system has three stages:
- Learner's permit
- Intermediate license (Class E)
- Full license (Class D)
A learner's permit allows you to drive with a licensed adult who is at least 21 years of age or a sibling who is at least 18 years of age. To receive a learner's permit, you must:
- Be at least 15 years of age.
- Complete the state's 38-Hour Drivers Education Course. (If you are at least 17 years old and applying for your permit, you can get by with the state's six-hour pre-licensing course.)
To apply for your Louisiana learner's permit, you must visit your nearest Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) location with one primary document and two secondary documents or two primary documents that verify your identity. To learn which documents are acceptable, visit the Louisiana Department of Public Safety website.
Your parent or legal guardian must accompany you to the OMV to sign your application, and will also be required to show proper proofs of identity. (If your parents are divorced and have joint custody, only the parent you live with will be allowed to sign your documents.) You will also be asked to pass a vision exam, written test, and traffic signs test.
The fee for a Louisiana learner's permit is $39.50, plus an $8 service fee. The permit is valid for up to four years. By Louisiana law, however, teen drivers who have held a learner's permit for at least 180 days and are at least 16 years old may apply for an intermediate license that allows them to drive alone during daytime hours and between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. if accompanied by a licensed adult at least 21 years old or sibling at least 18 years old.
Many teens become overwhelmed at the thought of being asked to take a written test in order to receive a Louisiana learner's permit. However, there's no need to fear this test. The exam is simply a series of short multiple-choice questions that measure your knowledge of the rules of the road and safe driving procedures. The traffic sign test is an additional component of the written test that asks you to identify certain road signs by shape, color, or symbol.
The best way to prepare for the written test is to download a copy of the Louisiana Driver's Guide from the Louisiana Department of Public Safety website. DMV.org has also created a short practice test for teen drivers.
Before the OMV will issue a duplicate permit, you'll need to provide one primary document and one secondary document or three secondary documents that verify your identity. To learn which documents are acceptable, visit the Louisiana Department of Public Safety website.
The fee for a duplicate permit is $5, plus an $8 administrative fee. The duplicate is valid for the remainder of your original permit term.
Since your learner's permit is valid as legal proof of your identity, the OMV recommends that you report a lost or stolen permit to local law enforcement officials as a precaution against identity theft.
Your learner's permit, intermediate license (Class E), and full license (Class D) are all valid for four years and may be renewed.
Other Topics in This Section
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- Drivers Training Requirements: Do You Have to Enroll in Drivers Training?
- How to Choose a Drivers Training Program
- Who’s Required to Take Drivers Training
- Transferring a Learner Permit to a New State
- Teen Driver Safety: Seat Belt Use
- Graduating From a Drivers Permit to a Restricted Drivers License
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