Drivers Permits in Alabama
Getting Your Alabama Learner's Permit
COVID-19 Effects on Licensing Services
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state DMVs nationwide have closed office locations, extended license and registration expiration dates, and/or limited the transactions they are processing. The ALEA strongly encourages residents to utilize the state's online services. Follow the DPS' updates for the latest information.
Although getting your Alabama learner's permit can be an exciting experience, it's also incredibly important to go through the process as safely and responsibly as possible.
This is why the state of Alabama has implemented a Graduated Driver Licensing program (GDL). The GDL sets guidelines and milestones that teens must follow prior to getting their driver's license.
STAR ID Permits in Alabama
Teen drivers are eligible for Alabama’s STAR ID no matter what stage of the GDL they’re in. The STAR ID is Alabama’s answer to the REAL ID Act of 2005 and meets all federal identification requirements. Not only can you drive with a STAR ID, but also you can use it to do things like enter federal facilities and board commercial domestic flights. After May 3, 2023, only the Star ID will be accepted as proof of identity for these activities—without it, you'll need another form of federally accepted identification.
You must show a few extra documents to get a STAR ID, but don’t worry—we’ve outlined it all for you below. For a breakdown of the STAR ID program, check out the Alabama DPS' guide.
New to Alabama?
If you're a new Alabama resident with a driver's permit from your previous state, you must still adhere to the state's GDL guidelines and follow all steps mentioned below. You cannot transfer your out-of-state permit.
If you need more information, call the DPS at (334) 517-2800.
Driver's Permit Age Requirements
- Eligible for learner license (Stage I): 15 years old.
- Eligible for restricted license (Stage II): 16 years old WITH completion of Driver's Ed or behind-the-wheel training.
- Eligible for unrestricted license (Stage III):
- 17 years old WITH holding a Stage II license.
- 18 years old WITHOUT holding a Stage II license.
Applying for Your AL Learner's Permit
STAR IDs: Did You Know?
You can choose to get a STAR ID permit now—which means when you apply for your restricted license, you've already submitted your required documents.
Not sure you want a STAR ID? You can also apply for a regular learner's permit instead.
The documents you're required to bring your local Alabama DPS office vary depending on your age and whether or not you want a STAR ID.
Before you head out the door, make an appointment online with your local driver licensing office to save yourself some time!
Choose your age below below for details.
*NOTE: In certain circumstances, there are a few exceptions in which teens are exempt from the GDL program and may obtain an unrestricted driver's license without first having obtained a learner's permit. These include teens who are:
- 18 years old or older.
- 17 years old or older WITH a valid driver's license for 6 months or longer.
- 16 years old or older who are married and considered the head of household.
- Legally relieved of minority status (the state or period of being below the legal age).
Taking the AL Written Permit Test
Remember when heading to the Alabama Department of Public Safety (DPS), it's always a good idea to make an appointment ahead of time, so that the licensing agency is all ready for you when you arrive.
At your appointment, it's time to take your written permit test. The permit exam is made up of questions created from material found in the Alabama Driver License Manual and cover a range of topics, including:
- Alabama state-specific traffic laws.
- Road signs and pavement markings.
- Rules of safe driving.
- Sharing the road and right-of-way rules.
Once you pass your test (and you've handed over all of the required documents mentioned above), you'll receive your Alabama learner's permit! Next up—time to start practicing driving.
DMV.ORG TIP: Practice Makes Perfect!
Don't leave it to chance—set yourself up for the best success possible by taking an online practice test before your permit exam! You'll get familiar with the format of the test, as well as learn areas where you need a bit of extra studying.
Behind-the-Wheel Driving Requirements
In order to progress through the Alabama GDL and get your Stage II restricted license, you must:
- Complete at least 50 hours of behind-the-wheel driving practice OR complete a state-approved Driver Education course.
- Hold your learner's permit for at least 6 months.
- Submit a Graduated Driver License form (Form DL-31) signed by a parent/legal guardian or certified driving instructor verifying your driving hours.
For more information please refer to our page on Driver’s Ed in Alabama.
Replacing Your Learner's Permit
If you need to replace your learner's permit in Alabama, you'll need to visit the DPS in person and bring the documents mentioned above. The fee to replace your learner's permit is $36.25. For more information, please refer to our Replacing a Lost License in Alabama page.
Your Next Step: Get Your Restricted Driver's License
Once you're at least 16 years old, you've completed your 50 hours of behind-the-wheel practice OR your Driver's Ed course, and you've held your learner's permit for at least 6 months, it's time to head to the Alabama DPS for your road exam to get your provisional license.
For more information, jump over to our Alabama Teen License page.