Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Alabama

Getting Your AL Teen Driver's License

Your first Alabama driver's license is an exciting and important milestone towards independence. Since the process can sometimes be confusing for a first-time driver, we're here to help you through each step and get you behind the wheel safely and responsibly.

STAR ID Licenses 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.

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?

The Alabama Department of Public Safety (DPS) Driver License Division handles the licensing process for the state. If you already have a valid driver's license from your previous state, you must transfer it for an Alabama driver's license within 30 days of residency. Visit your local DPS Driver License office with:

  • Your out-of-state driver's license.
  • Your Social Security card.
  • Poof of of primary identification, such as a birth certificate or U.S. passport.
  • One of the following proofs of school enrollment or graduation (if you are younger than 19 years old):
    • Enrollment/Exclusion form (DL1/93).
    • GED or graduation certificate.
    • Certified letter from your school stating your enrollment.
  • Payment for the $5 transfer fee and $36.25 license fee (no checks allowed; fees may be higher in some counties).

If you want to apply for a federally-compliant Alabama STAR ID, you'll ALSO need to bring proof of:

  • Alabama residency (2 documents).
    • Proving your residence as a teen can be hard, so the state accepts the school document you provide and a proof of residency in your parent’s name (which a clerk will match with your birth certificate).
    • If you’re old enough or in a situation that you have proofs of residency in your name, you can choose from the state’s list of acceptable documents.
  • Name change (if applicable).

If you have a learner's permit from another state, you should be prepared to follow all graduated driver licensing requirements listed below in order to transfer a permit and/or earn an AL driver's license.

If you have questions, contact the DPS Driver License Division at (334) 242-4400.

Driver's Education in Alabama

Driver's Ed is elective in Alabama; however, it is highly encouraged that you enroll in a course if your high school offers one, as it will give you invaluable information and practice necessary to be as safe as possible on the roads. A state-approved Driver's Ed course includes both classroom time and supervised driving instruction and evaluation with a certified instructor.

If you choose to take Driver's Ed, your course will satisfy the mandatory 50 hours of supervised driving required to get your restricted license (see below).

AL Age Requirements & Exemptions

  • 15 years old: Eligible for learner license.
  • 16 years old: Eligible for restricted license (provisional license).
  • 17 years old: Eligible for unrestricted license (with previous provisional license).
  • 18 years old: Eligible for unrestricted license (no learner's permit or restricted license required).

Learner's Permit Exemptions

The state of Alabama does NOT require you to obtain a learner's permit if you meet any of the following conditions:

  • You are 18 years old or older.
  • You're 17 years old or older and have held a valid driver's license for at least 6 months without any traffic violations.
  • You are 16 years old or older, married, and considered the head of your household.
  • You've been legally relieved of minority status (i.e. being below the legal age).

If you fall into any of the above categories, you may bypass the GDL requirements for a learner's permit, and apply directly for your Alabama unrestricted driver's license.

Stage I Learner's Permit

Your first step toward driving in Alabama is obtaining an AL learner license (or learner's permit). You must be at least 15 years old to apply, but your documents will differ based on what age you actually are at application.

Let's break down the process into:

  • Application steps.
    AND
  • Driver's Ed and behind-the-wheel requirements.

AL Stage II Restricted License

Once you are at least 16 years old and have held your learner's permit for at least 6 months, you are eligible to take your DMV road test and apply for your restricted provisional license. Make sure you have met all requirements during your learner's permit phase, including completion of 50 hours of supervised driving OR a state-approved Driver's Ed course.

Make an appointment with your local licensing office—and before you go, make sure you have:

  • A reliable vehicle to test in.
  • Proof of registration and insurance for that vehicle.
  • Your parent/guardian to go with you for your test.

Upgrading to a STAR ID License

If you didn't get a STAR ID learner's permit, you can upgrade to a STAR ID license at this point if you choose. It's not a requirement; just note that you will need to bring extra identification in order to board an airplane or enter a federal facility.

When you are ready, visit your local DPS testing office with:

  • Your valid learner's permit.
  • Your Social Security card.
  • Proof of:
    • 2 documents, with 1 document showing your photograph.
      OR
    • 3 documents, if you have none with your photograph on them.
      • If you did NOT get a STAR ID permit and you'd like to receive a STAR ID driver's license, bring an additional 2 documents proving your Alabama residency.
    • School enrollment or graduation—this could be a/an:
      • Enrollment/Exclusion form (DL1/93).
      • GED or graduation certificate.
      • Certified letter from your school stating your enrollment.
  • One of the following documents—EITHER:
    • A Graduated Driver License form (DL-31) signed by your parent/guardian certifying that you have completed 50 hours of behind-the-wheel training, and granting permission to drive unsupervised.
    • Proof of completion of a state-approved driver's education course.
  • Payment for the $36.25 driver's license fee (fee may be higher in some counties).

Once you pass your driving test, you'll receive your restricted driver's license. You must hold your license for a minimum of 6 months and reach the age of 17 years old before you can apply for a Stage III unrestricted driver's license.

Stage II Driving Requirements & Restrictions

During the provisional license Stage II, you may drive unsupervised, but you must adhere to the following restrictions:

  • You cannot drive between midnight and 6 a.m. unless:
    • You are with your parent/guardian, or a licensed driver at least 21 years old who has been designated by your parent/guardian.
    • You are driving to or from school, work, church, or because of an emergency.
  • You may only have 1 passenger other than your immediate family in the vehicle.
  • You may not use a cell phone or any other handheld device while behind the wheel.

AL Stage III Unrestricted Driver's License

Once you reach 17 years old and have held your Stage II provisional license for at least 6 months, you may apply for your unrestricted driver's license.

You will need to visit your nearest Driver License office and turn in your Stage II provisional license for the Stage III restriction-free driver's license. While the standard driver's license fee is $36.25, most counties give a discount for transferring a Stage II license to a Stage III.

Follow our new driver checklist to keep track of your progress along the way.

Other Alabama Teen Driver's Licenses

AL Teen Motorcycle & Motor-Driven Cycle License

Teens can get a license to ride either a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle (commonly referred to as a moped) in Alabama.

To ride a motorcycle:

  • You must be at least 16 years old.
  • You must pass both a DMV written test and on-cycle driving test
  • You must submit all documentation listed above for a learner license.

After you have passed your exams, you will be issued a Class M motorcycle license, valid for 4 years.

To ride a motor-driven cycle:

  • You must be at least 14 years old.
  • You must pass a DMV written test based upon the AL motorcycle manual.
  • You must submit all documentation listed above for a learner's permit.

You will receive a Class M license with a “B" restriction, allowing you to operate a motor-driven cycle only. At 16 years old, you may transfer your license for the regular Class M motorcycle license. You may need to take the driving test.

For more information on motorcycle and moped licenses, visit our guides to obtaining a motorcycle license in Alabama or Alabama mopeds and scooters.

Forms

DL1/93
Enrollment/Exclusion
Submit to the Driver License Division as proof of enrollment OR lawful exclusion from enrollment in school when applying for your Alabama driver's license or learner's permit.
DL-31
Graduated Driver License
Complete and submit this form to verify a child in your care has fulfilled the AL DLD's graduated driver's license requirements.

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