Apply for a License (Under 18) in Indiana

New Teen Driver's Licenses in Indiana

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) regulates the requirements and issuance of driver's licenses to teens and adults throughout the state. If you're ready to hit the roads on your own for the first time, this page will give you the guidance you need to make sure you know exactly where to go, what to do, and what to bring.

If you are over 18 years old and looking to get your first driver's license in Indiana, please visit our guide on IN adult driver's licenses.

REAL ID Requirements in Indiana

The Indiana BMV complies with the REAL ID Act of 2005, meaning it provides first-time driver license applicants with REAL ID-compliant driver licenses. REAL ID driver’s licenses meet the federal identification requirements required for tasks such as entering federal buildings and boarding domestic commercial flights.

New applicants will automatically receive a REAL ID. (Options differ for renewals and replacements.) For more details, visit the BMV's guide to REAL ID licensing.

New to Indiana?

If you do NOT currently have a valid driver's license (i.e. you hold an out-of-state learner's permit, or your out-of-state license has expired), you'll need to obtain and hold an Indiana learner's permit for 180 days before you can apply for a driver's license. Follow the steps listed below in “Indiana Learner's Permit."

New teen residents between 16 years old plus 180 days and 18 years old who have held a valid out-of-state driver's license for at least 180 days in their former state can transfer that license to an Indiana one without first having to hold a learner's permit. You'll need to do so within 60 days of establishing residency in the state.

To transfer your out-of-state driver's license to Indiana, visit your local driver's license branch and:

  • Submit your out-of-state driver's license.
  • Provide proof of:
    • Identity (1 document).
    • Social Security number (1 document).
    • Citizenship or lawful presence in the U.S. (1 document).
    • Indiana residency (2 documents).
      • The BMV provides a comprehensive list of all “proof of" documents that are acceptable to bring. Note that one document may cover more than one category.
  • Pass a vision exam.
  • Pass a DMV written test.

About the Indiana GDL Program

The state of Indiana, like most other states in the country, has implemented a graduated driver's licensing (GDL) program for first-time teen drivers. This program is designed to give teens increasing levels of driving privileges and responsibilities as they reach certain milestones related to age and experience.

In Indiana, the GDL program requires you to obtain a learner's permit, then drive with a provisional license, before finally earning your full Indiana unrestricted driver's license.

Driver's Education in Indiana

While the completion of driver's education is not required as part of your GDL program, it WILL help you obtain both your learner's permit and your probationary license earlier than if you opted not to take one (see "Age Requirements" below). Additionally, a state-approved driver's education program can give you the essential training and preparation you need to safely get behind the wheel.

In Indiana, Driver's Ed consists of:

  • 30 hours of classroom/online instruction.
  • 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training with a professional driving instructor.

You must be at least 15 years old before you can begin your course. You may enroll before this age, but you may not start the classroom or behind-the-wheel portion before you turn 15 years old.

Your driver education provider will give you a Certificate of Driver Education (CDE) form to bring with you when you apply for your learner's permit. Please note than an online Driver's Ed provider CANNOT issue this form. You will need to sign up for your 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training at a licensed driver education school, which will then issue you the CDE in order to get your permit.

IN Driving Test Waiver

If you take Driver's Ed and have your learner's permit, you may be eligible to take your driving skills test at the end of your driver's education course, instead of at the driver licensing office when you apply for your probationary license.

You are eligible for the driver education skills test waiver if:

  • Your learner's permit is valid and unexpired.
  • Your driver's education program participates in the BMV's driving test waiver program.
  • You did NOT fail either portion of your driver's education course (classroom or behind-the-wheel) with a grade of 79% or lower.

If you do not pass on that attempt, any subsequent attempts need to be made at the licensing office. You must also take the exam at a licensing office if your driver education program is not part of the BMV's driving skills test waiver program

Indiana Driver's License Age Requirements

  • 15 years old: Eligible for learner's permit WITH enrollment in driver's education.
  • 16 years old: Eligible for learner's permit WITHOUT enrollment in driver's education.
  • 16 years old and 90 days: Eligible for probationary driver's license WITH completion of driver's education.
  • 16 years old and 270 days: Eligible for probationary license WITHOUT completion of driver's education.
  • 18 years old: Eligible for full unrestricted driver's license.

Indiana Learner's Permit

To earn your IN learner's permit, you have two options:

1. You may apply at 15 years old, provided that you are enrolled in a driver's education program (see “Driver's Education in Indiana" above).


2. You may apply at 16 years old, if you do NOT choose to take a Driver's Ed course.

When you're ready, go to your local driver licensing office with your parent/guardian and:

  • Provide proof of:
    • Identity (1 document).
    • Social Security number (1 document).
    • Citizenship or lawful presence in the U.S. (1 document).
    • Indiana residency (2 documents).
  • Submit your Certificate of Driver Education (CDE) form, if you're enrolled in Driver's Ed.
  • Have your parent/guardian sign the application.
  • Pass a vision exam.
  • Pass a DMV written knowledge test.
Try An Online Practice Test

If you want to pass the written exam on your first try, we suggest using an online practice test from our certified partner. Another more time consuming alternative is to study the Indiana Driver Manual.

After you have passed your exams, you will receive your Indiana learner's permit. You'll need to hold your permit for a minimum of 180 days (around 6 months) before you can apply for your provisional license.

Indiana Learner's Permit Driving Requirements & Restrictions

Once you have your Indiana learner's permit, you may complete the 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training for your Driver's Ed course, if you have chosen to enroll in a program.

Additionally, all learner's permit holders MUST complete 50 hours of driving practice. Of those 50 hours, 10 hours must be practiced at night.

You may only drive with:

  • A licensed driving instructor.
  • A licensed supervising driver at least 25 years old.
  • Your spouse who is at least 21 years old.

You'll need to document your driving hours in the Log of Supervised Driving (Form 54706), and turn this form into the BMV with your parent/guardian's signature when you apply for your Indiana provisional license.

Indiana Provisional License

Before applying for your provisional license in Indiana, you must first:

  • Have held your Indiana learner's permit for at least 180 days (unless you are transferring a valid out-of-state driver's license – please see “New to Indiana?" above if you are new to the state).
  • Have completed 50 hours of supervised driving, with 10 hours being driven at night.

You must also have reached the required age of eligibility, which depends on whether or not you completed a driver's education program.

  • If you completed a Driver's Ed course, you may apply at 16 years old plus 90 days.
  • If you did NOT complete a Driver's Ed course, you may apply at 16 years old plus 270 days.

Once you have met the above requirements, make an appointment for your driving skills test through the myBMV online appointment scheduling system. You'll need to create a username and password if this is your first time using the system.

NOTE: If your driver education program participates in the driving skills waiver program and you have already taken your driving skills test, you will not need to make an appointment or take another exam at the driver licensing office, UNLESS you failed your first attempt with your driver's education school and need to take the test again.

When you're ready, head to your local driver licensing office with your parent or guardian and:

  • Turn in your learner's permit.
    • Be prepared to provide your same proofs of identity, SSN, lawful status, and residency that you used for your permit application, as well.
  • Submit your completed Log of Supervised Driving (Form 54706), signed by your parent/guardian or certified driving instructor.
  • Provide your certificate of completion for Driver's Ed, if applicable.
  • Have your parent/guardian sign the license application.
  • Pass a vision exam.
  • Pass a DMV written test, if you did not previously take and pass a knowledge exam for your learner's permit (please see “New to Indiana?" above).
  • Pass your driving skills test.
    • If you already took your driving test as part of your Driver's Education program, you do not need to take another, UNLESS you didn't pass your first attempt. You will need to submit any documentation of passing that you are given as proof.

Once you pass your DMV road test, you'll receive your IN provisional license. Your license will be probationary until you turn 21 years old.

Indiana Provisional License Driving Restrictions

During your provisional license driving period, you may only drive under the following restrictions:

  • For the first 180 days:
    • You may NOT drive between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
    • You may NOT carry any passengers, unless:
      • You are driving with a licensed driver at least 25 years old or a spouse at least 21 years old in the front seat.
      • Your passenger is your spouse, child, or sibling.
  • After 180 days:
    • You may carry passengers in your vehicle who are not immediate family.
    • You may NOT drive during the following times:
      • After 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.
      • Before 5 a.m. Monday through Friday.
      • Between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Exceptions to the driving hour restrictions are when driving to or from work, school, or church, or if you are driving with a licensed driver at least 25 years old, or a spouse at least 21 years old. There are no exceptions to the passenger restrictions.

Follow our new license checklist to track your progress towards your unrestricted driver's license.

Don't Drive Distracted

As you begin your life as a licensed driver, it is important to remember to always drive safely. Keep your eyes on the road and don't drive distracted. You can learn all about the dangers of distracted driving by visiting the Distracted Driving section on our website.

Teen Auto Insurance in Indiana

You must have Indiana auto insurance in order to drive the Indiana roads. While you likely don't need to get your own policy while driving during your permit phase, you WILL need to be insured once you get your provisional license.

IN Learner's Permit Insurance

In order for you to even apply for your learner's permit, your parents or legal guardian must sign the permit or license application. This shows that they assume financial responsibility for injuries or damage cause by your use of a motor vehicle. You may not get your permit without this form showing that you're covered. Parents and teens can visit our Insurance Center in Indiana for more information about adding their teen to their policy.

Indiana Provisional License Insurance

Just as with your learner's permit, your parents or legal guardians must sign the license application making them legally responsible for any injuries or damage you may cause when driving. You may be added to an existing family policy, a parent's policy, or you can get your own policy.

Be aware that teens are much more expensive to insure, due to a lack of experience and perceived higher risk of liability. However, there may be an opportunity for you or your family to earn a discount based on grades, safe driving practices, and more.

For more information about Indiana auto insurance discounts, rates, and coverage, please visit:

Teen Guide To Car Insurance
Buying Car Insurance for Teens
Auto Insurance Discounts
Insurance Center in Indiana


Log of Supervised Driving
Use this log to track your supervised driving hours as part of applying for an Indiana driver's license with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
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