How to Get a Learner’s Permit – Tips, Steps, and Requirements


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Please answer these questions to get started:

Are you ready to apply for your learner’s permit? 

If you’ve never had a driver’s license before, getting your permit is one of the first major steps!

Find your state below for a simple guide on:

  • How to get your permit.
  • What requirements you’ll need to satisfy.
  • All the details and tips to make the process as easy as possible. 

Once you’ve got a handle on that, be sure to check out some of the free DMV practice tests, study guides, and more that can be found here at!

What is an instruction permit?

An instruction permit is your first big step towards getting your first driver’s license

If you’ve never been licensed before, you’ll need to get a permit before you’re able to drive by yourself. 

A learner’s permit is a type of license that allows you to drive while under the supervision of a qualified driver. 

This practice will come in handy as you prepare for your driving test.

If you’re under 18 years old, your state’s Graduated Driver’s Licensing Laws will apply to your permit, which typically includes requirements for:

  • Driver’s Education.
  • A minimum amount of time you’ll need to hold your permit.
  • A minimum number of supervised driving hours.

What do you need to get your learner’s permit?

The exact requirements will vary by state, but there are a few things you’ll typically always need when you get ready to apply for your learner’s permit, including:

  • Driver’s Education completion certificate, if you are under 18 years old. 
  • Signed permission from your parent or legal guardian, if you are under 18 years old. 
  • A complete learner’s permit/driver’s license application. 
  • Proof of your identity, residency, and legal presence. (Learn more about DMV ID requirements). 
  • Payment for your permit and testing fees. 

Once you’ve submitted your application, you’ll also need to:

  • Pass a vision test. 
  • Pass the written knowledge exam.  

Learner’s Permit Requirements

In most states the following requirements will usually need to be met in order to get a permit:

  • Minimum Age: 14 to 16 years old.
  • Prerequisites: Driver’s Education.
  • Testing: Visions & written exam.
  • Fees & Applications: Testing fee, permit fee, and driver’s license application.

Permit Driving Restrictions

While the learner’s permit does grant you the privilege to drive, there are some rules you’ll need to follow.

Here is what you can typically do when you have a learner’s permit:

  • Drive a vehicle when there is a qualified adult driver sitting next to you in the front passenger seat. 
  • Completed the minimum required hours of supervised driving practice.
  • Practice driving a car. 
  • Prepare for your road test. 

Here is what you cannot do with a learner’s permit:

  • Drive by yourself for any reason. 
  • Use a cellphone while driving. 
  • Drive without a qualified supervisor sitting next to you. 

Who can be in the car with a permit driver?

The only time you are allowed to drive when you have a learner’s permit is when a qualified supervisor is seated next to you in the front passenger seat. 

In most states a qualified supervisors is:

  • A licensed parent or legal guardian.
  • A driving instructor.
  • A licensed adult who is at least 21-25 years old with permission from the permit holder’s parent/guardian.

They’ll be able to monitor your driving, give you instructions and advice, and help maintain control of the vehicle in the event of an emergency. 

As long as a qualified driver is sitting next to you up front, you can typically have any other passengers in the back seat, such as siblings, other adults, or friends. Note that this rule varies by state.

However, all passengers must be in a proper seat with their seatbelts fastened. And you need to make sure to pay full attention to the task of driving. 

How to Get a Learner’s Permit

Select your state from the list below to learn all about the steps and requirements for getting a driver’s permit. 

The steps and requirements will vary slightly depending on your age.

In general, if you are getting a permit and are over 18 years old, you’ll have less requirements to meet than younger drivers. 

The basic process is as follows:

  • Complete driver’s education. 
  • Submit a driving permit application and provide proof of your identity. 
  • Pay the application fee.
  • Pass a vision exam.
  • Pass the driver’s license written test. 
  • Begin practicing with your learner’s permit.