The first step for a driver under the age of 18 in some states starts with earning a learner’s permit. While it may go by various names — driver’s permit, learner’s permit, learner’s license — this simple piece of paper can mean the world to a new driver. It allows you to get behind the wheel with a licensed driver and practice the act of driving, preparing you for the challenges you’ll face once you’re on the road on your own.
In order to obtain a learner’s permit, teen drivers are required to pass a written test. Typically they will prepare for this exam by completing a driver’s education course. Though not a requirement in all states, Driver’s Ed is the easiest way to be thoroughly prepared for the complicated driving laws and scenarios you’ll face on the permit exam. Once you pass your permit test and earn a permit, there may still be certain restrictions attached to this provisional license — such as requiring a licensed driver over a certain age to be seated in the passenger seat, limiting your driving to daylight hours, and other state-mandated rules.
General United States Permit Requirements
While each state has its own set of guidelines, in general, teens between 14 and 18 years of age can start the driver’s education and learner’s permit process. Once a teen driver has obtained a learner’s permit, there are additional state-specific requirements they must meet before they can apply for their driver’s license.
Before obtaining a learner’s permit in any state, a teenager is required to pass a driving knowledge test. Driver’s education is the best way for a teen to prepare for this exam, whether the state requires it or not. In some cases, passing a Driver’s Ed final exam can substitute for the written exam. No matter how the test is taken, students must pass with at least a 70% or higher, depending on that state’s minimum. Once he or she passes, a teen driver will be issued a learner’s permit. Some states require teen drivers to have a permit for a minimum of 6 months before they can take their driver’s license exam.
Why Do You Need a Permit?
Teens account for the highest number of traffic accidents each year nationwide. To better prepare new drivers for the challenges they can expect when they get behind the wheel, states encourage potential teen drivers to earn a permit and gain valuable behind-the-wheel training.
The benefit of a learner’s permit or driver’s permit is it allows a new driver to spend time in the driver’s seat, under the supervision of an experienced driver. Not only will the teen be better-prepared for their driver’s license exam, but they also have the benefit of asking questions and discussing concerns with someone else before they are all alone on the road.
The age of the adult supervising the driving practice also varies by state, but typically ranges from 21-25 years of age. Some states have a set number of hours a teen driver is required to log before they are eligible to take their license exam. In addition, some of these practice hours must be done at night to prepare the new driver for the unique challenges of driving in the dark.
Learners’ Permit Requirements for Each State
Getting your learner’s permit means that you're ready to start driving, so it's something that comes with a lot of responsibility. Every state has varying requirements for new drivers, things you must complete before being eligible to take the permit exam. It is important that you consult the specific page for your state before embarking on the permit process.
How To Get Learners Permit In California
If you live in California you are eligible to get your permit at 15 years and 6 months of age, but will need to satisfy the driver education requirements first. You must complete 30 hours of driver training by taking a California drivers ed online course that is approved statewide by the CA Department of Motor Vehicles. You will also need to sign up for a 6 hour behind-the-wheel training program and will be issued a certificate of completion at the end of your driver education. This certificate is what you can take the DMV to sign up for your permit exam.
How To Get Learners Permit In Florida
If you live in Florida you are able to get your permit when you are at least 15 years old, but first must complete an approved driver training course. This course may be called a traffic law and substance abuse education course, drug and alcohol course, or drug alcohol traffic awareness course. The name is not as important as the fact that it is approved by the Florida DHSMV. When you finish the course you will receive a completion certificate that you will need to present at the DHSMV to sign up for your test.
How To Get Learners Permit In Texas
If you live in Texas you can begin the permit process when you are just 14 years of age, but will be required to complete both classroom and in-car training. You will be required to complete 32 hours of driver education Texas course work and 34 hours of behind-the-wheel training. The program you decide to take must be approved by the Department of Public Safety to fulfill the proper requirements.
It's Easier Online
We at I Drive Safely have designed state-approved driver education programs that can be done entirely online, so all you need is a computer with an internet connection. This allows you to fulfill all your requirements from home and at your own convenience, regardless of the state you live in. Each course comes with a free practice test containing questions that have been on actual DMV permit exams, so there is no better way to prepare. We process your completion certificate the very day you finish the course, making it the fastest way to get your permit.