All first-time drivers will need to get a learner’s permit if you choose to get into a car to drive the vehicle and gain experience driving.
The earliest age at which a teen driver may apply depends on the state law guiding that permit. In most states, minors can be 15-16 years old at the youngest. Teen drivers must have parental consent for a learner’s permit and other documents ready for proof of identity. See additional sections below for more information.
Teenagers are the most anxious to get their learner’s permits. Most states allow learner’s permit applications as early as 15 to 16 years of age. Getting ready for that day, certain documents need to be gathered to be prepared to walk up to the counter at the DMV and obtain that permit for the very first time. Learn below what documents you need or go to your state on this page and check what your state DMV requires you to bring with you. You can expect written consent from your parent or guardian to be top of the list. It would probably be good to bring a parent with you in case of any questions a teen may not be able to quickly answer. Proof of the following are common:
Applicants are encouraged to check with your state DMV either in person, online or by phone to confirm what is needed before showing up.
First time learner’s permits have a couple of examinations to pass before moving into the vehicle. The first one to prepare for would be the written exam consisting of about 50 questions for basic knowledge of rules of the road, traffic signs, signals and signaling. The second is a simple vision screening for depth perception, distance and clarity along with a basic hearing test. Cheat sheets are available to help you learn the test.
Many states are now requiring completion of a Substance Abuse Education and Traffic Law course to be completed before applying for a learner’s permit. Be sure to click on your state to find out those specifics.
Learner’s permits allow the new driver to practice and perfect their driving technique, with an adult in the car who has a driver’s license, so they are secure enough with their experience driving to move onto the real thing. Some states, like Florida, require learner’s permit holders under the age of 18 to hold the permit for a minimum of a year without any infractions. Curfews may apply to learner’s permit holders until they are experienced. Other states have similar rules. Click your state for DMV learner’s permit procedures.
There are fees for applying for the learner’s permit in every state. Fees differ from state to state. The cost is not astronomical. Check with your state DMV to find out the fee schedule.