How to Get Your Indiana Learner's Permit
A learner's permit allows residents of Indiana the chance to get some driving practice before they get their driver's license. There are several steps and requirements that you will need to follow to get your Indiana learner's permit. The information is provided below to help you understand what the process is and what you need to do to begin your journey to eventually getting your driver's license.
Indiana Learner's Permit Requirements
To begin the application process for a learner's permit in Indiana you will need to be 15 years of age or older. You will also be required to enroll in a driver education course that is approved by the state BEFORE you get your learner's permit. You will be asked to prove that you are enrolled in this course by showing a Certificate of Driver Education Enrollment given to you from the course you are taking. This certificate must be current and valid.
Make sure that it is an approved course before you enroll. The driver's ed program will have 30 hours of online or classroom instruction as well as six hours of behind-the-wheel instruction with a certified driving instructor.
If you are 16 years old or older, you do not have to take the driver education course as long as you bring documentation of identification to the license office. Everyone who applies for their Indiana learner's permit will also be required to take and pass the vision test and the Indiana Knowledge Test.
The Knowledge Test and Vision Screening
You don't have to make an appointment to take the knowledge test unless you will need someone to read the test to you. For those who require the test to be read to them or those who are hearing-impaired, an appointment is necessary. Make sure you arrive at the license office at least an hour before they close if you intend to take the knowledge test.
You will also be required to take a vision test that will measure how well you see. This screening is a basic vision test and will not identify any causes of visual problems; if you don't pass, you'll have to follow up with an eye doctor. You must pass the vision test and the knowledge test to obtain your learner's permit.
There are several documents that you'll need to bring with you when you go to the license office to apply for your learner's permit. These documents include:
- Documentation of identity–this can include a passport or an original/certified copy of your birth certificate
- Social Security Card that shows your SS#–this can be fulfilled with your W-2 if you do not have your Social Security Card
- Two documents showing proof of Indiana residency or the residency affidavit (explained below)
- Proof of lawful status
If you are not able to show two documents that prove your residency in Indiana, you can submit an Indiana Residency Affidavit. This document must be signed by a parent or guardian who is at least 18 years of age or older. You must live with the person signing your residency affidavit.
The person that signs your residency affidavit must present their valid Indiana driver's license or ID card. They also will need to bring two documents that prove they have legal residency in Indiana, along with one document that proves their identity. If the person who has signed your affidavit has a current SecureID license or state ID card, they will not be required to provide the documents listed above.
Other Required Forms
For applicants under the age of 18, the law states that your Indiana learner's permit application will need to be signed by a person who fits one of the criteria below, in order to assume financial responsibility. A parent is preferred but there are other options as well. Eligible signers are, in order of preference:
- A custodial parent of the minor applying for their permit, or someone designated by the custodial parent
- A noncustodial parent of the minor applying for their permit, or someone designated by the noncustodial parent
- A legal guardian who has custody of the minor applying for the permit
- Another adult that will accept the obligations and financial responsibility, should the minor be involved in an accident that results in injury or damage to property
This required "Agreement of Financial Liability" states that the adult acknowledges that they are responsible, along with the underage driver, for any damage or injury that is caused by the minor when they are driving. The adult who signs this form will be required to provide documentation that proves their age and identity.