How to Get a Louisiana Drivers License
To help keep teenage drivers safe behind the wheel, Louisiana has instituted a graduated licensing program for new drivers between the ages of 15 and 17. If you fall into that category, just follow these steps to get your Louisiana drivers license.
Step One: Get Your Learner's Permit
You must be at least 15 to get your learner's permit in Louisiana. Here's what you'll need to do to qualify:
- Complete 38 hours of state-approved drivers education course work consisting of 30 hours in the classroom and eight behind the wheel
- Complete a learner's permit application and have it signed by a parent or guardian
- Collect the necessary ID documents and bring them to your local Louisiana OMV office
- Pass a written knowledge exam administered at the OMV
The written knowledge exam consists of 40 questions and you'll need to get at least an 80% to pass. The test will cover topics like Louisiana's traffic laws, safe driving practices and the state's highway signs. You can use Louisiana's Driver's Guide to study.
Once you get your permit, you're allowed to practice driving as long as your accompanied by a licensed adult who is 21 or older, or a licensed sibling who is at least 18.
Step Two: Practice Behind the Wheel
After you get your permit, it's important that you log plenty of practice hours behind the wheel. In fact, the state of Louisiana requires all teen drivers to get at least 50 hours of parent-supervised driving practice, including at least 15 at night, before they can apply for their provisional Louisiana driver's license.
Getting experience in the driver's seat will also make it easier to pass your driving test, which brings us to our next step.
Step Three: Get Your Provisional License
Once you're 16 and you've had your learner's permit for at least 180 days, you're eligible to apply for your provisional driver's license which will allow you to start driving on your own. To get this license, you'll need to pass a driving test at your local OMV office. You'll want to check with them to see if they take appointments. They may also refer you to a third-party testing center.
When you go to take the test, you'll need to bring:
- Your permit
- Your social security card and birth certificate
- An attendance certificate from your school
- A parent or guardian
- A vehicle with valid registration, proof of insurance and a current safety inspection sticker, in which to take the exam
Your test will begin with a vehicle safety inspection. Be sure you know how to work the car's windshield wipers, horn, turn signals and other safety features, as your test administrator may ask you to show that they're in working order. Next, your tester will ask you to demonstrate the following maneuvers:
- Backing out
- Changing lanes
- Straight-in parking
- Left and right turns
- Approaching intersections and railroad tracks
- Yielding to driver's with right of way
- Stopping at stop signs
- Following at a safe distance
The exam takes about 15 minutes and your administrator will be watching to make sure that you don't exhibit any risky driving behaviors. After you pass the test, you'll receive your provisional Louisiana drivers license.
Step Four: Follow All Provisional License Restrictions
You're well on your way to earning your unrestricted Louisiana drivers license, but there's still one step left. You need to drive safely and follow all of the state's provisional license restrictions. Luckily, there's not many to keep track of.
In addition to abiding by all Louisiana traffic laws, you must:
- Drive between the hours of 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. only, unless you're accompanied by a licensed driver who is 21 or older, or you're with a licensed sibling who is at least 18
- Not carry more than one passenger who is under 21 between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m. with the exception of immediate family members, or when you're accompanied by a licensed adult who is 21 or older
As long as your follow these rules and have a clean driving record, you can upgrade to your unrestricted Louisiana license when you turn 17.
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