Now That I've Taken Driver's Ed Classes, How Do I Get a License?

Congratulations, you've taken driver's ed online or in a classroom and have your certificate of completion in hand. Now, you may want to know what are the next steps to get a full driver's license. If you're 18 or older, the good news is you have fewer restrictions. However, there still many things you'll need to do. We'll walk you through what you need to know with the help of Ryan Pietzsch from the National Safety Council.

Steps to Get Your License if You're Over 18

1. Take Advantage of Educational Resources to Help You Pass the Road Driver's Test

Taking driver's ed classes is important to becoming a capable driver. However, there are still more steps to take to become a licensed driver. One important step is preparing yourself to pass the driving test. Fortunately, there are online tests and how-to resources to help you.

2. Apply for a Learner's Permit

A learner's permit is meant to give you practice driving on the road while supervised by a driver who is over 21. The purpose of the learner's permit is to create a graduated system where first-time drivers are given greater privileges as they get more driving practice. 

If you are 18, the time may be reduced for how long you must wait before you are eligible for an unrestricted license. However, every state has its own rules about how long you must have a learner's permit before you are allowed to apply for a license.

3. Get Enough Driving Practice

For many, this is the fun part of learning to drive — actually driving! 

"Practice makes perfect," said Pietzsch. "A driver’s license is a privilege and comes with great responsibility."

A parent, family member, or trusted adult can help you learn the ropes, from navigating traffic to parking. You may elect to do some of your hours with a driving school or as part of driver education programs. An advantage of a driving school is you will be working with a trusted professional who has worked with many drivers like you. Also, your parents or family might be nervous driving with you.

"If you have practiced driving with a parent or trusted adult and you have paid close attention in your driver’s education classes, then you should trust that you’ve done everything you need to do to prepare," said Pietzsch.

4. Take a Road Driving Test to Get Your License

The time has come! Once you've met all of your state's requirements, including completing driver education programs and getting enough time with practice driving, you can take the test.

Most often, you will need to schedule an appointment in advance and have a vehicle in good condition. The exact course for your test varies. It may be a closed course, or you may be on public roads. Generally, you will need to perform basic skills such as turns and changing lanes. Some areas require you to perform parallel parking. Your state provides information on what you should expect on a driver's test. 

Once you pass your test, you'll officially be a licensed driver in your state. Enjoy the open roads, and remember to stay safe.