When Can You Take Driver’s Ed in Indiana?

Taking driver’s ed is typically the first step in getting your Indiana driver’s license. And if you’re dreaming of the day when you can get your driver’s license, you’re probably excited to take driver’s ed as soon as possible. But when are you able to enroll in driver’s ed in Indiana? Do you have to wait until you turn 16?

Here’s everything you need to know about when you can take driver’s ed in Indiana.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Take Driver’s Ed in Indiana?

You can start driver’s ed in Indiana at 15 years old. But before you get too excited, you should know that you can’t actually get behind the wheel just yet.

The first part of your driving education is strictly theoretical. You need to learn the rules of the road and know how to drive safely before you put the car in drive. The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) requires you to complete 30 hours of classroom training if you want to qualify for your learner’s permit at 15 years old. To prove you’ve learned what you need to know from your driver’s ed course, you’ll have to take a written test at the BMV before you get your learner’s permit.

One last thing: the BMV wants to make sure 15-year-olds are getting correct driving instruction, so they also require you to be enrolled in a six-hour behind-the-wheel course before they’ll hand over your learner’s permit. When you pass your classroom course, you’ll be eligible to enroll in a behind-the-wheel course, and you’ll get a Certificate of Driver’s Education (CDE) from the behind-the-wheel driving school, which you’ll need to show the BMV.

As a quick recap, to get your learner’s permit at 15, you need three things:

  1. Proof of completing 30-hours of classroom instruction.

  2. A passing score on your written learner’s permit test.

  3. A CDE to show your enrollment in a six-hour behind the wheel course.   

Can You Take Online Driver’s Ed in Indiana?

Some driver’s ed schools have been approved by the BMV to offer online driver’s ed in Indiana. Online driver’s ed courses allow you to work at your own pace. There's no need to spend your weekends in a stuffy classroom or stress about getting a ride to and from classes at specific times. Instead, you can work your studies around your schedule.

Indiana driver’s ed online gives you more control over your schedule and allows you to work at a faster pace since you don’t need to wait for any classmates to keep up.

How Long Do You Have to Wait to Get Your Indiana Driver’s License?

When you enroll in Indiana driver’s ed at 15, you can earn your learner’s permit while you’re still 15. But you can’t qualify for an Indiana driver’s license until you’re at least 16 years and 90 days old.

Why the wait? This waiting period is practice time for you. You need to log at least 50 hours of practice driving under the supervision of a parent or guardian. It can take some time to log all those practice hours before you’re ready to take your driving test and earn your driver’s license.

By the way, according to Kim, a customer service rep at the BMV, if you decide not to take driver’s ed in Indiana, “you have to wait until you’re at least 16 years and 270 days old to get your driver’s license.” That’s an extra six months of not being able to drive.

If you’re excited to start driving as soon as possible, and you’re at least 15 years old, take the first step and enroll in an Indiana driver’s ed online course today.