Published: April 11, 2022Updated: August 16, 2022

Learner’s Permit Requirements by State

Minimum ages, required documents and fees, and restrictions on driving

Getting a learner’s permit is the first step toward a regular driver’s license, but the state won’t give a permit to just anybody. You’ll have to meet your state’s minimum requirements, which usually fall under the categories of ages, fees, and documents. Even after you get your learner’s permit, you will have restrictions that people with regular licenses don’t face, from curfews to harsher penalties for DUIs.

Here’s everything you need to know about getting a learner’s permit in your state.
What is a Learners Permit

Learner’s Permit Requirements by State

See below for your state’s teen driving laws for learner’s permits.

State Minimum age for learner’s permit Required documents Learner’s permit fees Curfew Supervision Passengers Electronic devices School requirements
Alabama 15 U.S. birth certificate (must be original), Social Security card, proof of school enrollment or graduation, 2 proofs of principal residence Test: $5

License purchase: $36.25

12-6 a.m.

Exceptions:Accompanied by a legal guardian, parent, or licensed adult 21 or older with parental consent

Driving to or from place of work, school, or church-sponsored event

Driving due to a medical, fire, or law enforcement emergency

Driving to or from hunting/fishing activities and in possession of required licenses

Licensed driver 21 or older for 15-year-olds

Any licensed driver for age 16 or older

No more than 1 non-family member other than parent, guardian, or supervising licensed driver 21 or older Can’t use any nonessential handheld communication device None
Alaska 14 Completed application (Form D1); parental consent (Form 433); proof of name, birthdate, current residence, and Social Security number $15 1-5 a.m.

Exceptions:Accompanied by a licensed driver 21 or older

Driving to or from place of employment along most direct route

Licensed driver 21 or older with at least 1 year of experience driving your type of vehicle in front passenger seat No passengers under 21 unless they’re your siblings or legal guardians Can’t use any wireless communication device None
Arizona 15.5 Completed application, parental consent, U.S. birth certificate, Social Security number, proof of name, 2 proofs of residency $7 None Licensed driver 21 or older in passenger seat No restrictions Can’t use any wireless communication device None
Arkansas 14 Completed application, birth certificate, Social Security number, proof of identity, 2 proofs of residency $15 None Licensed driver 21 or older No more than one passenger under the age of 18 allowed Can’t use any wireless communication device None
California 15.5 Completed application (form DL 44), parental consent, birth certificate, proof of residency, driver education certificate, Social Security number $33 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Licensed driver who is your parent/guardian and/or at least 25 in passenger seat No passengers under age 20, unless you are accompanied by a parent/guardian, a licensed driver age 25 or older, or a licensed/certified driving instructor Can’t use any wireless communication device None
Colorado 15 Driver education course certificate, parental consent, U.S. birth certificate, Social Security number, 2 proofs of residency $19 12-5 a.m.

Exceptions:Driving to or from place of work, school, or church-sponsored event

Driving due to a medical, fire, or law enforcement emergency

Emancipated minors

Driving instructor, parent/guardian, or other licensed driver age 21 or older in passenger seat No passengers under age 21 who are not part of your immediate family (unless accompanied by your parent/guardian) Can’t use any wireless communication device None
Connecticut 16 Parental consent, 2 forms of ID, Social Security number, 2 proofs of residency $19 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Exceptions:Driving to or from place of work, school, or church-sponsored event

Driving due to a medical, fire, or law enforcement emergency

Assigned drivers in the Safe Ride Program

Driving instructor, parent, legal guardian, or other licensed driver who is at least 20 No passengers other than a driving instructor, parent, or legal guardian for drivers ages 16-17 (continues for 6 months after you earn your license) Can’t use any wireless communication device None
Delaware 16 Driver education course certificate, parental consent, birth certificate, Social Security number, 2 proofs of residency $40 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Exceptions:Accompanied by a legal guardian, parent, or other licensed driver 25 or older with parental consent

Going to or from place of work, school, or church-sponsored event

Driving instructor, parent, legal guardian, or other licensed driver who is at least 25 years old and has held a Class D license for at least 5 years in passenger seat No more than 1 non-family passenger other than parent, guardian, or supervising licensed driver for first 12 months Can’t use any wireless communication device None
District of Columbia 16 For REAL ID permit: Application, proof of identity and age, 2 proofs of D.C. residency, Social Security number, proof of parental approval (for ages 16-17) $20 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Licensed driver 21 or older in passenger seat No restrictions No handheld devices except for emergency use, initating or teminating a phone call, or turning a phone on or off None
Florida 15 Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education course certificate, parental consent (Form 71142), birth certificate, Social Security number, 2 proofs of residency $48 First 3 months of permit: Sunset to dawn

After 3 months: 10 p.m. to dawn

Licensed driver age 21 or older in passenger seat No restrictions Can’t use any wireless communication device Must maintain school attendance
Georgia 15 Certificate of School Enrollment (DS-1), parental consent, birth certificate, Social Security number, 2 proofs of residency $10 12-5 a.m. Licensed driver age 21 or older in passenger seat 1 licensed driver age 21 or older and immediate family members Can’t use any wireless communication device Must be enrolled in school
Hawaii 15.5 Parental consent, birth certificate, Social Security number, 2 proofs of residency $5 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. (unless parent or guardian is in passenger seat) Licensed driver age 21 or older in passenger seat No restrictions Can’t use any wireless communication device None
Idaho 14.5 Verification of school compliance (letter from school, diploma, or GED certificate), parental consent, birth certificate, Social Security number, 2 proofs of residency, photo ID $15 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. (unless parent or guardian is in passenger seat) Licensed driver age 21 or older in passenger seat No passengers in front seat if driver is under 16

Only 1 passenger under 17 unless related by blood, adoption, or marriage if driver is under 17 (for first 6 months)

Can’t use any wireless communication device Must be enrolled in school
Illinois 15 Secretary of State application; proof of identity, including written signature, Social Security number, date of birth, and residency $20 Sunday to Thursday: 10 p.m to 6 a.m.

Friday and Saturday: 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Licensed driver age 21 or older with at least 1 year of driving experience 1 in front seat and no more passengers than the number of seat belts in back seat Can’t use any electronic devices, even hands-free, if under 19, except in an emergency None
Indiana 15 Proof of identity, Social Security number, and lawful status; 2 proofs of Indiana residency or Indiana Residency Affidavit; certificate of driver education enrollment (if under 16) $9 None Drivers under 16: Licensed driving instructor or certified driver rehabilitation specialist; licensed driver age 25 or older who is related to you by blood, marriage, or legal status; or spouse if they’re licensed and at least 21 (must be in passenger seat)

Drivers under 18: Licensed driver 25 or older and related, spouse if 21 or older, or driver education instructor (in passenger seat)

Minors under care/supervision of Department of Child Services: Licensed driver 25 or older and related or approved by DCS (in passenger seat)

Drivers 18 or older: Any licensed driver 25 or older, or spouse if licensed and 21 or older

No restrictions Can’t use any wireless communication device except to make emergency 911 calls None
Iowa 14 Written parental consent, proof of identity, proof of residency, Social Security number $6 None Parent, guardian, custodian, immediate family member at least 21, driver education instructor, or other licensed driver at least 25 with written permission from parent/guardian No more passengers than there are seat belts in the vehicle Can’t use any wireless communication device except to make emergency 911 calls None
Kansas 14 Parental consent (if under 16), proof of identity $10 None Licensed adult at least 21 in front seat at all times No restrictions Can’t use any wireless communication device except to make emergency 911 calls (if under 17) None
Kentucky 16 Birth certificate, Social Security card, school compliance verification form (if under 18), proof of residence, parental consent (if under 18) $15 12-6 a.m. (exceptions for emergencies and school or work-related activities) Licensed driver at least 21 in front passenger seat at all times No more than 1 unrelated person under age 20 for drivers under 18 (unless accompanied by driver training instructor) Can’t use cell phones, even hands-free, if under 18 (must stop vehicle to call for help in an emergency) Must be enrolled in school
Louisiana 15 Birth certificate, Social Security number, driver education course certificate (if under 18), parental consent, Temporary Instructional Permit (TIP) $32 12-5 a.m. (unless accompanied by licensed parent or legal guardian with at least 1 year of driving experience) Licensed parent or guardian, licensed sibling age 18 or older, or other licensed driver age 21 or older Licensed parent or guardian, licensed sibling age 18 or older, or other licensed driver age 21 or older Can’t use any wireless communication device, even hands-free, except to make emergency 911 calls None
Maine 15 Completed application, driver education course certificate (if under 18), 2 proofs of identity, proofs of residency, birth certificate $35 12-5 a.m. Licensed driver who is at least 20 and has held a valid license for at least 2 years in front passenger seat Immediate family members and a licensed driver who is at least 20 and has held a valid license for at least 2 years Can’t use electronic handheld device or cell phone None
Maryland 15.75 Verification of identity, age, lawful status, Social Security number, and Maryland residency (e.g., U.S. birth certificate or passport)

Drivers under 16: School attendance form (#DL-300) in a sealed, unopened envelope from the applicant’s school or (if home-schooled) county home-school coordinator

Drivers under 18: Learner’s permit application co-signed by a parent or guardian, proof of parental relationship/dependency (e.g., tax return, health insurance card or policy)

$50 None Licensed driver 21 years or older who has held a license for at least 3 years in front passenger seat No restrictions Can’t use phones at all, even hands-free, except when making an emergency 911 call If under 16, must be in school or home school and have no more than 10 unexcused absences during the prior school semester
Massachusetts 16 Valid ID card; written consent of a parent, legal guardian, Department of Children and Families, or boarding school headmaster if under 18 $30 12-5 a.m. if under 18 (unless accompanied by a parent/guardian who has a valid license and at least 1 year of driving experience) Licensed driver who is at least 21 and has at least 1 year of driving experience in the passenger seat No restrictions Can’t use any electronic devices, even in hands-free mode None
Michigan 14.75 Proof of Social Security number, legal presence, identity, Michigan residency, and Michigan Driver Education Segment 1 Certificate of Completion $25 None Licensed parent or guardian, other licensed driver 21 or older designated by parent/guardian, or teen-certified education provider No restrictions Can’t use handheld devices except to report a traffic accident, medical emergency, serious road hazard, situation in which you think your personal safety is in jeopardy, or a crime against yourself or another person None
Minnesota 15 ID documents; proof of driver’s ed completion if under 18 $32 12-5 a.m. for first 6 months

Exceptions:Accompanied by a licensed driver 25 or older

Driving to/from place of employment or school event, or for employment purposes

Licensed driver at least 21 First 6 months: Only 1 passenger under 20 (unless parent/guardian is present or they are immediate family members)

Next 6 months: Up to 3 passengers under 20 (not counting immediate family members)

Can’t use a cell phone at all while driving if under 18 None
Mississippi 15 Completed and signed application, original birth certificate, Social Security card or official government correspondence displaying full Social Security number, 2 proofs of residency $7 None Licensed driver at least 21 in passenger seat No restrictions Can’t use a wireless communication device while vehicle is in motion unless you are reporting reckless/negligent behavior, believe you or someone else is in physical danger, or communicating for an emergency situation School attendance form for ages 15-17; if under 18 and married, this form isn’t required, but must present marriage license

Also not required for 17 -year-olds two months away from 18th birthday

Missouri 15 Proof of identity, lawful status, Social Security number, and Missouri residency $7 None Under 16: Parent, legal guardian, grandparent, qualified driving instructor, or licensed driver age 25 or older with at least 3 years of licensure and written permission from parent/guardian (or their designee, if disabled)

Over 16: Licensed driver age 21 or older in front passenger seat

No restrictions If under 21, can’t use a handheld mobile device while driving unless reporting illegal activity, summoning medical/emergency help, or preventing injury to a person or property None
Montana 14.5 Social Security number; proof of identity, residency, authorized presidence, and parental consent $0 None Licensed parent/guardian, or other licensed driver who is at least 18 and authorized by parent/guardian No restrictions No statewide law barring use of cell phones while driving, but can’t text or talk on phone while driving in most cities None
Nebraska 15 Proof of U.S. citizenship/lawful status that includes name, birthday, and identity; 2 proofs of principal address in Nebraska; Social Security number $12.50 None Licensed driver 21 or older in front passenger seat No restrictions Can’t use handheld devices while driving None
Nevada 15.5 Proof of identity, 2 proofs of Nevada residence (unless you already hold a Nevada ID card), certificate of school attendance, application for driving privileges $47.25 (waived for homeless youth under age 25) None Licensed driver who is at least 21 and has had a license for at least 1 year in front passenger seat No restrictions Can’t use handheld devices except to report a medical emergency, safety hazard, or criminal activity Under 18, must prove you meet minimum school attendant requirements
New Hampshire 15.5 (but technically no learner’s permit, just license) Under 18: Application for driver’s license, 2 proofs of identity, driver education completion certificate, parent or guardian authorization certificate, signed and completed Drivers Out-of-Class Log Sheet (also signed by parent/guardian)

Over 18: Completed application for driver’s license, proof of identity

$10 each year until you’re 21 1-4 a.m. if under 18 Licensed parent/guardian or licensed driver at least 25 in front passenger seat If under 18, no more than 1 passenger under 25 within first 6 months of license (unless they’re family or you’re accompanied by a licensed and responsible driver 25 or older) Can’t use handheld devices (applies to all drivers) None
New Jersey 16 Completed consent form signed by parent/guardian, verifiable Social Security number, proof of New Jersey residence, 6 points of identification $10 11:01 p.m. to 5 a.m. Adult 21 or older with a valid New Jersey driver’s license and at least 3 years of driving experience Parents, guardians, or dependents (driver’s children, not siblings) and only 1 other passenger (unless accompanied by parent/guardian) Can’t use electronic devices at all, even if hands-free None
New Mexico 15 Proof of enrollment/completion in state-approved driver’s ed program, proof of identity and New Mexico residency, ID number, instructional permit application signed by parent/guardian $18 12-5 a.m.

Exceptions:Accompanied by a licensed driver 21 or older

Traveling to/from school or work

Driving family members, to religious functions, or to attend to medical needs

Licensed driver 21 or older with at least 3 years of driving experience No more than 1 passenger under 21 unless they’re an immediate family member or there is a licensed driver 21 or older in the car Can’t use handheld devices at all None
New York 16 Proof of birthdate, Social Security number, statement of residency as signed by parent/guardian (if under 21) or another proof of residency (e.g., bank statement, utility bill) $64.25-$102.50 (depending on age) 9:01 p.m. to 4:59 a.m. Driver 21 or older with a valid license No restrictions Can’t use handheld devices at all None
North Carolina 15 Proof of age/identity, Social Security card or proof of Social Security number, proof of U.S. residency/citizenship or U.S.-issued verification of legal presence $22 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. (first 6 months) Licensed adult in front passenger seat No restrictions Can’t use mobile devices at all None
North Dakota 14 Proof of identity and address, completed application with Social Security number, sponsor signature if under 18 $15 None Adult 18 or older with at least 3 years of driving experience in front seat No more passengers than car is designed to carry Can’t use mobile devices at all None
Ohio 15.5 Proof of legal name, birthdate, Social Security number (if assigned), and Ohio street address, or proof of name change if under 18 $24 12-6 a.m. (unless accompanied by parent or legal guardian with valid license) Parent or legal guardian with valid license If under 17, no more than 1 passenger who isn’t a family member (unless they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian) Can’t use mobile devices at all None
Oklahoma 15.5 Proof of identity and lawful presence, 2 proofs of current Oklahoma address, Social Security number $81.50 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Licensed driver 21 or older in front seat No restrictions Can’t text or otherwise divert attention while driving None
Oregon 15 Proof of physical address and identity $23 12-5 a.m. if under 18 (unless driving between home and work/school event, or with a licensed driver 25 or older) Licensed drivers 21 or older if driver is under 18 First 6 months for drivers under 18: No passengers under age 20 except for immediate family

After first 6 months: Up to 3 non-family passengers under age 20

Can’t use cell phones at all, even hands-free None
Pennsylvania 16 Application DL-180 completed by health provider, proper ID, parent or guardian consent form (if under 18), original proof of birthdate/identification documents and Social Security card, 2 proofs of residency (if over 18) 65 and older: $25 for initial permit and 2-year license

Under 65: $35.50 for initial permit and 2-year license

None Licensed driver over 21 or parent, guardian, person in loco parentis, or licensed spouse 18 or older in front seat If under 18, no more passengers than there are seat belts Can’t text while driving None
Rhode Island 16 Driver education course completion certificate by Community College of Rhode Island (if under 18), permit application, birth document, 2 proofs of Rhode Island residency, and Social Security card — all original documents Over 18: $7.50

Under 18: $12.50

None Driver 21 or older with at least 5 years of licensure in front passenger seat No restrictions Can’t use handheld wireless devices, but can use hands-free systems like GPS None
South Carolina 15 Birth certificate, Social Security card or equivalent, proof of residency, application signed by parent/guardian (if under 18) $2.50 12-6 a.m. Licensed driver who is at least 21 and has at least 1 year of driving experience in front seat No restrictions Can’t text and drive None
South Dakota 14 License application form, proof of lawful status in U.S., 2 proofs of residence $28 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. (unless parent/guardian is in front seat) Under 18: Parent/guardian or another licensed adult with 1 year of driving experience in front seat

Over 18: Any licensed adult with at least 1 year of driving experience in front seat

First 6 months of permit: No passengers outside of immediate family/household

After 6 months: 1 passenger outside of immediate family/household

Can’t use any wireless communication devices while driving None
Tennessee 15 Under 18: Parent/guardian affidavit and financial responsibility form, proof of school attendance/progress

All ages: Proof of U.S. citizenship or legal presence, proof of any name changes, 2 proofs of state residency, proof of full Social Security number

Over 18: $5.50

Under 18: $10.50

10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Licensed driver at least 21 in front seat No restrictions Can’t use cell phones while driving Must prove attendance and satisfactory progress in school
Texas 15 Proof of lawful status in U.S., Texas residency, and identity; Social Security number; Texas vehicle registration (or signed statement affirming you don’t own a vehicle), proof of insurance, certificate of completion or enrollment in driver education course, verification of enrollment and attendance (VOE form), high school diploma or GED certificate $16 12-5 a.m. Licensed driver 21 or older in front passenger seat None Can’t use wireless communication devices, even in hands-free mode, except in an emergency. Must provide evidence of school enrollment, diploma, or GED certificate
Utah 15 Completed application, proof of identity (name and date of birth), Social Security number, 2 proofs of residency (may be mail sent to parent/guardian if under 18), parental signature for financial responsibility (if under 18) $19 12-5 a.m. for ages 15-17

Exceptions:Accompanied by licensed driver 21 or older in front passenger seat

Driving from work, school, or farming-related activity

In an emergency

Ages 15-17: Licensed driving instructor, parent, or legal guardian in front passenger seat

Over age 18: Licensed driver 21 or older in front passenger seat

Ages 15-17: Licensed driving instructor, parent, or legal guardian in front passenger seat; immediate family members allowed

Over age 18: Licensed driver 21 or older in front passenger seat; other passengers allowed

Can’t use communication devices None
Vermont 15 Proof of identity and date of birth, Social Security number, proof of residency, application signed by a parent (if under 18) $20 None Licensed and unimpaired parent, guardian, driving instructor, or individual 25 or older in front passenger seat None Can’t use any portable electronic device, even while vehicle is stationary on a public highway None
Virginia 15.5 Completed application (Form DL 1P), 2 proofs of Virginia residency, Social Security number, proof of identity, proof of legal presence in U.S.;

written parental consent and driver education program certificate if under 18

$3 12-4 a.m. if under 18

Exceptions:When driving for work, school, or church-related activities

If a licensed parent or guardian sits in the front passenger seat

In an emergency

Licensed driver at least 21 (may be 18 if they are your legal guardian or immediate family member) in front passenger seat (exception if you are at least 16 and 3 months, have had your permit for 9 months, and hold a parent-signed Virginia Driver Training Certificate) For drivers under 18, no more than 1 passenger under 18 allowed except for family members Can’t use cell phone even in hands-free mode, unless parked or fully stopped to make an emergency phone call None
Washington 15 Completed application, driver education course enrollment certificate, Social Security number, proof of identity, birth certificate, parental authorization affidavit $25 1-5 a.m. (unless accompanied by licensed driver 25 or older) Licensed driver with at least 5 years of driving experience in front passenger seat Other passengers allowed if they wear seat belts Can’t use wireless communication device, even in hands-free mode, unless reporting an emergency None
West Virginia 15 Written parental consent; driver’s eligibility certificate showing current enrollment, graduation, or GED enrollment; proof of identity; Social Security number; proof of residency $5 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Licensed driver at least 21 in front passenger seat No more than 2 non-family passengers in addition to the supervising adult Can’t use wireless communication device, even in hands-free mode Must be enrolled in school or GED program, or graduated
Wisconsin 15.5 All ages: Completed application, proof of U.S. citizenship, proof of name and birthdate, proof of identity, proof of residency, Social Security number

Under 18: Driver education course enrollment certificate, parental consent, proof of school enrollment or graduation

$25 None Qualified instructor, parent, guardian, or spouse 19 or older, or a person 21 or older (with written authorization from parent/guardian if driver is under 18) Qualified instructor, parent, guardian, or spouse 19 or older, or a person 21 or older in front seat; immediate family members allowed in back seat Can’t use wireless communication device unless reporting an emergency Must be enrolled in school or a home-school program (if under 18)
Wyoming 15 Proof of identity, 2 proofs of residency, Social Security number $45 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. (unless a licensed driver 18 or older is in front passenger seat) Licensed driver at least 18 in front passenger seat Only 1 passenger under 18 who is not an immediate family member Can’t use wireless communication or electronic handheld device None

 

All About Learner’s Permits

Let’s take a step back and learn more about learner’s permits in general.

What Is a Learner’s Permit?

A learner’s permit is a limited license granted to someone who is learning how to drive. It allows them to drive legally while they are still learning.

Why Do They Exist?

Before they can get their full license, new drivers need to hold learner’s permits for a certain period of time to fulfill the mandated criteria to obtain a license.1

Learner’s Permits vs. Driver’s Licenses

While a person with a full driver’s license is unrestricted, meaning there are no laws on when they can drive, who they can drive with, or who has to supervise them, someone with a learner’s permit must follow certain restrictions. A learner’s permit is the first stage of Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL). A restricted/intermediate driver’s license is the second stage, with some restrictions, and a regular driver’s license is the third stage, with no restrictions.

Do You Need Car Insurance With a Learner’s Permit?

Yes, you need car insurance for someone with a learner’s permit. Before your child gets their learner’s permit, add them as a permissive user on your policy so they can get auto insurance coverage by the time they start driving.2

Car Insurance for New Drivers

For parents, one of the most anxiety-inducing things about a teen starting to drive is the cost of auto insurance.

Cost

See below for the average cost of car insurance for teens, specifically the cost of car insurance for 16-year-olds, 17-year-olds, 18-year-olds, and 19-year-olds.

Age Average annual car insurance cost
16 $4,368
17 $3,925
18 $3,952.75
19 $2,758.33

Why Insurance Is So Expensive

Car insurance for teens is expensive because they are high-risk drivers, most likely to have at-fault car accidents and, thus, are the most likely to have auto insurance claims, both first-party and third-party claims. The less driving experience someone has, the greater their risk of being involved in any type of car crash — fatal crashes in particular.

Age group Number of drivers in fatal crashes per 100,000 licensed drivers in 2020 Number or drivers in all crashes per 100,000 licensed drivers in 2020
16-19 44 22,103
20-24 39 15,876
25-34 34 11,941
35-44 26 9,062
45-54 23 7,776
55-64 20 6,187
65-74 14 4,383
75 and older 24 3,369

For every 100,000 licensed drivers ages 16 to 19, there are 44 fatal crashes and more than 22,000 crashes of any kind, higher than for any other age group.3

DID YOU KNOW?

Drivers who are 16 years old are 32 percent more likely to be involved in fatal crashes and 45 percent more likely to be involved in any kind of crash, according to 2020 National Safety Council data.

Best Insurance Companies

There’s no getting around the price increase of adding your teen to your car insurance policy. However, you can mitigate the cost as much as possible by choosing the best auto insurance for teens.

How to Prepare for the Permit Test

How to Prepare for the Permit Test

Most states require people to pass written tests about the rules of the road before getting a learner’s permit. Give these directions to your child so they don’t have to take the test multiple times:

  1. Study the driver’s manual. The obvious advice is also the most important. Study your state’s driver’s manual over a long period of time; don’t just cram the night before. Not only will studying increase your knowledge, but it will also increase your confidence, which will help you on the test as well.
  2. Practice permit tests. You can find free permit tests online. By taking these practice tests before the actual test, you can gauge your performance and find areas you can improve upon. Find practice tests for your state at https://driving-tests.org/dmv-practice-test/.
  3. Have someone else quiz you. Have a parent or guardian quiz you about your state’s driving laws.
  4. Get good sleep the night before. Sleep well before the permit test to make sure you can remain alert during the exam period.
  5. Eat a good breakfast the morning of the test. The morning of your exam, don’t skip breakfast. Your mind will need fuel to focus.
  6. Stay positive. Even if you fail the test, you can always retake it.4

How to Keep Your Teen Driver Safe

When your teen takes the learner’s permit test, that’s only the first step in ensuring they become a licensed and safe driver. Here are the best ways you can keep your teen driver safe on the road:

  1. Send them to driver’s ed. If you can afford it, send your child to driving lessons or defensive driving school. Look on sites like Yelp to find options in your area.
  2. Use the TeenDriverPlan. The TeenDriverPlan from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Injury Research and Prevention includes a goal guide as well as a driver planning log and rating tool. This plan will tell you what skills to teach your child and help you track their progress.

FYI

Over a six-month period, people who used the TeenDriverPlan were 65 percent less likely to fail driving assessments.5

  1. Set a good example. Remember the adage “monkey see, monkey do”? Always avoid distracted driving like texting and driving, speeding, tailgating, having road rage, not wearing your seat belt, and any other unsafe driving behaviors — but especially in front of your teen.
  2. Make your own rules. Aside from the state’s rules, you may want to set your own driving rules for your teen, like no driving during rush hour or no friends in the car at night.
  3. Get them a safe car. Look for cars with safety features like blind-spot monitoring, automatic lights and forward-collision warnings.6
  4. Practice with them. Start practicing in empty parking lots before moving onto low-traffic areas and, finally, high-traffic ones.
  5. Buy roadside assistance. In case your child’s car breaks down on the side of the road, getting them roadside assistance is a good idea.
  6. Use smartphone apps. Apps like Life360 can monitor your child’s driving and alert you to any speeding, accidents, and rapid accelerations.7
  7. Review the laws. Your child needs to brush up on their state’s driving laws to pass the permit test, but you should read the driver’s manual as well.

Conclusion

Teen driving begins with a learner’s permit, for which a young driver needs a solid understanding of state driving laws. Next, your child will take a road test, usually when they’re 16 years of age or older, to gain their full driving privileges. See our auto insurance FAQs below for more information on how to keep your child accident-free in their motor vehicles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Keep reading for more information on learner’s permits.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, these are the learner’s permit requirements for a home-schooler:

  • You must have attended school at least 90 percent of the time in the semester preceding your application date. If you’re applying during the summer, you’ll need to submit your last report card if it has your name, list of absences, and grades. Otherwise, fill out the Verification of Enrollment and Attendance Form — https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/driver/forms/VOE.pdf.
  • You must be between 15 and 17 years old.
  • You must have completed the first six hours of driver’s education in the classroom (concurrent method) or 32 hours of classroom instruction (block method).
  • You must present documents proving U.S. citizenship or lawful presence, Texas residency, identity (ID card, Real ID card, etc.), a Social Security number, evidence of Texas registration, and insurance.
  • You must pass the vision exam and the driver knowledge exam.

The requirements to obtain a special learner’s permit depend on the state you live in. For example, in New Jersey, you’ll need to meet these requirements:

  • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Get the consent of your parent or guardian.
  • Enroll in a state-approved behind-the-wheel training class.
  • Pass the knowledge and vision test.

Check your state’s special learner’s permit requirements to find out what you need to do.

The cost to get a learner’s permit varies by state.

State Learner’s permit fee
Alabama $41.25
Alaska $15
Arizona $7
Arkansas $15
California $33
Colorado $19
Connecticut $19
Delaware $40
Florida $48
Georgia $10
Hawaii $5
Idaho $15
Illinois $20
Indiana $9
Iowa $6
Kansas $10
Kentucky $15
Louisiana $32
Maine $35
Maryland $50
Massachusetts $30
Michigan $25
Minnesota $32
Mississippi $7
Missouri $7
Montana $0
Nebraska $12.50
Nevada $47.25
New Hampshire $10 each year until age 21
New Jersey $10
New Mexico $18
New York $64.25-$102.50 (depending on age)
North Carolina $22
North Dakota $15
Ohio $24
Oklahoma $81.50
Oregon $23
Pennsylvania $25-$35.50 (depending on age and length of license)
Rhode Island $7.50 if over 18; $12.50 if under 18
South Carolina $2.50
South Dakota $28
Tennessee $5.50 if over 18; $10.50 if under 18
Texas $16
Utah $19
Vermont $20
Virginia $3
Washington $25
West Virginia $5
Wisconsin $25
Wyoming $45

Usually, you can’t renew your learner’s permit. If the permit expires, you’ll need to apply for a new one and retake the exam. Check your state’s laws for more information on learner’s permit renewal.

Citations

  1. Learners Permit. IMPROV Traffic School.
    https://www.myimprov.com/learners-permit/

  2. My Teen Got A Learner’s Permit. Does He Need Car Insurance? Allstate. (2021, July).
    https://www.allstate.com/tr/car-insurance/learner-driver.aspx

  3. Age of Driver. National Safety Council. (2020).
    https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/motor-vehicle/overview/age-of-driver/

  4. 5 Amazing Strategies To Prepare For Your DMV Permit Test (Source: https://driving-tests.org/beginner-drivers/how-to-prepare-for-your-dmv-permit-test/). driving tests.
    https://driving-tests.org/beginner-drivers/how-to-prepare-for-your-dmv-permit-test/

  5. PARENT-SUPERVISED DRIVING LESSON PLANS. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. (2022).
    https://www.teendriversource.org/learning-to-drive/practice-driving-lessons

  6. Best Cars for Teens: The List Every Parent Needs. Kelley Blue Book. (2021, Mar 26).
    https://www.kbb.com/best-cars/teens/

  7. The #1 family safety membership.. Life360. (2022).
    https://www.life360.com/