Louisiana Drivers License Requirements

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Louisiana Graduated License Program - LA Graduated Drivers License Requirements

The graduated drivers license system in Louisiana is very similar to the graduated license requirements in other states - it features mandatory drivers education classes, an extended permit holding period and a multi-step licensing procedure for drivers who are under the age of 17. The graduated drivers license laws target teenage drivers because statistics tell us that younger drivers face higher risks of being involved in a traffic accident. The Louisiana graduated drivers license law sets a number of permit and license restrictions that were designed for correcting the flaws in teenage driving techniques.

Here is what the official Louisiana drivers handbook says about the state graduate drivers license laws:

Louisiana drivers who are 70 years of age or older at the time their current driver license expires are generally required to renew their license in person at a local OMV office. In addition to taking a vision test (see below), you may in certain situations be asked to take a written knowledge test as well. Requirements to Obtain a First Time License; Requirements for Non Immigrant Aliens to Obtain a First Time License; Identification Requirements; Parents Supervised Driving Program. The Parents Supervised Driving Program. RESOURCES FOR PARENTS. AAA Keys 2 Drive program; National Safety Council; Teen driver source; National Highway. When teens turn 15 and have completed a driver education course consisting of 30 hours of classroom instruction and 8 hours of behind the wheel driving instruction, they may apply for a learner’s permit. Teens and their guardians need to visit the local driver exam office and bring a primary identification document and two secondary documents.

“Teenagers not only have a higher crash rate than other age groups, their crashes are different. The combination of inexperience behind the wheel and immaturity produces a pattern of fatal crashes among 16-year-old drivers that includes the highest percentage of crashes involving speeding, single-vehicle crashes, crashes due to driver (teenager) error and occupancy. According to statistics, teenage drivers lack maturity and experience in driving. Teenagers are more willing to take risks and less likely to use safety belts. They are more likely to underestimate the dangers associated with hazardous situations and less able to cope with such dangers. With these things in mind, most states have developed a Graduated Licensing Program (GLP) in an effort to reduce teenage deaths on the highway.”

Requirements to Obtain a First Time License; Requirements for Non Immigrant Aliens to Obtain a First Time License; Identification Requirements; Parents Supervised Driving Program. The Parents Supervised Driving Program. RESOURCES FOR PARENTS. AAA Keys 2 Drive program; National Safety Council; Teen driver source; National Highway. Driver’s License. After holding an intermediate driver’s license for 12 months and completing all requirements explained above without violations, a teen can apply for an unrestricted driver’s license. Before any driver can lawfully operate a vehicle in Louisiana.

We could not agree more - when it comes to teenage drivers, there are multiple risk factors to consider in addition to the risks every new driver faces. Even though every new driver lacks driving experience and has a higher risk of being involved in a car accident, older people take steps to counteract their lack of experience - they drive slower, they pay more attention to the road and they avoid taking risks on the road. This is the reason why the Louisiana graduated drivers license law applies only to teenage drivers.

Although the Louisiana graduate drivers license system is well developed, in our opinion, it is due for an update. The current graduate license requirements were introduced in 1999 and things changed since then. The traffic conditions are becoming more requiring and additional studies conducted throughout the nation being new insights on the causes of traffic accidents. Thus, in Maryland, the graduated drivers license rules apply to drivers of all ages, not just teens. Adult drivers face less restrictions, but most of the requirements are the same.

Please remember: the Louisiana graduated driver license requirements are applicable only to drivers who are under 17 years of age. If you are 17 years of age or older, these rules do not apply to you.

Louisiana Graduated License Steps

The key mechanism of the graduated license system is breaking the licensing procedure into a number of separate steps. Instead of granting a Louisiana drivers license applicant with full driving privileges right away, the DPS makes the applicant go through a number of intermediate stages. Each stage of the program allows the driver to gain additional driving skills and experience and grants extra driving privileges. At the moment, the Louisiana graduated drivers license program consists of the following stages:

  1. Learners permit
  2. Intermediate license
  3. Full drivers license

This approach allows to ensure that the roads are not filled with young drivers with absolutely no driving experience. By the time the drivers license applicant receives an unrestricted drivers license, he should already have at least 40 or 50 hours of behind the wheel practice and should be able to start driving alone.

Louisiana Learners Permit

The minimum age for applying for a Louisiana learners permit is 15, but that does not mean that you cannot start the graduated license program earlier. According to the law, there are a number of things that must be done before you visit the Department of Public Safety to lodge your application.

The first thing you should do is to sign up and complete a Louisiana drivers education program. At this age, drivers ed classes are mandatory and there is no way around it, you will need to take the class either at your high school or through one of the commercial driving schools. The certificate you will receive from the school must be presented at the DPS on the day of your application.

Once you completed the drivers education class, you can visit the DPS and take a Louisiana permit test. The test covers the state driving rules, road signs and safe driving practices. If you want to see what the test will be like, you can take a Louisiana practice permit test free of charge.

When you pass the exam and receive your learners permit, you can start driving, but you must have a supervising driver accompany you at all times. This is the main learners permit restriction and it is there to ensure that you get some driving experience in a relatively safe driving environment. The supervising driver must be 21 years of age and hold a valid drivers license. The supervising driver can be 18 years of age if it's your sibling.

This stage of the graduated drivers license program lasts at least six months and you must be at least 16 years of age before you can proceed to the next step. While driving with your learners permit, you must obtain at least 35 hours of driving experience.

Louisiana Restricted Drivers License

If you satisfy the above requirements and are at least 16 years of age, you may take a Louisiana drivers test and receive an intermediate license. This license allows you to drive alone between the hours of 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. If you want to drive during the curfew hours, you will need to have a supervising driver accompany you, just like you did when you held a learners permit.

The Louisiana graduated license law requires you to observe these restrictions until you are at least 17 years of age. At this time, the restrictions are lifted and your intermediate license turns into a full unrestricted drivers license.

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COVID-19 Effects on Licensing Services

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state DMVs nationwide have closed driver licensing offices, extended license and registration expiration dates, and/or limited the transactions they are processing. If possible, residents should use the OMV's online services to complete any relevant transactions. Follow the OMV's most recent updates for the latest information.

Applying for a Teen Driver's License in Louisiana

If you are a teenager applying for your first driver's license, you'll need to satisfy the requirements of the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) graduated driver's license (GDL) program.

The steps you'll need to take to get your driver's license will help you gain valuable driving experience and become a safe, responsible new driver.

On this page you'll find information about the Louisiana GDL program, and the requirements to get your unrestricted driver's license.

REAL ID Requirements in Louisiana

The Louisiana OMV complies with the REAL ID Act of 2005, meaning it provides first-time driver license applicants with REAL ID-compliant driver licenses. REAL ID driver’s licenses meet the federal identification requirements required for tasks such as entering federal buildings and boarding domestic commercial flights. Without a REAL ID, you'll need to bring your passport or birth certificate for such activities.

New applicants will automatically receive a REAL ID, unless you specifically indicate on the application that you don't want one. (Options differ for renewals and replacements.) For more details, visit the OMV's guide to REAL ID licensing.

New to Louisiana?

If you've recently moved to Louisiana, you can transfer your valid out-of-state driver's license or learner's permit for a LA OMV driver's license or intermediate driver's license. The LA OMV will issue you a LA license which is equivalent to the license or permit you are surrendering from out-of-state.

You will not be required to complete a Louisiana driver's education course.

As a new resident, you have 30 days to transfer your out-of-state driver's license. If you want to obtain a Louisiana REAL ID, see the state's guide to acceptable application documents.

You must visit a Louisiana DMV office and:

  • Surrender your out-of-state driver's license or provide your official driving record from your previous state.
  • Provide a primary proof of your identification, such as your:
    • Birth certificate.
    • Passport.
    • Military ID.
  • Provide your Social Security number.
  • Submit proofs of Louisiana residency.
  • Submit aa Certificate of Required Attendance from your school's office or a Home Study Approval Notification Letter from the Department of Education.
  • Pass a vision exam.
  • Pass a road skills test, if necessary.
  • Pay the $32.25 to $38.25 driver's license fee and any local fees that may apply.

NOTE: Payments made by credit/debit card and e-checks will incur an additional fee.

If you are 17 years old or younger, you must visit the Louisiana DMV office with your parent or legal guardian, and they must bring a photo ID.

Louisiana GDL Program & Restrictions

The Louisiana DMV GDL program is broken down into the following steps:

  • Learner's permit, which allows:
    • Supervised driving practice with a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old.
  • Intermediate driver's license, which allows:
    • Unsupervised driving between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m.
    • Supervised driving with a licensed adult at any time.
    • No more than 1 passenger younger than 21 years old between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m., unless:
      • You are accompanied by a licensed adult.
      • The passenger is an immediate family member.
  • Full, unrestricted driver's license.

Age Requirements

The minimum age requirements of the Louisiana DMV GDL program are as follows:

  • Learner's permit: 15 years old.
  • Intermediate driver's license: 16 years old.
  • Full driver's license: 17 years old.

Louisiana Learner's Permit

The first steps in the Louisiana GDL program are completing driver's education and obtaining your learner's permit.

For information about driver's education requirements in Louisiana, please visit our Driver's Ed in Louisiana page.

Louisiana Drivers License Requirements For 2020

To apply for your learner's permit, visit your local LA DMV officewith your parent or legal guardian and provide:

2020 Louisiana Drivers License Requirements

  • A certified birth certificate that proves you are at least 15 years old.
  • Your Social Security card or verification.
  • Your Driver's Ed completion certificate that proves you have completed a minimum of 38 hours of driver's education, including:
    • 30 hours of classroom instruction.
    • 8 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction.
  • Submit a Certificate of Required Attendance from your school's office or a Home Study Approval Notification Letter from the Department of Education.
  • Payment for the $32.25 permit fee and any local fees that may apply.

NOTE: Payments made by credit/debit card and e-checks will incur an additional fee.

You'll also need to pass a vision exam and Louisiana DMV written test.

The OMV suggests using the Louisiana Drivers Guide to prepare for the written test. If you want to make sure you're fully prepared for the test try using an online practice test from our certified partner.

Driving Restrictions & Behind-the-Wheel Requirements

With your Louisiana learner's permit, you may drive ONLY while accompanied by a licensed adult at least 21 years old, or a sibling at least 18 years old who is also licensed.

Drivers license requirements in louisiana

You'll also need to:

  • Hold your permit for a minimum of 180 days.
  • Complete at least 50 hours of supervised driving.
    • 15 hours must be driven at night.

Intermediate Driver License

If you have a learner's permit, you will be able to upgrade to an intermediate license once you:

Requirements
  • Are at least 16 years old.
  • Have held your learner's permit for at least 180 days.
  • Submit a signed statement confirming that you have completed a total of 50 hours of supervised driving, including 15 hours completed at night.
    • Must be completed with your licensed parent, legal guardian, or other adult who is at least 21 years old.

You'll also need to pass a road test with the Louisiana OMV or at a third-party testing facility. Some OMV offices only offer the skills test on a limited number of days.

Contact your local Louisiana DMV office to schedule a road test or to get information about testing hours. If you take your test with the LA OMV, you'll need to provide your own car and have:

  • A current safety inspection sticker.
  • A valid registration sticker and certificate.
  • Proof of LA car insurance.

After passing the DMV road test, your parent or legal guardian will need to accompany you to the Louisiana DMV office. You'll need to:

  • Provide your learner's permit and birth certificate.
  • Submit a Certificate of Required Attendance from your school's office or a Home Study Approval Notification Letter from the Department of Education.
  • Bring additional required proofs of identity, Social Security number, and residency for a REAL ID-compliant license.
    • The OMV can help walk you through required documents.
  • Pass a vision exam.
  • Payment for the $13 upgrade fee and any local fees that may apply (up to $6).

NOTE: Payments made by credit/debit card and e-checks will incur an additional fee.

Driving Restrictions

While holding your intermediate driver's license, you must adhere to the following driving and passenger restrictions:

  • You may only drive unsupervised between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m.
  • You may drive at any hour if you are accompanied by a licensed adult.
    • If you are driving between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m., you may not carry more than 1 passenger under 21 years old (unless they are an immediate family member), EXCEPT when accompanied by a licensed adult.

Full Unrestricted LA Driver License

You will be eligible for an unrestricted driver's license in Louisiana once you are 17 years old.

Louisiana driver

To upgrade your intermediate driver's license, visit your local Louisiana DMV office with:

  • Your intermediate driver's license.
  • Your birth certificate.
  • Proof of Louisiana residency.
  • Your Social Security card.
    • The OMV has a guide to upgrading to a REAL ID-compliant driver's license.
  • A Certificate of Required Attendance from your school's office or a Home Study Approval Notification Letter from the Department of Education.
  • Cash for your upgrade fee of $13. Certain office charge an additional $6 fee.

Once you've completed the above steps, you'll be free to drive unrestricted - just make sure to do so safely, responsibly, and courteously!

If you want to track and share your progress towards your new license, please visit our new driver's license checklist.