- Driver’s Permit: The First Step to Your Driving Journey!
- Simplified Path to Your Driver’s License
- The Fundamentals of Learner’s Permit
- Preparing for the Permit Test
- Taking The Permit Test: What to Expect?
- Driver’s Ed Course: Is It Important?
- Supervised Driving
- Learner’s Permit Restrictions
- Minor’s Driving Restrictions
- Expiration Rules of the Learner’s Permit
- Insurance Coverage Rules
- Parting Thoughts!
Driver’s Permit: The First Step to Your Driving Journey!
From getting behind the wheels and taking control of the car to driving it carefully without colliding or collapsing in a trench can be an exhilarating new experience for first-timers.
So, if you have reached the minimum age limit as per your State, it’s time to learn to drive and feel a new experience altogether. But wondering where to start? Or perhaps where to get professional training from? Well, this is where we’ll help you out.
First, you’ll need a driver’s Permit to start driving. But how can you get it? That’s all this guide is all about. Let’s accelerate and help you kickstart your driving journey without any further ado.
Source: Pixabay – Royalty FREE
Simplified Path to Your Driver’s License
Before getting started, let us give you a sneak peek at the process of getting a regular drivers license. Here is a step-by-step guide:
- Step 1: First, you should study your State’s local DMV drivers handbook to get acquainted with the traffic rules, safety laws, and parking enforcement.
- Step 2: Having studied the local DMV state laws, you’re ready to proceed to the next step, which involves passing a learners permit exam – a written knowledge test conducted at a local DMV office.
- Step 3: Test Clear? If YES, congratulations! Now, as per the state laws, you must drive under supervision for a specific number of hours, ranging from 50 to 100. On the other hand, some states even want newcomers to enroll in a Driver’s Eds course and learn the skill thoroughly.
- Step 4: It’s time for a comprehensive road test. Fasten your seatbelts, freshen your mind, and give your best, as this is the final step towards getting a driver’s license.
- Step 5: Passed the road test? KUDOS to you! Now, if you’re under 18, you will be eligible to drive under certain restrictions (more on this later) until you reach maturity or adulthood.
So, that’s it – the simplified process of getting your Driver’s license. However, the process starts with a gruesome permit test and you are only qualified to sit behind the wheels with an instructor after passing it.
Are you clueless about how to pass this permit test? Well, stick with us as we’ll tell you everything you should know about cracking that test.
The Fundamentals of Learner’s Permit
Here’s an interesting fact: About 35-50% of people fail the learners permit exam on the first attempt. Although test difficulty varies by State, still, the majority of people fails. Do you know why? It’s because they don’t study for the knowledge test in the first place.
Although learning about signs and laws sounds easy, it can be too much information to digest. Hence, it’s better to go prepared if you want to ace it on the first attempt.
But wait! What is a learner permit, and why is it so important? Stay with us as we clear your queries.
Learner Permit (LP): What Is It?
It goes by plenty of terms such as learner’s license, provisional license, or instructional license. In essence, it’s a restricted license issued to first-time drivers, allowing them to drive under several conditions. Every first-time driver must have an LP before applying for a full-time license.
But why is it necessary? LP was created to nurture a safe driving environment for everyone on the roadways. Under an LP, a learner gets comfortable with all the traffic rules, regulations, and vehicle operation processes.
Furthermore, a learner has to drive a car under a professional supervisor before getting a full license. As a result, it helps them to get comfortable driving a car and learn about the nitty gritty such as turning lanes, parking, or handling the vehicle in difficult situations like rain or snow.
Who Needs a Learner’s Permit?
People who have never driven before or teenagers aged 14-18 require an LP. Simply put, every first-time driver requires an LP since it helps them learn everything about the state traffic rules, the meaning of road signs, and the process of driving a car.
In short, an LP is your ticket to get behind the wheels and take the car out on public roads, highways, or freeways, provided a licensed adult accompanies you. Moreover, if you shift through States, you may have to pass the permit test of the new State.
Note: the minimum age for LP varies by State. For example, you can get an LP issued at the age of 14 in Arkansas, while the minimum age in Texas is 18.
What Is the Difference between an LP and a Regular Drivers License?
The main difference in a word is restriction. Under an LP, you’ll drive under certain restrictions, which may be lifted once you get a regular driver’s license. However, the restrictions differ according to the state, so it’s better to check with your local DMV.
Applying for a Learner’s Permit
You’re probably aware of the importance of an LP and its purpose. Now, it’s time to apply for it. Here’s how you’re going to do it.
First, you must gather several verification documents and submit them to a local DMV office. Here’s the list of documents:
- Proof of identity
- Legal and residential address
Once done, you will have to prepare for a written permit test based on the local DMV drivers handbook manual. Let’s learn in detail about how you can crack the test with ease.
Preparing for the Permit Test
It’s not the test where you must get behind the wheels and accelerate the car to its full power. That exam(precisely the road test) comes later – when you can get a driver’s license.
For the Permit, you need to give a knowledge-based computerized exam that tests you on the basics of traffic rules, road signs, and state-specific regulations. But why is it important? See, this test aims to prepare you with all the essential info you should know before driving a vehicle.
For example, you should know how to turn lanes quickly, understand the traffic lights and road signs, and know how to handle a vehicle in a rainy or snowy situation.
The magic tip to pass the test is pretty simple: The more hours you dedicate to learning the State traffic regulations, the higher your chances of clearing the exam in the first go.
How to Study for The Exam
First, you must grab a copy of your State’s local DMV drivers handbook or the Driver’s manual – the thick book filled with diagrams, road signs, and rules. It’s the only course material you need to imprint in your brain to pass the test.
Secondly, do take the permit practice test to get a know-how of the exam. Furthermore, practicing can help you get a grip on completing the test on time and identify knowledge gaps. Here are some tips for you:
- Take a night’s rest before the permit exam
- Eat a healthy breakfast
- Read each question carefully and answer to the best of your abilities
Oh, and you can even take advantage of a driver’s test platform and access their permit practice test.
Where Does the Test Take Place?
These permit tests are held in any local DMV office. Head there with the necessary documents, pay the fee, and give the exam. However, making an appointment is better since you can escape the long waiting queues.
However, according to your State, you can give the test at another location. Furthermore, Florida lets users take the learners permit test online. Isn’t that convenient?
Taking The Permit Test: What to Expect?
Let’s talk about what you encounter when you come face-to-face with the computerized exam. Usually, the entire exam contains questions as per your State driver’s handbook manual. The questions range from identifying road signs and traffic rules to handling vehicles during various scenarios.
Remember that exam questions are not the same as in the Driver’s manual guide, so don’t get confused. Therefore, it’s better to comprehend the entire guide accurately and be prepared for anything.
Plenty of candidates fail because they cannot digest loads of information and are unsure of the exam. Therefore, our No#1 best tip is not only to memorize the driver’s handbook but understand the content thoroughly.
What Are the Particulars of the Test?
The test contains MCQs, and the number of questions varies according to the State. In some states, there can be 40 MCQs in the permit test, while some may have only 20.
Since each State has different driving laws and regulations, the test is different in each State. Similarly, the time duration also varies according to the State. Usually, it can range from 20 minutes to an hour or more.
In addition, the fee also varies according to the states. For instance, the fee can go as low as $5 in Alabama or high as $100. Since the test is computerized, each candidate gets different questions due to random shuffling.
What Happens if I Pass the Test?
The passing score in most states is usually 80%. Once you pass it, the local DMV office issues a temporary card on the spot. The permanent card is mailed after a few days.
What if I Fail?
Don’t Fret! It’s not a big deal. Several states allow you to take three tests for a one-time fee. You may get discouraged or embarrassed for failing the test, but it’s not the end. Put in more effort and succeed the next time around.
So, you got done with your permit test as well. Congratulations! But still, you need to go through a vision test. Ask why? A vision test ensures that your vision is clear and you can see the roadway while driving the vehicle.
Vision levels of 20/40 are considered standard. So, if you meet the standard, you’re good to go. If you don’t meet the requirement, you’ll need a corrective lens before getting a permit. If you need the lens, consult your optometrist to determine the frame and lens type.
Driver’s Ed Course: Is It Important?
Enrolling in a Driver Education course is the next step in getting a Learner permit. Here’s what you can expect to learn in a Driver’s Ed course:
- Basic vehicle safety and maintenance
- Learning how to change lanes
- Knowing about the road signs
- Strategies to deal with emergencies
It’s a mandatory course, and according to your State rules, you may complete the course in person, online, or in a hybrid setting.
Can I Skip Driver’s Ed?
The requirements for a Driver’s Ed course vary according to the State minimum age limits. Usually, plenty of States require 15-30 hours of class time, while some may demand up to 45 hours of class lessons.
If you’re 17.5 years old in California, you may skip this course. Similarly, if you’re at least 14 and need a permit by 15 in Mississippi, you must take the course.
Plus, you may get Ed’s course free or at a discounted rate if you’re in school.
Are you done with the Driver’s Ed course, Permit, and vision test? You can now receive your Driver’s Permit through your local DMV. Want to know the good news? Now, you’ll be able to drive the car on any type of roadway, provided you’re within the boundaries of your State.
However, there’s a catch: you need an experienced supervisor at all times.
Under a driver’s Permit, the number of supervised hours is around 50-100, including 10 hours of driving at night. Hence, it’s recommended to maintain a driving log and also prepare the following documents:
- Application for Driver’s license
- Social Security Number
- Proof of identity
- Insurance coverage document for the road exam vehicle
Is It Possible to Drive without a Licensed Driver?
In most states, it isn’t possible, and a licensed adult must accompany you. However, few states can allow you to drive in dire circumstances. For example, in the case of frequent doctor visits or job requirements, you can drive without a licensed adult. However, you should have written permission from the authority.
Secondly, you can bypass this rule if you’re 18 plus.
Learner’s Permit Restrictions
As mentioned earlier, you’re under several strict restrictions when driving on a learner’s Permit. Here’s all you need to know about them:
Carry LP All The Time
You never know when traffic enforcement may ask for the identity. In case it does, this card can prove your eligibility. In addition, the card can even verify you in case of emergencies.
Distracted driving can lead to unprecedented accidents. Hence, you must (under no conditions) text or talk on your mobile phone. Even using hands-free or headphones on a mobile is prohibited.
No Alcohol Possession
Until you reach the age of 21, you shouldn’t carry or consume alcohol while driving. It raises the chances of distracted driving, which can become a nightmare. Moreover, reckless driving can even make you ineligible for a license.
The LP is only eligible for your current State. Since the laws differ in each State, you can’t drive in another State.
Minor’s Driving Restrictions
If you are eligible for a full license, but you’re under 18, you’ll still have certain restrictions, including:
- You cannot drive between 11 pm to 5 am,
- Cannot transport passengers under 20 years of age unless a licensed parent or guardian accompanies you.
Expiration Rules of the Learner’s Permit
Before you get a regular driver’s license, you must complete specific driving practice hours and clear a road test. However, meeting these requirements might be impossible by the time your LP expires.
Usually, the LP expiry varies from two to five years, depending upon the State. However, keep in mind that driving with an expired LP is illegal.
Can I Renew my LP?
Yes, you can. However, most States allow you to renew the Permit only once for a fee. It’s best to apply for a renewal before the expiry. If the Permit expires, you must go through the entire process of applying for a permit from scratch.
Insurance Coverage Rules
Auto Insurance coverage is mandatory when driving a vehicle under LP. Fortunately, if your parents or guardians support you, you can sign-up under their coverage. Usually, the least auto insurance requirement in every State is liability coverage, which involves covering the property or injury damage for the affected party.
Indeed, the entire process of getting a learner’s Permit can be extensive and tiring. However, it’s still for your benefit. Ask how? From learning about the essential rules to receiving supervised training, the entire process nurtures you to become a safe, sensible, and experienced driver.
What’s more? After going through this guide, we hope we have streamlined the entire process for you.
So, what are you waiting for? Get your documents, prepare for the permit test, complete your Driver’s Ed course and supervised training, and guess what?
You got yourself a Driver’s Permit.