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Apply for Indiana Drivers License

Indiana Drivers License Application

The process of applying for a driver's license in Indiana is not that much different from other states. Of course, there are certain minor state-specific requirements, but overall, it contains the same key steps: you must start by applying for a drivers permit, take a vision exam, a permit test, receive your driver's permit, then build up some driving experience, take a driving test and you have an Indiana drivers license in your pocket. The state has a graduated license program in place, which means that those who choose to apply for an Indiana driver license before their 18th birthday will have to meet a number of additional license requirements and to go through the intermediate drivers license stage.

Driving License - Under 18 Years of Age

As previously mentioned, those who wish to obtain a drivers license before they are 18 years of age will need to follow the Indiana graduated drivers license program rules. The program was designed to lower the number of traffic accidents that involve teenage drivers. You may be asking why are teenagers singled out? Good question. According to national statistics, traffic accidents is the number one cause of death for people between 15 and 20 years of age and young drivers have crash rates four times that of an average driver. Clearly, young drivers need some extra education and supervision when it comes to driving and that is what the graduated driver's license program is all about - it creates a safer environment for those youngsters who are taking their first steps on the road.

Your way towards a drivers license starts when you choose to apply for an Indiana learners permit. You have too options when it comes to getting a drivers permit - a drivers education permit or a learners permit. Each one comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.

If you choose the drivers education permit, you will need to enroll in an Indiana drivers education course and get your certificate of drivers education, CDE. With the CDE, go down to a local Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch, take a vision exam and a permit test there. Once you pass the tests, you are issued with a drivers permit that allows you to practice driving while being supervised by your driving instructor or parent/legal guardian. When you finish your drivers education course, you can practice driving with anyone who holds a valid Indiana driver's license and is at least 21 years of age. The permit needs to be held for at least 60 days and you must be at least 16 years, 30 days old before you can go ahead and apply for a drivers license. In most cases, you will not be required to take a driving test since you will take the exam as part of your drivers education curriculum. If that is the case, your driving instructor will issue you with a driving test waiver that must be presented at the BMV on the day that you choose to submit your application for a drivers license.

Those who do not want to take a drivers education course must be at least 16 years of age before they can apply for a drivers permit. Just like everyone else, you must first take a vision exam and a driving permit test. Once you pass the tests, you are issued with a regular Indiana learners permit and you can practice driving with any adult 21 years of age or older who holds a driver license. You will need to hold your permit for at least 60 days and be no younger than 16 years, 6 months before you can take the drivers license test. Since you have not taken a drivers education course, there can be no test waiver for you.

Those who apply for an Indiana drivers license and pass the driving test before the age of 18 years are issued with a provisional drivers license. Although this license allows unsupervised driving in most circumstances, there are still certain Indiana provisional license restrictions that you need to observe until you get your full drivers license.

Drivers License - 18 Years of Age and Older

Applying for an Indiana driving license is much easier when you are at least 18 years of age, since you can disregard the graduated license requirements. You should start by learning the state driving rules from the Indiana drivers license handbook. The book can be downloaded from the BMV website or you can purchase a printed copy at one of the BMV branches.

When you learned the rules, visit the BMV where you will take your drivers permit test. In addition to testing your knowledge of driving rules, the BMV will also require you to take a vision exam. If you pass both tests, you are issued with a learners permit.

The permit allows you to drive only while you are being supervised by another licensed driver at least 21 years of age. The supervising driver must have his driver's license with him while you are practicing. You must observe all Indiana driver permit restrictions up until the point when you take your driving test and receive a full unrestricted Indiana drivers license.

Testing Requirements

The tests that are listed below are mandatory for all first-time Indiana drivers license applicants. Those who currently hold a drivers license issued by another state or country may be able to skip one or all of these tests.

Vision Test

Submitting to vision examination is a must for all Indiana BMV permit applicants. If you wear glasses or contact lenses during the vision exam, you will also be required to wear them while driving. The following minimum requirements must be met in order to be eligible for a drivers permit:

Without glasses/contact lenses

  • Both eyes: 20/20 - 20/40: - No Restrictions
  • One eye: 20/20 - 20/40 , Other eye: 20/50 - Blind: B Restriction

With glasses/contact lenses

  • One eye: 20/20 - 20/40: Other eye: 20/50 - Blind: AB Restriction
  • One eye: 20/50 Other eye: 20/50: A Restriction
  • One eye: 20/50 , Other eye: 20/70 - Blind: ABC Restriction
  • One eye: 20/70 , Other eye: 20/70: ABC Restriction

Written Knowledge Exam

A written permit test based on the state driving rules must be taken at the time when you submit your application for a permit. The Indiana BMV permit test covers the driving rules, road signs and safe driving practices and features a number of multiple choice questions. If you want to see what the permit exam is like, you can go ahead and take a practice drivers test for Indiana.

Drivers License Test

Finally, we also have the driving test that you need to pass before you can be issued with an Indiana drivers license. Those who completed a drivers education course may have the option of taking their Indiana drivers test through their driving school, everyone else must schedule the driving test appointment with the BMV. Applicants who successfully pass the driving exam are issued with a drivers license.

If you are under 18 years of age at the time when you apply for a driver's license and pass the driving test, your license is marked as provisional. Provisional license restrictions are removed on your 18th birthday.

Paperwork Required

The following paperwork must be presented when you are applying for a driver's license in Indiana:

  • proof of identity
  • proof of birth date
  • Social Security Number
  • proof of Indiana residency

If you are under 18 years of age, a parent/legal guardian must sign the financial responsibility part of your application form. Those who chose to apply for a drivers education permit must also present a certificate of completion for drivers education.