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Apply for Indiana Learners Permit

Applying for Indiana Permit

At the moment, there are two different types of driving permits available in Indiana - a drivers education permit and a learners permit. The main condition of applying for an Indiana drivers education permit is enrollment in a state-approved drivers education class. If you apply for a regular Indiana learners permit, you will not have to participate in a drivers education course, however you will need to be at least 16 years, 180 days before you can file your application. When you apply for an Indiana drivers permit, you are required to take a learners permit test and a vision exam, to prove that it is safe to allow you behind the wheel.

Graduated License Program

Due to the fact that teenage drivers have higher crash rates than older drivers, everyone who chooses to apply for an Indiana learners permit has to meet a number of additional permit requirements. These requirements were crafted by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles in accordance with the insights that we have about most common causes of traffic accidents among teenagers. Similar requirements exist in almost every state and they are known as graduated drivers license programs.

The Indiana graduated license program offers two ways for a teenager to obtain driving privileges. If you would like to start driving sooner, you will need to sign up for a drivers education course and then apply for an Indiana drivers education permit. This way, you can obtain basic driving privileges as soon as you are 15 years of age. If you do not wish to participate in a drivers education class, you can wait until you are at least 16 years, 6 months old and then apply for an Indiana learners permit.

Testing Required

The fact that traffic accidents is the number one cause of death for people between 15 and 20 years of age tells us that driving is not a joke, it's a dangerous activity that needs to be approached responsibly. Before the Indiana BMV allows issues you with a drivers permit, you are required to prove that you have the knowledge required for operating a vehicle and that you are physically able to do so. Every first-time Indiana drivers permit applicant is required to take a vision exam and a drivers permit test.

Health Evaluation

Although you are not required to undergo a full physical when submitting your application for a driver's permit, the application form will have some questions about health conditions you may have that can affect your driving. You must answer these questions truthfully. If you do have a condition that may impair your driving, a restriction may be placed onto your drivers license.

Vision Requirements

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 an Indiana 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

If you need to check what these restrictions are for, visit the Indiana driver's license restrictions page, there is a full list of restriction codes there.

BMV Permit Test

The permit test is based on the information put forth in the Indiana drivers permit book that is published by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The knowledge exam features multiple choice questions on such subjects as the state driving rules, traffic signs and safe driving practices. Due to the fact that approximately half of the first time test takers fail the Indiana permit test the first-time, we advise that you invest your time into preparing for it.

There are many ways to prepare for the written permit test and taking a drivers education course is not the worst one. However, if you are on a budget, than grab a copy of the drivers manual and study what's in there. Once done, take a few Indiana permit practice tests, they are quite good at highlighting the rules you may have missed while studying.

Required Paperwork

Not everyone is eligible to receive an Indiana learner's permit, so you will need to come up with certain documents that will help the RMV to come to the decision that you can be issued with a permit. He following paperwork needs to be presented at the time when you submit your application for an RMV permit:

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

If you are under 18 years of age, you will also need to have your parent or legal guardian present at the time of the application. The parent will need to sign the financial responsibility agreement portion of the application form. Those who are applying for a drivers education permit must also present a CDE - certificate of drivers education.

Applying for a Drivers Education Permit - 15 - 16 ½

If you are between 15 and 16 ½ years of age, the only type of permit you can apply for is the Indiana drivers education permit, but first, you must sign up for a BMV-approved Indiana driver's education course. Once you obtain your certificate of drivers education, you are good to go down to a local BMV branch, take a vision exam, the permit test and to receive your drivers education permit.

Keep in mind that this is not a full drivers license yet and you need to observe all Indiana drivers education permit restrictions. Until you finish your drivers education program, you are limited to driving only with your driving instructor, a parent or a legal guardian. Once the course is finished, you can drive with any responsible adult at least 21 years of age with a valid Indiana drivers license.

Applying for a Learners Permit - 16 ½ and Older

Those who are at least 16 years, 6 months old can apply for a regular Indiana drivers permit. Once you learned the state driving rules, visit the BMV to take a vision exam and the permit test. Once testing is completed, you are issued with an Indiana learner permit and you can start driving with a supervising driver at least 21 years of age who holds a valid drivers license.

Operating Under a Permit

While operating under a learners permit, keep in mind that you don't have full driving privileges yet. The main reason why you were issued with a drivers permit is to allow you to practice driving before you apply for an Indiana drivers license and in order to reduce the risk of you being involved in a traffic accident, the BMV enforces a number of restrictions onto your permit. Thus, you are not allowed to drive alone and must have a supervising driver with you at all times. These restrictions are lifted once you take an Indiana driving test and upgrade to a drivers license.