Apply for Louisiana Drivers License
Applying for a drivers license in Louisiana is quite easy and is very similar to applying for a license in any other state. Every first time drivers license applicant is required to take a knowledge test, go through vision screening and complete the a driving test to prove that he is able to operate a vehicle safely. Louisiana applications for driver licenses are processed by the Office of Motor Vehicles, however some of the testing tasks are performed by third-party testing centers. Those who are applying for the Louisiana driver license before reaching the age of 17 years will need to meet graduated license requirements before attaining a full unrestricted driving license.
Applying for Driver's License - Under 17 Years of Age
Due to the fact that teenage drivers have significantly higher crash rates than an average driver, a separate licensing procedure was devised for everyone who chooses to apply for a Louisiana driving license before reaching the age of 17 years. Licensing requirements and restrictions for teenage drivers are known under the name of Louisiana graduate driver's license program. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the program rules before you visit the OMV and file your application.
Your first step towards a license is signing up for and completing a Louisiana drivers ed program that is approved by the OMV. The program must contain at least 30 hours of classroom lessons and 8 hours of driving with a professional instructor. Once you are done with the course and have a certificate of completion at hand, you are ready to go on to the next step - applying for Louisiana learner's permit.
You have to be at least 15 years of age to be eligible for a permit. At this age, visit a local OMV office, file your application, take a knowledge exam, have your vision tested and that's it - you have your Louisiana drivers permit, the first documents that allows you to start driving. Be advised, though, that the permit does not grant you full driving privileges and you need to observe Louisiana drivers permit restrictions until you upgrade to a drivers license.
The permit needs to be held for at least 180 days and you must be no younger than 16 before you can visit the OMV again and apply for a drivers license. During this period, you must accumulate at least 35 hours of driving experience. When these requirements are met, you may schedule a road test either with the OMV or with one of the approved third party testing sites.
Those who pass the driving test are issued with a drivers license, however this license is marked as intermediate. What this means is that even though you are allowed to drive alone under certain conditions, there are still subject to Louisiana drivers license restrictions until you fulfill all graduated license requirements. You don't need to take any additional action to upgrade an intermediate license to a full driver's license, it is upgraded automatically on your 17th birthday.
Drivers License Application - 17 Years of Age and Older
Applying for a drivers license in Louisiana is much easier when you are at least 17 years of age, since you do not need to follow the graduated license program requirements. In fact, you don't even need to apply for a driver permit, but you may wish to do so, as it will allow you to practice driving before you take the road test.
Your first step is to complete a drivers education course or a six-hour pre-licensing program. Once the program is completed, you are good to visit a local OMV office to take the knowledge exam and go through vision screening. Those who pass the tests can be issued with a driver permit. You may also go ahead and schedule the road test without being filing an application for a permit.
Be advised: even if you choose not to apply for a permit, you will still be required to complete the same courses and pass the same tests as everyone else, so you may pick up your permit just as well. The permit provides you with an opportunity to polish your driving skills before you file an application for a Louisiana driving license.
Once you successfully complete the OMV road test, you are issued with a full unrestricted Louisiana driver's license.
Every first time drivers license applicant who wishes to receive driving privileges in Louisiana is required to complete three tests: a vision exam, the knowledge test and the driving test. You cannot be granted full driving privileges until you pass all three tests.
Do we need to stress the importance of seeing well for everyone who operates a vehicle? You must be able to see far ahead and always stay aware of your surroundings while driving, lest you cause an accident that may cost you your life. Vision testing is a must for all driver's license applicants in Louisiana, even if you currently hold or have previously held a license issued by a different state. The following minimum vision standards must be met:
visual acuity of 20/40
If you fail the vision exam at the OMV, you will be referred to an eye specialist that will conduct a thorough examination of your eye sight and provide a complete report for the OMV. If your vision does not meet certain standards, your driving privilege may be restricted to driving during daylight hours only or you may not be allowed to operate a vehicle at all.
Drivers Permit Test
The drivers permit test was designed to allow the OMV to assess your knowledge of driving rules and safe driving procedures. It is based on the information put forth in the Louisiana drivers license manual, so you should make the book your primary resource when studying for the test. The book can also be complimented with Louisiana driver practice tests, they will help you identify the rules and procedures you may have misunderstood.
The reason why so many drivers license applicants fail the Louisiana drivers permit test the first time they take it is because most people don't study for the test at all. There is a common misconception out there that knowing the basic driving rules gets you through the test just fine. This is not correct and you are required to have in-depth knowledge of driving regulation to pass the exam.
Passing the Louisiana driver's test is the final challenge before every drivers license applicant. The test requires you to prove that you are able to control the vehicle in the way that does not endanger yourself or other drivers around you, observing driving rules and safe driving practices.
Driver testing is conducted by the OMV and third-party testing centers that are approved by the Office. Prices for the test may vary between different providers, so make sure to call around for quotes before you settle on the site.
If you have never driven before, you may wish to take a few professional driving lessons before you hit the road test. A professional will be able to pinpoint your mistakes and offer you ways to correct them. You should also try to acquire as much driving experience as possible before taking the test, there is really no such thing as “over-experienced”.
The following paperwork needs to be produced when you are applying for a drivers license in Louisiana:
- proof of name
- proof of birth date
- Social Security Number
- proof of Louisiana residency
- drivers education certificate or a 6 hour course certificate
Applicants under 17 years of age must also bring a parent or legal guardian to the testing site and have them sign the application form. The form is not valid without parental signature.