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Apply for Louisiana Learners Permit

Louisiana Learners Permit Application

Every teenager who wishes to obtain a license in Louisiana must start by applying for a Louisiana learners permit. And when we say teenager, we mean a person under 17 years of age, since this is the age group covered by the state's graduated license program. Those who wish to obtain full driving privileges and are at least 17 years of age and not required to apply for a Louisiana driver's permit, but may still wish to do so since possession of a learners permit will allow them to practice driving before taking a road skills test. Every learners permit applicant in Louisiana, no matter the age, is required to take a permit test and a vision exam before being issued with a permit.

Graduated License Requirements

Most of the states have a separate licensing procedure for teenage learners permit applicants and Louisiana is no exception to the rule with its RYAN program. The program mandates the licensing procedure and requirements for everyone who chooses to apply for a Louisiana drivers license before reaching the age of 17 years. The reason why teenagers are singled out when it comes to driving is the fact that teen drivers are four times more likely to have a traffic accident when compared to an average driver. In order to reduce the number of teenage drivers being injured on public roads, the Office of Motor Vehicles has introduced a multi-stage licensing process and a number of additional driving restrictions for teen drivers. All these requirements and restrictions are known as the Louisiana graduated drivers license program and you would do well reading up on it before you get out on the road.

Learners Permit Application - Under 17 Years of Age

You can enter the program and file your application for a learner permit in Louisiana as early as 15 years of age. However, if you want to get a permit on your birthday, you must complete certain steps even before then. For instance, you must successfully complete an OMV-approved Louisiana driver's education class that consists of 30 hours of classroom time and 8 hours of driving time. You will need to present the certificate of completion for the course when you file your application for a permit at the OMV.

Once you are done with drivers education, visit the OMV to take your knowledge and vision exams. The permit test is based on the state's driving rules and road signs and it is a must for every first time permit applicant, no matter the age. The information you will be tested on comes from the Louisiana drivers permit book, which is available through the OMV website free of charge, make sure to check it our before you go in to file your application.

When you finally receive your Louisiana learner's permit, you can start driving with someone who holds a valid driver license and is at least 21 years of age. Keep all Louisiana learner's permit restrictions in mind, as breaking them may result in you losing your driving privileges.

Applying for Driver's Permit - 17 Years of Age and Older

To be completely honest with you, you are not required to apply for a learners permit in Louisiana if you are at least 17 years of age, you go skip this stage and shoot straight for a drivers license. However, having an OMV learners permit will allow you to practice driving before you take the Louisiana driving test and you should not dismiss this opportunity if you have never driven before. Passing the driving test without any driving practice is virtually impossible, so we advise that you go ahead and apply for a permit first.

Prior to filing your application, the state requires you to complete either a full drivers ed program or a short six hour pre-licensing course. Drivers ed classes are usually much more comprehensive and they do a great job at preparing you for the learner's permit test, however they are also more expensive. If money is not an issue, we certainly advise that you take a drivers education course.

When you have your certificate of completion at hand, you can visit a local testing site, fill in an application for a Louisiana OMV permit, take a vision exam and pass the permit test. When you successfully meet these requirements, you are granted a drivers permit so you can prepare for the road test.

One thing you should be aware of is that it does not matter whether you choose to apply for a Louisiana learner permit or skip this step and go straight for a license, you are still required to go through the same testing requirements and complete the same courses. So if you thought that not applying for a permit could allow you to save some time on taking drivers ed classes, you are wrong.

Testing Requirements

All first time Louisiana driver permit applicants are required to take a vision exam and a knowledge test that covers the state driving rules and traffic signs. The application form also has questions that were designed to assess the applicant's health.

Vision Requirements

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 learners permit applicants in Louisiana, even if you currently hold or have previously held a permit or 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.

Permit Test

The permit test is based on the information provided in the drivers permit manual and it contains multiple choice questions on Louisiana driving rules and road signs. You should be aware of the fact that almost half of those who apply for a Louisiana learner's permit for the first time fail the exam. We could attribute these statistics to unwillingness to study the rules and prepare for the test, since so many people rely on their general knowledge of driving rules, thinking that it should get them through the Louisiana permit test just fine.

Don't want to be among those who fail? Grab the OMV manual and study the rules. You may also wish to take a Louisiana permit practice test that covers the same rules as the real exam. Don't try to memorize the answers to the practice test, the real permit test questions will be different.

Required Paperwork

When you apply for a drivers permit in Louisiana, you must provide certain paperwork that proves to the OMV that you are really the person you claim to be and that you are eligible for a permit. The paperwork requirements are quite extensive and the list provided here is intended to give you a general idea of what to expect.

The following things need to be presented when applying for a learner permit:

  • 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.

Operating Under a Permit

The main purpose of issuing you with a learners permit is to allow you to practice driving before you take your Louisiana driving test. While operating under a permit, you must always be supervised by a person who holds a valid drivers license and is no younger than 21 years of age (no younger than 18 years of age if it's your sibling). Other learners permit restrictions also apply, so make sure to follow them until you pass the driver test and receive a Louisiana driver's license. Teenage drivers who are subjects to the graduated license rules are issued with an intermediate license at that stage and need to observe all Louisiana intermediate license restrictions until they are at least 17 years of age.