When you read the Alabama Driver’s Manual, getting your driver’s license can look like a daunting process. However, it is fairly straightforward if you know which license you are going for. Today, we will go through everything you need to know about how to get your Alabama driver’s license swiftly!
In most situations, yes! Alabama requires drivers to have a government-issued license when they drive on public roads. However, exceptions are made in select cases, such as:
Each exception comes with their own conditions. You can find the full list here.
An Alabama driver’s licence will not be issued in the following situations:
Alabama uses a Graduated Driver’s Licence Program (GDL). If you are 19 or younger, you are required to have proof of either High School graduation or enrollment to apply. Your license type also depends on your age.
Anyone 15 years of age can obtain a permit. Once you pass a Written Knowledge Test and the Vision Test, you’ll be issued the learner’s permit (a Class D License with a “Y” restriction). You MUST have a driving instructor or licensed adult over 21 in the seat beside you when you drive, among other restrictions we’ll list further below.
The Written Test consists of 30 questions, of which you need at least 24 to pass. It’ll test you on traffic laws, road signs, and Alabama traffic legislation. We strongly recommend that you study properly using Zutobi’s DMV prep course or practice tests so you can pass the test on the first try.
If you want to know more about this part of the process, we recommend that you read our in-depth Alabama learners permit guide.
This can be issued to anyone 16 years or older that is capable of operating a vehicle. You’ll obtain the restricted license by completing the road skills test. This license will allow you to drive unsupervised, but it’s subject to a number of restrictions that limit, for example, the number of passengers you may carry and the hours you may drive.
Stage I and II have restrictions explained further below.
Anyone between 16 to 18 that has driven with a permit for at least 6 months (including a permit from other states) can apply for an Unrestricted Driver’s License. If you have not passed the road skills test (behind-the-wheel exam) as part of Stage II, you must pass it now.
Step 1: Make sure you collect all of your documentation. This includes:
Step 2: Make an appointment with a local Driver’s License Office.
Step 3: If you already have an out-of-state license, you will turn it over to be issued your Alabama license. Otherwise, you will need to pay a $5 fee for a written test, vision test, and behind-the-wheel exam.
Step 4: Once you pass your driver exams, you will pay a License fee based on the type of license. You can find the current AL license fees on ALEA.gov.
You must provide an original or a copy certified by the agency that issued it. The document will be deemed unacceptable if:
To apply for an Alabama driver’s license, you must provide two documents to prove your identity. At least one needs to be an approved photo id, and at least one needs to be a primary id.
If you can not provide a valid photo id, you will need to provide THREE forms of id, and one of them must be from the primary list. You can find the full list of approved documents here.
Primary Documents Include:
Secondary Documents Include:
No. Drivers ed is not mandatory. But taking the course helps improve your chances of passing the written and behind-the-wheel exams, and ultimately getting your license.
An Alabama license is valid for four years, and you have a 60 day grace period after your license expires to renew it. You can do this online, by mail, or by traveling in-person to your DPS office and renewing your license.
If you have a valid out-of-state driver’s license, and you just became a resident of Alabama, you have 30 days to turn in your driver’s license.
You must notify the DPS of your address change within 30 days of moving. You can do this online, by mail, or in person at the registrar’s office.
That’s everything you need to know about getting your Alabama driver’s license. The process might seem complicated, however, if you are patient with the process, then you will have your license in no time! Make sure to have everything ready for your visit to the DPS in advance so the process goes as soon as possible. We’ll see you on the road!
A special note from our staff: The trickiest part of the entire process is passing your exams. Ace your exams with our easy summarized Driver’s Manual and state-specific practice tests.
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