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Getting Your Indiana Driver’s License: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide

Getting Your Indiana Driver’s License: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide

by Zutobi · Updated Jan 19, 2021

Getting a driver’s license is an important milestone in the lives of many teenagers and young adults. In Indiana, teens are required to follow a Graduated Drivers License Program designed to help new, younger drivers slowly acclimate themselves to the act of driving. 

Whether you’re 16 or 60, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about getting your Indiana driver’s license.

Step 1 – Indiana Learner’s Permit

Every resident, regardless of age, must first obtain and hold a learner’s permit for 180 days before applying for a driver’s license.

The permit allows you to practice driving under supervision by a licensed adult or driving instructor sitting in the passenger seat next to you. You can obtain a learner’s permit as early as 15 years old.

How to Apply for a Learner’s Permit

1 – Visit Your Local Indiana BMV

You can visit any BMV statewide to apply for a permit. 

2 – Submit Your Application

Driver’s permit applications are only available at BMV offices. Your legal parent or guardian must co-sign your application if you are younger than 18.

3 – Bring Necessary Documents

You will need to provide the following documents:

  • Proof of legal name
  • Your signature
  • Proof of citizenship or US legal presence
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Proof of Indiana residential address

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has a full list of documents that will satisfy these requirements.

4 – Submit Proof of Driver Education Course (only 15 years old)

New drivers younger than 16 years old will need to provide a valid Certificate of Driver Education enrollment from a state-approved course provider. This requirement is not assigned to those 16 years of age and older.

5 – Pass the Vision Test & Have Your Picture Taken

At the time of your permit application, you will have your vision tested, as well as your picture taken for your permanent card. Indiana BMV’s vision standard for drivers is 20/40 in both eyes.

6 – Pass the Knowledge Test

The knowledge test is one of the more difficult parts of obtaining your Indiana learner’s permit. You will be asked to identify road signs, as well as answer questions related to Indiana traffic laws. With 50 questions on the exam, studying for such a large undertaking can be incredibly stressful.

Don’t worry! Zutobi has you covered! Our gamified learning platform and online practice tests allow you to study at your own pace in order to learn vital information pertaining to driving in Indiana. With over 250,000 students using the service, we’ve helped new drivers from all over the world pass their knowledge exam on their first try. Try Zutobi for free today!

7 – Pay Required Fees

A $9 fee will be assessed via cash, check, or card. (MasterCard or Visa only)

8 – Receive Your Indiana Learner’s Permit

You will be given a temporary paper permit. Your permanent permit will be mailed to you within 14 days. 

Step 2 – Indiana Probationary Driver’s License 

For underaged drivers, the probationary driver’s license is the second step to the Indiana GDL program. With a probationary license, you will be able without supervision from 5 am to 10 pm. 

If you are over the age of 21, you may skip to the next step.

How to Apply for a Probationary Driver’s License

1 – Hold a Learner’s Permit for 180 Days

You will need to hold your permit for 180 days before being eligible for your probationary driver’s license. This time is useful for acclimating to the road and practicing for the driving skills exam.

2 – Complete a Driver Education Program

You will have the decision on whether or not you enroll in driver education as a probationary driver. The Indiana BMV provides a list of state-approved courses to help you meet this requirement. If you choose not to, you will be required to wait for an extra 180 before you can apply for the license. 

3 – Visit Your Local BMV

You will need to visit your local Indiana BMV to apply.

4 – Submit a Supervised Driving Log

You must log a total of 50 hours of supervised driving with a legal parent or guardian, with 10 of those driving hours occurring at night. You will need to submit a signed log to the clerk at the time of application. 

5 – Submit Your Application 

Probationary license applications are available at your local BMV. 

6 – Bring Documentation

You will need to provide:

  • Proof of legal name
  • Proof of birthdate
  • Proof of US Citizenship or legal status
  • Proof of Social Security number
  • Proof of residential address

7 – Pass the Indiana Driving Skills Exam

The Driving Skills Exam covers important driving maneuvers you’ll need to perform while on the road. Additionally, your test instructor will test your general comfort level and decision making while operating a motor vehicle. You can make an appointment to take the driving exam online. If you fail the exam, you must wait 2 week before retaking it. 

8 – Pay Fees

You will be charged $17.50 for your license.

9 – Take a Picture and Surrender Your Permit

Lastly, you will need to take a driver’s license picture and surrender your permit in order to receive your Indiana probationary license. 

Your probationary license will expire 30 days after your 21st birthday. A day after your 21st birthday, you will be eligible to upgrade to your full, unrestricted driver’s license.

Step 3 – Adult Indiana Driver’s License

If you are 21 and under and already have your probationary license, you will simply need to upgrade your credentials at the local BMV.

If you are over the age of 21, you may obtain your driver’s license 180 days after applying for your learner’s permit.

  1. Hold learner’s permit for at least 180 days – During this time, it’s best to continue practicing driving and preparing for the driving skills exam.
  2. New drivers are required to log 50 hours of driving, including 10 night hours, and document them into their Log of Supervised Driving Practice.
  3. You will need to apply for your driver’s license in person at the BMV.
  4. Bring Documentation. The Indiana BMV will require you to provide proof of Identity, Social Security number, Indiana Residency, and Citizenship OR US lawful presence
  5. Pass the Vision Exam
  6. Pass the Driving Skills Exam
  7. Pay License Fee

There you have it! Those are all the steps towards gaining your driver’s license in the state of Indiana. Be sure to reference this guide as well as using our practice tests to get your license without hassle.

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