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

Zutobi
by Zutobi · Updated Apr 30, 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. To apply, you’ll need to:

  • pass the Indiana Knowledge Exam
  • complete a vision test
  • submit proof of a completed driver’s education course (if younger than 16 years old)

If you want more information, we recommend that you read our in-depth Indiana learner’s permit guide.

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 Indiana 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 Indiana 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 – Unrestricted 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 Indiana driver’s license 180 days after applying for your learner’s permit.

  1. Hold your 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 driver’s 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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