Getting a Louisiana Driver’s License: Step-by-Step Guide

Getting a Louisiana Driver’s License: Step-by-Step Guide

by Zutobi · Updated Mar 18, 2021

Learning how to drive as a teenager or young adult is an empowering experience. Many are excited to do so, as it can open doors to tons of freedom and flexibility to travel within your local area. Getting your Louisiana driver’s license can take some time but is simple if you know what to do. 

Teenage drivers in Louisiana will have to complete the state’s Graduated Licensing Program. The program was designed to guide youthful, inexperienced driving students through two phases before receiving their permanent driver’s license. 

Step 1: Complete Driver’s Education

Step 2: Apply for Learner’s Permit

Step 3: Complete Supervised Driving Requirements

Step 4: Obtain Intermediate License

Step 5: Apply for Permanent Driver’s License

However, if you are over the age of 18, feel free to skip to Step 5 and complete all the instructions listed.

Step 1: Complete Driver’s Education

Driver’s education is the first step towards getting your Louisiana driver’s license as a teenager. If you are between the ages of 15 and 17, you will be required to present a certificate showing you have successfully completed a driver’s education course within the state. This requirement can be completed in two ways.

#1 – High School Driver’s Education

Many Louisiana high schools offer driver’s education to their students free of charge. Be sure to ask your school’s secretary to confirm if the program is available. It may be only offered at certain times of the school year. You will receive course credit on your high school transcript that you can present to the Louisiana OMV to satisfy this requirement. 

#2 – Commercial Driving School

If driver’s education within your high school is unavailable, enrolling in one of Louisiana’s many state approved commercial driving schools is another option for you. While this will come with a cost, you will also be able to choose your class day and class time. You will be required to complete a minimum of 30 hours of classroom instruction as well as 8 hours of behind the wheel instruction as part of the course. A certificate will be given to you acknowledging your completion of this requirement. 

Step 2: Apply for Learner’s Permit

After completing driver’s education, you will be prompted to apply for your learner’s permit. With a permit, you will be able to practice driving with a licensed parent or guardian who is at least 21 years old or a licensed sibling at least 18 years old.

To apply, you will need to be 15 years of age at the time of application, and present your certificate of completion or high school transcript with driver’s education credit. You also need to:

  • Pass a knowledge test.
  • Pass a vision test (you need a visual acuity of at least 20/40 in one or both eyes)

If you would like to know more about this part of the licensing process, we recommend that you read our in-depth Louisiana learner’s permit guide.

Step 3: Complete Supervised Driving Requirements

The Louisiana OMV requires minors under 18 holding a learner’s permit to complete supervised driving during the six month holding period. This must be a total of 50 hours of driving, with 15 of those hours occurring during evening hours. You must be accompanied by a licensed parent or guardian that is at least 21 years old or a licensed sibling that is at least 18 years old. 

Step 4: Get Your Louisiana Intermediate License

The intermediate driver’s license is reserved for minors between the ages of 16 and 18 who have held their learners’ license for at least six months and have completed 50 hours of supervised driving. During the six month period, you must not have had any at-fault crashes or moving violations in order to be eligible. 

To apply for your intermediate license, visit your local Louisiana OMV:

  • Bring Proof of School Attendance
  • Pay $13 fee (plus up to $6 service fee)
  • Pass the Road Exam
  • Receive your Intermediate License

Louisiana Intermediate Driver’s License Restrictions

With an intermediate license, you need to follow these restrictions:

  • You’ll be able to drive all day, except between 11 pm and 5 am unless accompanied by a licensed parent, guardian, or sibling of legal age. 
  • You may transport up to one passenger under the age of 21 who is not a member of your immediate family. 
  • Drivers 17 and under are prohibited from using their cellular devices for any reason other than emergencies. 

On your 17th birthday, you will be able to upgrade to a permanent, adult driver’s license. 

Step 5: Apply for Permanent Louisiana Driver’s License

If you have started the Graduated License Program, you’ll simply need to upgrade your license on the next visit to the OMV.

If you’re over the age of 18 and haven’t gone through the Graduated Licensing Program, this is the first (and last) step towards getting your driver’s license in the state of Louisiana.

#1 – Complete a Driver Education Course

In Louisiana, both minors and adults are required to complete driver’s education in order to obtain a permanent driver’s license. However, if you are over 18 years old, the course you take only has to include 6 hours of classroom instruction and 8 hours of behind the wheel training.

You may take the 38 hour course for minors if you need extra practice. The course you choose must be approved by the Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections.

#2 – Apply at Your Local OMV

You must apply for your driver’s license at your local Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles. 

#3 – Bring Proper Documentation

  • Proof of identification
  • Certificate of Driver Education completion
  • Proof of residency
  • Proof of Social Security
  • Proof of citizenship or legal presence

#4 – Pass Vision Test

The vision test is necessary to examine how well you’ll be able to see road signs, as well as other drivers and pedestrians on the road. You must pass the exam with a score of 20/40 vision in one or both eyes.

#5 – Pass Knowledge Test

The written knowledge exam covers important road signs, traffic laws, and safe driving techniques. With 40 questions on the test, you must answer 32 of them correctly to pass. Utilize online study guides such as Zutobi to ensure the best chance of success on the written knowledge exam. 

#6 – Pass the Louisiana Road Skills Test

When applying for your permanent driver’s license, your behind the wheel driving skills will also be tested. The road exam will cover driving maneuvers and assess how well you operate a motor vehicle in a natural setting. Be sure to practice driving often to gain familiarity behind the wheel. 

#7 – Pay Fees

Pay $32.25 fee (plus up to $6 in service fees) 

#8 – Receive your Class E Drivers License

Congratulations! You will be given a temporary paper license and your permanent card will arrive at the mailing address listed on your application.

Your Louisiana driver’s license will expire six years from your nearest birthday. Check out our renewal guide here.

How to Get Louisiana Drivers License as a New Resident

Luckily, the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles makes it super simple for new residents to transfer their licenses to the state. All you’ll need to do is visit your local OMV with the following:

  • Valid Out of State License
  • Proof of Identification
  • Proof of Social Security
  • Proof of Residency

You will also have to pass a vision exam and pay a fee of $32.25 (plus up to $6 in service fees. Your new Louisiana license will be mailed to you in 1-2 weeks. 

Take our full course with tests and theory

550+ exam-like questions

All you need to ace your test

Perfect for first-timers, renewals and senior citizens

cloud
town