How Do I Get My Driver's License?
The specific process a prospective driver has to take to get a license varies from state to state. But, in general, the steps are the same. You have to be the required age and pass a permit test. Additionally, you must practice your driving skills and pass a road test. Let's review the details of what you need to complete to get your license.
Be the Required Age
You must meet or exceed the age restriction for your state. Often the age is 15 or 16 years old. In some cases you can get the learners permit at a younger age than you can earn a license. This allows you to practice the driving skills before you turn the age required for a license.
Prepare for Your Permit Test
To get a permit that will allow you to practice driving without a license you need to take a few steps. First, you will want to study for the written test. Studying includes reviewing the driver's manual. An online drivers education class can be helpful to prepare for the permit test. The permit test includes questions about the rules of the road and who has the right of way. Before attempting the test you will want to make sure you are confident you have this knowledge. Taking practice tests is often helpful so you are familiar with the types of questions asked. These tests are available as part of an online class.
When you are ready to take the test, be sure to bring your social security number and proof of identity with you. A birth certificate is often used for proof of identity. The DMV will charge you to take the test so you should bring cash or a check as well.
Now that you have your permit, you can start practicing driving. A trusted driver should be your first teacher. Often a parent provides driving lessons. Start by learning how the gas and brake pedal work in a parking lot or driveway. Practice steering as well. It is important to get a feel for how the car operates before you go on the road with other vehicles and people.
Once you are ready to venture on the road, start on a street with slow speeds and minimal traffic. Then work your way up to highways.
At first it is wise to practice driving during the day in dry conditions. As you become more advanced practice driving at night and on wet roads. Be sure to experience all road conditions you will face as a licensed driver before the road test.
States differ on the number of hours you must practice driving so be sure to learn the rules for your state. You may also need to have a certain number of hours of professional driver training. In some states, you'll need to leave time between obtaining your permit and taking your road test.
Schedule a Test
Have you met all requirements? Do you feel confident you can operate a vehicle and follow the rules of the road? You are ready to schedule your driving test! After completion of the road test you will have your provisional license. This means that you are a new driver. Many states have restrictions on provisional drivers. They may only transport a certain number of people at one time or they may only drive during specific hours. Check your local laws to learn about your particular situation.
Obtaining a license requires a few steps and a lot of practice. Following the above tips will help you progress through the process. Soon you will get your license and be a valid driver!