How to Pass the Indiana Permit Test

indiana-road-signNeed to pass the Indiana permit test but don’t know where to start? Follow this simple step-by-step guide to quickly learn how to prepare for your permit test. You’ll also get a complete overview of the licensing process from permit to a full unrestricted license.

Like most states, Indiana has a Graduated License Program (GDL), which allows you to gradually develop the knowledge and skills required before becoming a fully licensed driver.

In the state of Indiana, the GDL process consists of obtaining your:

  • Learner’s Permit.
  • Probationary Driver’s License.
  • Unrestricted Driver’s License.

Step I: The Indiana Learner’s Permit

When you are 15 years old, and you have enrolled in an approved driver’s education course, you are eligible to apply for your Learner’s Permit in the state of Indiana. If you don’t wish to take driver’s education, you will have to wait until you’re 16 to apply for your permit.

To earn your permit, you must pass a written knowledge test (or permit test) that will show that you know the rules of the road as well as various traffic signs and signals.

Study, Study, Study

If you want to do well on the exam, you will need to devote plenty of time to studying. We provide a free copy of the Indiana Driver’s Handbook, and you can request a physical copy by contacting the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).

Take Some Practice Exams

Practice exams are an excellent way to increase your odds of doing well on the permit test. Our Indiana practice permit test includes much of the same subject matter from the actual test and is a great tool for learning.

Check That You Have the Required Materials and Visit Your Local BMV Facility

Before you leave to do your testing, make sure you have:

  • Proof of identity such as a certified birth certificate or U.S. passport.
  • Your Social Security number.
  • Proof of lawful presence (your birth certificate will accomplish this).
  • Proof of Indiana residency such as a bank statement or pay stub.
  • Proof that you are enrolled in driver’s education if you are under 16.
  • Your parent or guardian
  • $9 for fees.

Do Your Testing

Try to relax as you take your exam. When you pass, you will be required to take a vision test to make sure that you can see well enough to drive.

Begin Your Driving Practice

While you are holding your permit, you must complete at least 50 hours of practice driving under the supervision of a licensed driver who is at least 25 years old. You can also choose to do your practice driving with a professional instructor or a spouse who is at least 21 years old. Of your 50 practice hours, 10 must take place at night.

Step II: The Indiana Probationary Driver’s License

When you are at least 16 years old, have completed your required practice driving and have held your permit for 180 days, you are eligible to apply for your Probationary Driver’s License. If you opted to not take driver’s education, you will need to wait until you are 16 years old plus 270 additional days.

When you are ready, visit your local BMV offices and bring along:

  • Your Learner’s Permit.
  • Signed proof that you completed your required practice hours (Form 54706).
  • A certificate of completion for your driver’s education course (if necessary).
  • Proof of identity (a birth certificate or passport).
  • Your Social Security number.
  • Proof of lawful presence in the U.S. (your birth certificate will accomplish this).
  • Proof of residency such as a bank statement or utility bill.
  • Your parent or guardian, who must sign an Agreement of Financial Responsibility (Form 39531).

At this point, you will be required to take a driving skills exam. However, if you already completed an exam as a part of your driver’s education course, you will not need to take it again. You will need to take another vision test.

The Indiana Probationary License comes with a few restrictions:

  • For the first 180 days, you can’t drive between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., and you can’t carry non-family passengers unless you are accompanied by a licensed driver age 25 or older, a spouse age 21 or older.
  • After 180 days, your passenger restrictions are lifted, but you may not drive after 11 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday, before 5 a.m. on Monday through Friday, or between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
  • You may not use a cell phone while driving aside from in emergency situations.

Note: There is an exception to these rules if you are driving to and from a work, school or church-related function.

Step III: The Indiana Unrestricted Driver’s License

When you are 18 years old, and you have successfully held your Probationary License without any traffic violations or accidents, all of the restrictions will be lifted from your license. There is a fee of $17.50 to swap your Probationary License for a full license.

Additional Information

If you are 16 years old plus 180 days and you are moving to Indiana, and you have held a valid out-of-state driver’s license for at least 180 days, you can transfer that license to Indiana without first applying for a permit.