Applying for a learner’s permit is a huge step toward adulthood, allowing you to practice driving with a licensed driver in the car with you. Although you’ve probably spent a great deal of time studying the DMV handbook, this practice will be crucial in helping you learn the laws of the road and prepare for the actual driver’s test.
Before you apply for the permit, most states require that you complete some sort of driver’s education course. These courses are sometimes offered through your school, or you may be able to pay for a private driving instructor. If you or your parents can afford it, hiring a private instructor is often the best option as it allows you to receive one-on-one attention.
Once you have studied the DMV handbook and successfully passed a driver’s education course, you should consider taking a few practice exams. The information in the DMV handbook can often be overwhelming, and a great deal of it won’t even be on the test. Practice tests can help by giving you an idea of the questions you will actually be faced with. If possible, take two or even three different versions before attempting the actual test.
When you feel that you’re ready, it’s time to make your first attempt. You won’t need to schedule an appointment in order to take the test, but you may want to in the interest of saving time. If you choose to go without an appointment, go earlier in the day. The DMV does not allow you to take the permit test anytime after 4:30 p.m.
Before you leave for the DMV, be sure to check that you have everything you need.
1. One of Your Parents or a Legal Guardian
You will need a parent or legal guardian in order to take the permit test as a signature is required on your driver license application form.
2. Certificate From Drivers Education
If you received any sort of certificate of completion from your driver’s education course, bring that along with you when you go to take the permit test.
Bring your social security card and birth certificate. The birth certificate must be a certified version with your state seal embossed upon it. If you don’t have these documents handy, visit the Social Security Administration and the CDC website to get copies.
4. Money to Pay Your Application Fees
The DMV doesn’t usually take personal checks or debit cards, so keep that in mind when you prepare to make your payment. If you aren’t sure what form of payment your local DMV will accept, give them a call ahead of time.
Not everyone passes their permit test on the first try, so don’t be disappointed if you fail. Some people need more studying time than others, and the nervousness that comes with taking any test can cause you to choke and forget the answers. Most states will allow you to retake the test, although some have a seven-day waiting period between tries. Depending on the laws in your state, you may have to pay the application fee again. No matter what your individual circumstances, try to keep a positive attitude. Getting your license can be a pain, but once you learn how to drive, you will have the skill for the rest of your life.