Licensing & State Laws
Even though your teen is now licensed and driving alone, Louisiana’s multi-stage licensing process is still at work.
When teens turn 15 and have completed a driver education course consisting of 30 hours of classroom instruction and 8 hours of behind the wheel driving instruction, they may apply for a learner’s permit. Teens and their guardians need to visit the local driver exam office and bring a primary identification document and two secondary documents. Typically these documents would be a state-certified copy of the birth certificate, Social Security card and/or a passport or school records. A list of acceptable documents can be found on the Louisiana Department of Public Safety website. Once teens pass the written driver’s knowledge test and a vision test, they’ll be given a learner’s permit.
A learner’s permit lets teens practice driving only with a licensed driver age 21 or older or a sibling at least 18 years of age supervising and sitting in the front seat. Teens must practice driving for at least 50 hours (including 15 hours at night) under the supervision of a licensed parent, guardian, or adult at least age 21 or older.
At age 16, teens who have held a learner’s permit for 180 days may apply for an intermediate license. Parents must accompany teens to the Office of Motor Vehicles to sign the application form or teens can provide a parent’s notarized signature on the form ahead of time. Teens must pass a road skills driving test and provide a signed statement by their parent or guardian attesting that they have completed the 50 hours minimum practice driving time. (Keep track of their practice driving.) Teens must also provide proof of insurance on the vehicle used for the road skills driving test.
A teen with an intermediate license may drive alone, but must follow certain rules to help keep safe. The teen may not drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., unless accompanied by a parent, guardian, licensed adult at least 21 years of age or a sibling at least 18 years of age. An intermediate licensee may not drive between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m. with more than one non-family passenger under age 21 unless accompanied by a licensed parent, guardian, or adult at least age 21 or older. Teen drivers and all of their passengers must wear safety belts.
At age 17, teens are eligible for a full unrestricted license. Applicants age 17 or older who have not entered the graduated licensing program may apply for full license or a learner’s permit upon completion of a full driver’s education course or a six-hour pre-licensing course.
The Louisiana Department of Public Safety, through the Office of Motor Vehicles, is in charge of licensing for all drivers in the state.
- Conducts the written exam and road test for your learner’s permit and intermediate license.
- Provides study materials to help you get ready for the exams.
- Keeps track of your license status and can suspend your license if you get too many tickets, don’t keep insurance on your car or commit other violations.
Consider using a parent-teen driving agreement to help enforce licensing rules that the state and your family set. An agreement helps you and your teen understand the rules of the road and sends a clear message that driving is an earned privilege that your family takes seriously.
- Your teen should expect to present a valid license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
- Explain to your teen that it is important to always cooperate and be respectful when speaking with law enforcement.
- Make sure your teen understands the importance of talking to you about any encounters with law enforcement, because it can create a learning experience.
If your teen breaks a law, gets a ticket or is involved in a crash, it could lead to a court appearance and the following consequences.
- Suspended driving privileges
- Attorney’s fees
- Court costs
- Insurance premium increases