Licensing & State Laws
To get your driver’s license in Louisiana, you’ll move through three licensing stages. As you progress, you’ll also need your parents’ permission at each step.
When you 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, you may apply for a learner’s permit. You and your parent or guardian need to visit your local driver exam office and bring a primary identification document and two secondary documents. Typically these documents would be a state-certified copy of your birth certificate, your 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 you pass the written driver’s knowledge test and a vision test, you’ll be given your learner’s permit.
A learner’s permit lets you drive 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. The learner’s permit lets you practice driving with an experienced adult driver. You must hold on to your learner’s permit for at least 180 days and cannot advance to the Intermediate Stage until you turn 16 and you have certified documentation from your parents or a legal guardian that you have practiced driving for at least 50 hours under their supervision.
To be eligible for an intermediate license, you must have completed Stage 1, be at least 16 years of age, pass the road skills driving test and provide a signed statement by your parent or legal guardian attesting that you have a minimum of 50 hours of behind-the-wheel experience with a licensed adult driver, with 15 hours at night (Keep track of your practice driving). Once you do that, you can receive your intermediate license. You will need to provide proof of insurance on the vehicle used for the road skills driving test.
When you have an intermediate license, you’re allowed to drive without a parent, but you must follow certain rules to help keep you safe. Louisiana does not allow teens with intermediate licenses to drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., unless accompanied by a licensed adult at least 21 years of age or a sibling at least 18 years of age. An intermediate licensee may not between the hours of 6:00 PM. and 5:00 AM. transport more than one passenger that is under twenty-one years of age and not a member of the intermediate licensee’s immediate family. You must maintain the intermediate license until your 17th birthday. You and all of your passengers must wear seat belts while you’re driving.
At age 17, you are eligible for a full unrestricted license if you have successfully completed the first two stages. Applicants 17 years of age or older who have not entered the graduated licensing program may apply for a full license or a learner’s permit upon completion of a full driver’s education course or a six hour pre-licensing course.
For more information on the licensing process, please visit the Louisiana Department of Public Safety.
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.
Your parents will set rules as you learn to drive. But state and local police are involved, too, enforcing traffic laws and investigating crashes. By enforcing laws and requirements on seat belt use, distracted driving, drinking and driving, and teen license restrictions, police keep everyone on the road safer. Breaking laws can lead to fines, license suspension and other penalties.
- If pulled over by the police, present your driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
- If stopped as a driver or passenger, always cooperate and be respectful with law enforcement.
- If in any kind of situation involving law enforcement, talk to your parents about it immediately afterward.
- Use a parent-teen driving agreement.
- Keep your parents in the know about who you ride with.
- Let your parents know when and where you’re headed.
- StartSmart: Practice Driving – AAA’s tips for parents and teens about practice driving.
- StartSmart: Always Use Seat Belts – 63 percent of 16- to 20-year-olds who die in car crashes aren’t buckled up.
- StartSmart: Distractions and Driving – Read about the most common distractions, and get helpful advice for teens and parents.