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How to Get Your Learner's Permit

Everyone wants to drive, but it is a privilege you must earn by learning the various driving rules in your state, obtaining a permit, and practicing your skills.


  • TIP: Many states accept a passport, birth certificate, a photo ID, and a social security card as proper identification.
  • Step 1: Get your permit and begin practicing to obtain your license. Many states require that, if you are under the age of 18, you put in some practice time behind the wheel. Now that you've got your permit, treat the road with respect, and remember -- safety first.
  • FACT: According to a 2009 study, female teenagers are more likely to wear safety belts than male teenagers; 12.5 percent of males were less likely to wear safety belts, as opposed to 7.8 percent of females.
  • Step 2: Bring proper identification and ask your motor vehicles department if you need any other paperwork. Many states also require a parental consent form.
  • Step 3: Pass the required vision test when you take your written exam.
  • TIP: Visit your state's Department of Motor Vehicles or Secretary of State office website for information on obtaining a learner's permit.
  • Step 4: Be old enough to qualify for a learner's permit. The age varies from state to state. In New York, you must be at least 16; in California, only 15 1/2; in Georgia and Utah it's 15.
  • Step 5: Pick up a driver's education manual from your local motor vehicles department. The manual will have all the necessary information about driving in your state. Study this manual because, in most states, you must pass an exam in order to get your learners permit.
  • Step 6: Know the laws in your state. Each state varies in their requirements to obtain a learner's permit; however, many of the basic rules are standard.

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