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Obtaining a Louisiana Driver's License: What You Need to Know

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It is always in your best interest to speak with an attorney about your case. If you cannot afford an attorney, a legal aid organization may be able to represent you for free or at reduced cost. However, certain restrictions apply and they may not be able to take your case. You may also qualify for reduced-cost legal services through the LSBA's Modest Means Directory. You also have a right to represent yourself, and there are diverse services available to help you learn more.

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Where do I go for a driver's license?

Click here for a list of Motor Vehicle Offices

What is a Learner's Permit?

A learner's permit allows a person to improve his driving skills by legally driving on the highway while being accompanied by a licensed parent, guardian or a licensed adult at least age twenty-one or older or a licensed sibling at least age eighteen or older. In order to apply for a Louisiana learner's permit, the applicant must:

  • be a resident of Louisiana,
  • have proof of legal presence in the country,
  • have completed the appropriate driver education course for his age,
    •  Under 18 - The 38 hour driver education course consists of 30 hour classroom instruction and 8 hours behind the wheel instruction.
    • 18 and Over - The pre-licensing course consists of 6 hour classroom instruction and 8 hours behind the wheel instruction.
  • meet minimum physical and mental requirements and pass a vision and knowledge test,
  • Minors must provide current proof of school enrollment

Adults are required to hold the learner's permit for 30 days. The restriction may be removed upon the applicant successfully passing the road skills test.

There is a fee of $20.25 for the license, plus a $12 handling fee, and a parish fee of $4.50 or less to get a driver’s license. (Current as of October 27, 2016 - check the OMV website for the most up-to-date information)

Check out the study guide for the written test.

Is it necessary that I get a state ID card?

If you have a driver’s license, a state ID card is not necessary. However, if you do not have a driver’s license you should get a state ID card.  A state ID is a valid form of photo ID. You can use it to prove your name and age for obtaining government benefits, voting, flying, entering into many clubs/bars, and buying age-restricted items. 

 What kind of documents should I bring with me to provide my identity?             

If you do not have a Louisiana ID card already, you will need to provide other documents that prove your identity. To get a state ID card or driver’s license, you must bring either (1) two primary forms of identification or (2) one primary and two secondary forms of identification.  The OMV accepts many primary and secondary forms of ID. Some examples are a high school ID, college ID, a birth certificate, and a social security card. For a complete list click here

I have an out-of-state ID. Do I have get a Louisiana ID?

You do not have to change your ID if you are a full time student or military personnel living in Louisiana but are keeping out-of-state permanent residency. Everyone else who plans on living in Louisiana should get a Louisiana ID. 

How do I transfer my out-of-state license?

Go to the local OMV office with your valid out-of-state driver’s license or official driving record. You will need one primary document, your social security number, and proof of insurance if you own an automobile. For more information click here.

Do I have to go to the OMV to renew my expired license or state ID card?

No. You can renew online. There may be an online express line fee. Note that you cannot change your address when you renew online. If you need to change your address, you must go to the OMV.

I forgot to renew my ID before the expiration date. Is there a penalty?

There is an added $15 fee if your license or ID is more than 10 days expired.

What can medically disqualify me from receiving my driver's license?

Before you can receive a driver's license you must get a physical and be found medically fit. Some medical reasons you may not qualify are vision loss, hearing loss, diabetes, and epilepsy. There are some medical exemptions. For more information concerning the medical requirements and/or exemptions, check out the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website

What happens if my driver’s license is suspended but I need to drive for work or for other life necessities?

Some people who have their licenses suspended can apply for a hardship license.  A hardship license gives a person limited driving rights during a period of suspension. This license allows the applicant to drive so they can earn a living and/or maintain life necessities.

The process of getting a Hardship License varies. The applicant can apply for a hardship license from OMV. However, in some situations, the applicant will need to get a court order telling OMV to issue a hardship license.

An applicant is only able to get a Hardship License during his or her first suspension. The only exception is if the applicant’s license was once suspended for unpaid fines and those fines have been paid. Once an applicant receives a Hardship License, he or she cannot get another one.

A hardship license has some restrictions. An ignition interlock device may be a condition for a Hardship License after certain offenses. The hardship license cannot be used to replace a CDL. The license only permits driving for the purposes of earning a living or for life necessities. When driving with a hardship license, traveling to work, school, and the hospital are necessities. Other locations may be considered necessities, at the discretion of the courts and/or police officers.

More information concerning a Hardship License. 

What is an ignition interlock device and is it required for a Hardship License? 

An ignition interlock device system is an in-car alcohol breath-screening device. It is connected to the engine’s ignition system. It prevents the engine from starting if it detects a blood alcohol level above a preset limit. The interlock device is only required when your license is suspended because of a DWI.

There are several types of state-issued ID cards. The most common of these cards include a state ID card, the class E driver’s license, and a commercial driver’s license (CDL). This library guide focuses on the use, cost, and ways to obtain each of these ID cards.

Each type of ID card has different requirements and application processes. The major differences between these cards is outlined in the table below.

 

State ID

Class E Driver’s License

CDL

 

What can I use it for?

 

This is only a valid form of ID.

 

It CANNOT be used to operate a motorized vehicle.

 

A personal driver’s license is needed to operate a motorized vehicle. 

 

It is also a valid form of ID.

 

 

This license allows you to drive commercial vehicles and your personal vehicle.     

 

 It is also a valid form of ID. 

 

A CDL allows a driver to   

·         Operate vehicles 26,0001 pounds or more.

·         Pull a trailer 10,001 pounds or more,

·         Carry 16 passengers or more

·         Haul hazardous materials in amounts required to be placard.

 

What are the application requirements?

 

No extra requirements needed outside of the standard paperwork and documents proving your identity (see below).

 

 

Applicants must provide documents to prove identity (see below). In addition, they must complete driver’s education classes and pass the written, skills, and vision test at OMV.  

 

To take the skills test, applicants must bring a vehicle with a current safety inspection sticker, current license plate sticker, current registration, and proof of insurance. 

 

 

 

Applicants must provide documents to prove identity (see below). In addition, they must Pass a CDL physical,

·         Complete the DPSMV 2219 form,

·         Complete a driving education course

·         Pass a written and skills tests.

 

How do I apply?

 

1) Go to your local OMV and fill out the License or Identification Card form.

 

*This form can be downloaded off the OMV website.

 

2) Bring documents proving your identity. You need to have two primary documents OR

one primary and two secondary documents

OR 

a Louisiana ID card/driver’s license with a clear picture of the applicant.

 

3) Have or know your social security number.

 

1) Go to your local OMV and fill out the License or Identification Card form.

 

*This form can be downloaded off the OMV website.         

 

2)  Bring documents proving your identity. You need to have two primary documents OR

one primary and two secondary documents

OR

a Louisiana ID card/driver’s license with a clear picture of the applicant.

 

3) Have or know your social security number.

 

 

1) Obtain a CDL study guide for a local OMV or online.

 

 2) Get CDL physical and get medical examiner to complete necessary forms.

 

3) Visit a full service CDL issuing office with a valid driver’s license, SS card, completed medical forms, proof of car insurance, and application fee.

 

4) Complete written test to receive a CDL Instructional permit.

 

5) Pass skills test with an approved CDL Third Party Tester.

 

 6) Return to OMV office with a sealed envelope containing the skill test results from tester to have CDL issued.

 

What is the cost?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$21.00 for persons under the age of 60.

 

FREE for persons over the age of 60.

 

*A parish fee up to $4 may apply

 

$21.50 for persons under the age of 70.

 

$12.50 for persons 70 and older

 

*A parish fee up to $4 may apply

 

$41.50 ($51.00 Orleans parish)

$15 app. fee, $5 each additional endorsement                         

($8 for motorcycle)

 

Skills test is $100 (if you have a vehicle)

 

*A parish fee up to $3 may apply

 

LEAP

The Legal Education and Assistance Program (LEAP) is a project sponsored by the Louisiana State Bar Association, with the support of the Louisiana Library Association, the Law Library of Louisiana, LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, and Acadiana Legal Services. LEAP aims to provide support and assistance to public librarians throughout the state by providing them with the tools to help their patrons with their legal questions. LEAP understands that librarians are prohibited from providing legal advice, but instead helps them provide legal information, including referrals to attorneys.