How to Get an Indiana Learners Permit

You could be eligible for an Indiana learner’s permit at 15 years old—but you’ll want to read our guide to make sure you’re good to go.
Written by Matthew Lynaugh
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
In the state of Indiana, you can obtain a learner’s permit at 15 years old if you are enrolled in an approved behind-the-wheel training course. If you are not enrolled in such a course, you will have to wait until you are at least 16 years old to obtain your learner’s permit. 
Getting your Indiana driver’s license is one of the most looked forward to days for many. But before you can hit the road alone and enjoy that new sense of freedom, you’re going to have to get your learner’s permit. 
If you want to stay on track and make sure this process goes as quickly and smoothly as possible, follow this guide for everything you need to know.
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How to get an Indiana learner’s permit

Your age plays the biggest role in your eligibility to get your learner’s permit. The two most important ages to know are 15 and 16.
If you can’t wait to hit the road and want to get that coveted learner’s permit at the spry age of 15, you will have to be enrolled in an approved behind-the-wheel training course. Presenting proof of a valid Certificate of Driver Education enrollment form will grant you access to applying for your permit at 15.
Driver education
can begin as early as 15, although you do not have to wait until the course is completed to obtain your learner’s permit. Driver training programs must be taught by an instructor licensed by the
Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV)
, and will consist of either 30 hours of classroom or online training, as well as a required six hours of behind-the-wheel training.
If you do not enroll in one of these courses, then you will have to wait until you are 16 to obtain your learner’s permit. You will need to show
documents of identification
, as well as pass vision and knowledge exams.

What to bring to BMV

You can head to your local Indiana BMV office to apply for your learner’s permit. Keep in mind that you will need to pass vision and road knowledge tests, but an appointment is not necessary unless you need the knowledge test read to you.
You will also need to bring a number of documents to verify your personal information and course enrollment:
  • Completed Certificate of Driver Education enrollment form (from your behind-the-wheel training course)
  • One proof of identity (e.g. valid US passport or certified birth certificate)
  • One proof of lawful status (e.g. valid US passport or certificate of citizenship)
  • One proof of Social Security Number (e.g. Social Security card or pay stub)
  • Two proofs of Indiana residency (e.g. mail from government agency or school transcript)
  • Proof of financial responsibility signed by a parent or legal guardian
There will also be a $9 learner’s permit fee that must be paid before you take your tests and make it official with a driver’s license photo. 
For the written knowledge exam, you must demonstrate a sufficient understanding of the traffic laws and driving techniques found in the
Indiana Driver's Manual
. There will be multiple choice questions divided into two sections: traffic maneuvers and traffic signs
You will need to correctly answer 80% of the questions to pass, and if you fail, you can retake the test as soon as the next business day.

Indiana learner’s permit regulations

Once you’ve checked all the necessary boxes and are finally holding your learner’s permit, it’s time to hit the road—with proper supervision, of course!
Indiana state law puts the following limits in place for drivers with learner's permits:
  • If you are under 16 and enrolled in a driver education program, you must have licensed 25 year old adult that is related to you by blood, marriage, or legal status in the front passenger seat
  • If you are under 18 and not enrolled in a driver education program, you must have licensed 25 year old adult that is related to you by blood, marriage, or legal status in the front passenger seat
  • If you are 18 years or older, you may practice driving with any licensed 25 year old
The next step in your driving journey will bring you to the holy unrestricted Indiana driver’s license. To obtain this, you must:
  • Hold a learner’s permit for at least 180 days
  • Complete driver education
  • Submit a driving log of 50 supervised hours—10 of which are at night
  • Apply in person at the BMV
After you’ve completed these steps, you will be ready to surrender your learner’s permit and obtain that long sought after driver’s license. If you are over the age of 21, you will still have to wait 180 after applying for your learner’s permit to get your license.
You will also need to bring similar documentation to the BMV when you apply for your unrestricted license. Be prepared for another vision test, and for the driving exam, it takes place on the road this time
Once you pass these and pay the fee, Indiana will be saying hello to its newest licensed driver!
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