Louisiana Driver's License: A Step-by-Step 2018 Guide

Learn what to expect and how to get behind the wheel faster.
Let's Get Started
On this page: Types of licenses How to apply Knowledge test Road test Replace or renew New residents

How Does It Work?

If you are a Louisiana driver, or would like to become one, you will need a Louisiana driver’s license. All you need to do is provide the correct documentation to the OMV, take a driver’s education course, pass a knowledge test and demonstrate your ability to drive safely. To save you some time, here is a step by step guide that you will need to follow to get a driver's license in Louisiana.

Get a Learner's Permit

Allows you to practice driving under supervision.

Get an Intermediate License

Allows you to drive unsupervised with restrictions.

Get a Full (Adult) License

Allows you to drive with no restrictions.

Types of Driver's Licenses in Louisiana

For each license type there's a corresponding type of instruction permit
Louisiana Class E Driver's License
Class E (Non-commercial)
It is the most common personal driver's license. It allows you to drive any single vehicle under 10,000 pounds, any personal use recreational vehicle or farm vehicle operated within 150 miles of the farm. Read the LA OMV Class E & D Driver's Guide or take a free LA OMV practice test.
Louisiana Class D Driver's License
Class D (Chauffer)
It allows you to operate any single vehicle that has a GVWR of 10,001 - 26,001 pounds used in commerce to transport a maximum of 15 passengers (including the driver), for hire or property and not utilized for the transportation of hazardous materials. Read the LA OMV Class E & D Driver's Guide or take a free LA OMV practice test.
Louisiana Class A/B/C Driver's License
Class A/B/C (Commercial)
Class A is required for any combination of vehicles with a GCWR of 26,001 pounds or more, provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000. Class B is for any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more or any such vehicle towing a trailer not in excess of 10,000 pounds. Class C is for any single vehicle or combination of vehicles that either transports 16 or more passengers( including the driver) or hazardous materials. Read the LA CDL Driver's Manual or take a free LA CDL practice test.
Louisiana Motorcycle Driver's License
M ( Motorcycle Endorsement)
Louisiana doesn't issue separate motorcycle licenses. Once you prove to be qualified, a motorcycle endorsement is added to your existing Louisiana driver's license. Read the LA Motorcycle Operator Manual or take a free LA motorcycle practice test.

How to Apply for Your Class E Driver’s License in Louisiana

To apply for your Class E license for the first time, you will have to complete a driver education, collect documentation and pass vision, knowledge and road skills tests. This is your step-by-step plan depending on your age.

How to Apply for Your Learner’s Permit in Louisiana

Every applicant 15- 16 years of age must take part in Louisiana Graduated Licensing program and hold a learner's permit before applying for a driver's license. Applicants 17 and older may apply for the permit first but don't have to. The learner's permit allows you to drive supervised at all times by a licensed parent, guardian, or adult at least 21 years of age, or a licensed sibling at least 18 years of age or older.

1COMPLETE A DRIVER EDUCATION COURSE

It must be approved by the Department of Public Safety & Corrections. Your high school may provide the course as well.

For 15-17 year old drivers, it should include at least 30 hours of classroom instruction and 8 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction. 18 year old or older applicants may choose between the course above and 6 hour pre-licensing classroom and 8 hours behind-the-wheel instruction.

2APPLY IN PERSON

Visit your local Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV). Use the map to choose the one near you.

3BRING DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED

  • Certificate of Driver Education Completion or official transcript from a Louisiana school which shows that high school course credit has been earned for a driver's education course.
  • A certified birth certificate or Louisiana identification card. Non-immigrant Resident Aliens must also present the current passport with documentation from Homeland Security indicating your status in the United States. You may be required to present additional forms of identification, depending on your status in the US.
  • Proof of residency. Choose from this list.
  • Social Security Verification. Choose from this list.
  • Certificate of Required Attendance from your school or, if home schooled, the Home Study Approval Notification Letter or the Registered Non-public School Registration Confirmation (for 15-17 year olds).

4BRING YOUR PARENT OR GUARDIAN (FOR 15-17 YEAR OLDS)

A custodial parent or legal guardian must sign your license application and present identification. Legal guardians must also present legal documents verifying the guardianship.

5PASS A VISION TEST

You must have 20/40 vision in one or both eyes.

6PASS A KNOWLEDGE TEST

It contains 40 questions about the rules of the road and signals. Complete free LA OMV practice tests before you go. If you fail the test, you can retake it the same day or later.

7PAY THE FEE

$32.25 + service fee up to $6.00 paid by card or cash.

8GET THE PERMIT

Start practicing supervised driving to prepare for your road skills test.

Supercharge your chances of passing the DMV test

Take free Louisiana DMV practice tests that are just like the real thing.
Show me

How to Apply for Your Intermediate Driver’s License in Louisiana

Intermediate driver's license is the second step of Louisiana Graduated Licensing program for minors (16-17 years of age). It allows you to drive on your own but with restrictions:

  • you mustn't drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a. m. (unless accompanied by a licensed adult at least 21 years old or a licensed sibling at least 18 years old).
  • you mustn't transport more than one passenger under age 21 between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m. (unless accompanied by a licensed adult 21 or older).
  1. HOLD YOUR LEARNER'S PERMIT

    You must hold it for at least 180 days and be at least 16 years of age to proceed with your intermediate license application.

  2. COMPLETE THE REQUIRED AMOUNT OF SUPERVISED DRIVING

    You must complete a minimum of 50 hours of supervised driving practice, at least 15 of which must be at night. The supervised practice must be with a parent, guardian or adult at least 21 or older. Your supervisor will have to attest to it.

  3. BRING YOUR PARENT OR GUARDIAN TO THE OMV OFFICE

    Your parent or guardian will have to sign their permission.

  4. BRING SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM FROM YOUR SCHOOL

    If you are home schooled, you are required to present the Home Study Approval Notification Letter or the Registered Non-public School Registration Confirmation.

  5. PAY THE FEE

    $13.00 + service fee up to $6.00 paid by cash or card.

  6. PASS THE ROAD SKILLS TEST

    Your test may be administered by your driver education provider or the Office of Motor Vehicles. If you take the test at the OMV, you must bring a vehicle. Check the schedule of your local OMV office for providing the road skills test. If you fail the test, you can retake it on a later date.

  7. RECEIVE YOUR INTERMEDIATE LICENSE

    When you turn 17 and your driving record doesn't show any at fault accidents or driving convictions, you will be able to upgrade your intermediate license to the permanent (adult) driver's license.

How to Get Your Permanent (Adult) Driver’s License in Louisiana

If you are 17 years of age or older and have never had a license or permit, you may apply for Louisiana driver's license without having to get a learner's permit first. However, if you want to practice driving before applying for the license, you can get the permit. Check here how to apply for a learner' permit.

First Timer? Start with Step 1.

Learner's Permit Holder? Start with Step 6.

Intermediate License holder? As soon as you turn 17, you can visit your local OMV office to upgrade to permanent driver's license for the fee of $13.00 + up to $6.00 service fee.

1COMPLETE A DRIVER EDUCATION COURSE OR PRE-LICENSING COURSE

It must be approved by the Department of Public Safety & Corrections.

You may choose either a driver education course that includes 30 hours of classroom instruction and 8 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction, or a 6 hour pre-licensing classroom and 8 hours behind-the-wheel instruction.

2APPLY IN PERSON

Visit your local Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV). Use the map to choose the one near you.

3BRING DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED

  • Proof of Identification - one primary document (e.g., a certified birth certificate, passport, current military ID or Louisiana ID card) and one additional document (e.g., a photo work ID, high school diploma, insurance card, etc.)
  • Certificate of Driver Education Completion
  • Proof of residency. Choose from this list.
  • Social Security Verification. Choose from this list.
  • Non-immigrant Resident Aliens must also present the current passport with documentation from Homeland Security indicating your status in the United States. You may be required to present additional forms of identification, depending on your status in the US.

4PASS A VISION TEST

You must have 20/40 vision in one or both eyes.

5PASS A KNOWLEDGE TEST

It contains 40 questions about the rules of the road and signals. Complete free LA OMV practice tests before you go. If you fail the test, you can retake it the same day or later.

6PASS THE ROAD SKILLS TEST

Your test may be administered by a Third Party Provider or the Office of Motor Vehicles. Note that a third party provider will require an extra fee. If you take the test at the OMV, you must bring a vehicle. Check the schedule of your local OMV office for providing the road skills test. If you fail the test, you can retake it on a later date.

7PAY THE FEE

$32.25 + service fee up to $6.00 paid by cash or card.
Your Class E driver’s license will be valid for 6 years and will expire some time around your birthday.

Louisiana Knowledge Test aka Written Test

Take a free practice test
What does the test include?
It contains 40 multiple-choice questions about the rules of the road, signs, signals and safe driving. A minimum score of 80% is required to pass the test. In most offices the test will be administered on a computer. All the material you need to pass the test can be found in Louisiana Driver's Guide.
When and where is the test administered?
You can take the test at your local OMV office, contact it directly to learn about its schedule. Make sure you arrive at a licensing office at least an hour before the time the last test can be given. It will allow you enough time to think about the questions.
How to prepare for the test?
Study the LA Driver's Guide and take free practice tests available here. You can also download our free DMV Genie app to study on the go. Get it on the App Store or on Google Play.
What common mistakes should I avoid?
The most common mistake comes from not knowing enough information out of the manual. This happens when people study solely with practice tests. Make sure you read the manual first. Another problem is rushing through questions. Take your time and remember what you have studied.
Can I use the driver’s guide when taking the actual test?
No. This is not an open book test. The purpose of the test is to make sure you understand and apply the rules of the road.
What if I fail the test?
You can retake it on the same day if time allows or later.

Pass your DMV test the first time with Driving-Tests Premium!

73% more effective than the DMV manual.
Tell me more

Road Test

Step-by-Step Guide
What to expect during LA road skills test
Road Test FAQ

It is an outside driving test that is available at your local OMV office or Third Party Tester providers. You will have to pay an extra fee when using the Third Party Testers. You must provide your own vehicle if you take the test at the OMV, some third party testers may let you use their vehicles.

Check your local OMV office for the road test schedule. Some offices test on a limited number of days and do not provide tests between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Note that road skills at OMV offices are not given in inclement weather.

Before the Test

If you are a minor, you are required to bring your parent, legal guardian or tutor with a proper ID.

The vehicle you bring for the test must

  • be in safe working condition
  • have a valid registration sticker
  • pass a safety inspection
  • have a current license plate
  • have a registration document
  • have proof of current liability insurance

You will have to perform a safety equipment check in front of the examiner and show that the following features are in good condition:

  • Safety belts
  • All windows have safety glass
  • 4- way flashers, brake, tail, parking lights and headlights
  • Turn signals
  • Tires
  • Parking brake
  • Horn
  • Muffler and tight exhaust system
  • Brakes

All loose objects that could break or cause an accident must be removed from the car.

During the Test

You will be tested on your ability to drive safely in normal conditions, be aware of risks and react to them properly. You will be given clear directions. Your examiner won't be trying to trick you or ask you to do anything illegal.

The examiner will grade the following maneuvers :

  • starting and backing
  • keeping in lane
  • following
  • responding to signals and signs (2 traffic signals)
  • approaching corners
  • turning (3 left turns, 3 right turns)
  • yielding right-of-way
  • parking between cars (straight in parking)
  • 2 lane changes
  • following speed limits
  • 2 stop signs

Points will be deducted for your driving errors during the test, however, you will fail the test automatically if you commit one the following critical errors:

  • Violation of a traffic law
  • Dangerous action/incident
  • Lack of cooperation or refusal to follow instructions
  • Collision
  • Too many minor mistakes
At the End of the Test

    You will have a chance to discuss your errors and needs for improvement. If you pass, you will be issued a driver’s license. If you fail the test and don’t have a learner’s permit, you may be issued one so you can practice driving. You can return to retake the test at a later date.

How to Renew Your Driver’s License in Louisiana

  • Your license will expire 6 years from your nearest birthday. You may renew your license anytime within 180 days before the expiration date. You must renew your driver's license in person at a local OMV office unless you received a mail-in invitation to renew by mail or online. There is a late fee of $15.00 if your license is expired for more than 10 days.

    Plan of Action:

    1. Visit your local Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV). Use the map to choose the one near you.
    2. Provide the following documents:
      1. your current driver's license or another legal document to establish your identity and legal residency
      2. Proof of liability insurance for every vehicle you own
      3. SSN card
      4. Non-immigrant Resident Aliens may also present the current passport with documentation from Homeland Security indicating your status in the United States. You may be required to present additional forms of identification, depending on your status in the US.
      5. To receive a REAL ID license, you should also provide one primary and two secondary documents to establish your identity and two documents verifying your home address.
    3. Pass the vision test
    4. Pay the fee of $32.25+ $15.00 late fee if applicable. Cash and cards are accepted.

    You will receive a temporary license to use until your permanent driver's license arrives in the mail.

    If your license has been expired a year or more, you must take the vision and knowledge exams. If you let it expire for 2 years or more, you'll be required to take the vision, knowledge, and driving exams

  • You may renew your license by mail only if you are selected by the OMV. In this case, you will receive a computer-generated invitation and the application form with all the instructions. If you need to change personal information ( address, name, etc.), you will have to visit the office.

    If you renewed your license by mail or online last time, you will have to visit an OMV office this time.

  • You can renew your driver's license online if you received a computer generated renewal invitation through mail, and if you have a valid credit or debit card. You will also need your current driver's license to complete the renewal. If you need to change personal information (address, name, etc.), you will have to visit the office.

    Note that if you renewed your license by mail or online last time, you will have to visit an OMV office and renew in person this time.

    1. Go to the OMV Expresslane.
    2. Enter the renewal information.
    3. View the fee ( $32.25+state fee+ $15.00 late fee if applicable)
    4. Pay the fee.
    5. View and print the receipt.
    6. Your permanent license will arrive in mail.

New Residents: How to Get Louisiana Driver’s License

Once you become a Louisiana resident, you must apply for LA driver’s license within 30 days.
Out-of-state license Foreign license
Not sure if you are a resident of Louisiana?
Are you a Louisiana resident?
Louisiana considers you a resident if you domicile here, in other words you make it your permanent home to which you return whenever absent.
Just visiting?
Are you visiting Louisisana?

Good News! If you are a full time student living in Louisiana but keeping out-of-state or foreign permanent residency, you do not have to transfer your out-of-state or out-of-country license as long as it is valid.

Military personnel and dependents assigned to Louisiana are not required to obtain a Louisiana license either.

I’ve Got a Valid Out-of-State License

Moving from another US state? Welcome to Louisiana!
Moving from another state?

If you hold a valid driver’s license from another state or US territory, you won’t have to take any tests other than the vision test.

Plan of Action
  1. APPLY IN PERSON

    Visit your local Office of Motor Vehicles ( OMV). Use the map to choose the one near you.

  2. BRING DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED
    • Your valid out-of-state driver's license, or official driving record (Your previous driving authority may send it by fax to the OMV office.)
    • Proof of Identification - one primary document (e.g., a certified birth certificate, passport, current military ID or Louisiana ID card) and one additional document (e.g., a photo work ID, high school diploma, insurance card, etc.)
    • Social Security Verification. Choose from this list.
    • Proof of residency. Choose from this list.
    • Proof of Insurance for every vehicle you own
    • Non-immigrant Resident Aliens must also present the current passport with documentation from Homeland Security indicating your status in the United States. You may be required to present additional forms of identification, depending on your status in the US.

    Minors ( 17 and younger) must be accompanied by a custodial parent or guardian with a proper ID and bring Certificate of Required Attendance from your school or, if home schooled, the Home Study Approval Notification Letter or the Registered Non-public School Registration Confirmation.

  3. PASS A VISION TEST

    You must have 20/40 vision in one or both eyes.

  4. PAY THE FEE

    $32.25 + up to $6.00 service fee paid by cash, card or money order.

driver's license in Louisiana

Once you have met these requirements, you will be issued a temporary license. Your permanent Louisiana driver’s license, which will be valid for approximately 6 years, will arrive in mail.

I've Got a Valid Foreign License

Moving from another country? Welcome to Louisiana!

If you have a valid driver's license from another country, you will still have to furnish proof of driver education training, pass vision, knowledge and driving skills test. The procedure is similar to getting a driver's license for the first time. Check our step-by step guide to getting your permanent (adult) driver's license in Louisiana.

If you have a valid driver's license issued in Switzerland or Germany, you don't have to take a driver education course or pass any tests except the vision test. The procedure of transferring Swiss or German license is similar to transferring an out-of-state license.

Just like the real thing. Better than the handbook
Free Louisiana OMV Practice Tests Show me
Official driver's handbooks for car, motorcycle and CDL
Louisiana OMV Driver's Manuals Show me