The Top 5 Steps to Getting Your License
by Kelly Larsen
Getting your driver’s license is pretty straightforward. Here’s an outline of the top 5 steps to getting your license so you’re all prepared to get in the driver’s seat.
Step 1: Take a Driver’s Ed Course
Your Driver’s Ed course provides the foundation for your driver training. It sets you up with the knowledge you need to be fully prepared behind the wheel. In many states, like California, you need to be at least 15 years old to enroll in one of these courses.
• Taking Driver’s Ed online is great first step to getting your license since it gives you the same great education while offering a convenient alternative to a classroom course.
• Remember to hang on to your Certificate of Completion. You will need this document to prove you successfully completed your course.
Step 2: Complete Behind-the-Wheel Training
The next step to getting your license is taking Behind-the-Wheel instruction. This is the practical portion of your driver training, and you must complete a minimum amount of hours with a driving instructor as specified by your state.
• Some states allow you to enroll in Behind-the-Wheel classes while you are taking Driver’s Ed; other states require you to finish Driver’s Ed first. Be sure you know the rules where you live.
• Be alert at all times, and listen to your instructor. Their guidance will help you improve your skills and be the best driver you can be.
Step 3: Get Your Learner’s Permit
Once you’ve made it through your driver’s education course and your Behind-the-Wheel training, you’re ready to take another step to getting your license and apply for your learner’s permit! But before you get it, you’ll have to pass both a knowledge test and a vision test.
• Study your driver handbook. It contains information that will be on your written test, and will refresh your memory on all those laws and traffic sign meanings you learned back in Driver’s Ed.
• Bring the correct forms with you when you apply. You’ll need:
• Birth certificate/proof of birth or legal presence
• Proof of U.S. citizenship
• Proof of your full name
• Social Security Number
• Certificate of Completion from your driving school
• Behind-the-Wheel completion form
Step 4: Get Plenty of Practice
Once you’ve got your learner’s permit in hand, you can begin behind-the-wheel practice with a supervising adult, such as a parent.
• While there is a set number of practice hours (50 in the state of California, for example) you need to log to get your driver’s license, strive to go above and beyond this number. Practice makes perfect, and you’ll sharpen your skills by getting in extra drive time.
• Pay attention to things that happen on the road even when you aren’t the one behind the wheel. Consider how you would react to different situations, and treat any time in the car, even as a passenger, as valuable learning time.
Step 5: Apply for Your Driver’s License!
This is the final step! In order to obtain your driver’s license, you need to pass a driving test.
• Always stay calm. Though your driving test can be a nerve-wracking experience, you’ll think much more clearly if you take a few deep breaths before you begin and remain calm during your exam.
• Have the right paperwork with you. Remember that you are not only taking your road test, but applying for your driver’s license too. Show up to the testing center with:
• Proof of Driver’s Ed and Behind-the-Wheel Training completion
• Your learner’s permit, signed by a parent/guardian
• Valid vehicle registration
• Proof of insurance
• Proof of your birth date/legal presence
• Proof of your full name
• Your Social Security Number
Once you’ve passed your test and turned in the proper forms, you can call yourself a licensed driver! You will be issued a temporary driver’s license before receiving your regular license in the mail. Congratulations, and remember to always drive safely!
About the Author
Kelly Larsen is a copywriter for I DRIVE SAFELY, the nation’s number one provider of online traffic school and driver’s education. With over 10 years’ experience in the field of safe driving, I DRIVE SAFELY has provided exceptional online courses to millions of new drivers, drivers looking to handle a traffic ticket and clear their diving record, or drivers looking to save money on auto insurance. To find out more or sign up, please visit their site.