Steps To Applying For And Getting Your Official State Driver's License

by Joshua on November 24, 2013

Taking the first steps to applying for and getting your official state drivers license can seem a little bit overwhelming. There are so many things you need to know about each step involved in achieving the license — at times it can seem an endless process. Each state has its own requirements, documents and testing procedures that you must complete before becoming a licensed driver. In some states there are a couple different licenses or permits you must retain for a certain period of time until you are an adult or 18-21 years of age, before being allowed to apply for an actual driver’s license with no restrictions. In some states you must also complete a driver’s education or another approved course before qualifying for any type of license or permit.

First Steps for Getting a Driver’s License

Exact requirements needed to get a Driver’s License will vary state by state or may even differ in certain county’s or areas of your state. There are some documents you will need when you go to your local testing facility these may include a proof of residency document, a proof of identity and proof of social security number. For these documents, most states accept certified copies or originals of your birth certificate, social security card, medical insurance cards, school transcripts and verification of enrollments.

You may also need to bring the proof of completion (different forms for different states) from your driver’s education course or pre-licensing class. The next requirement for completing your driver’s license is successfully passing the knowledge exam portion of the testing. The passing score in most states is 80% correct or more and the average amount of questions on the test is 40 questions. Upon completion of the knowledge exam in your state you must then take the road skills test.

Testing For Your Driver’s License

The most important part of getting your Drivers License in any state is the testing. All states have a written or in most cases now a computerized general knowledge test as well as a road skills test and vision or medical screenings you must pass before becoming licensed. The first step in this phase is to contact your local testing or license issuing office and find out that the exact requirements are for your age and license type as well as the type of documents you need to bring with your for verification. Also find out as much information about each type of test you must take as possible.

Preparation for testing is the second and most important step to getting your license. Many people do not do well in testing simply because of the testing format and others because reading a driver’s manual front to back do not allow them to absorb the information they need to pass the test. Fortunately there are easier ways to study and prepare now that there is so much technology available to the general public. This website is a valuable resource when it comes to studying for your driver’s license test. Here you can find an assortment of practice tests for permits and each license type in your state, you can also get access to cheat sheets, allowing you to study the material, score yourself and immediately have the answers you missed at your fingertips, letting you know what study material you need to go over more and what material you have already learned.

Regardless of the state you reside in, your knowledge test will cover some of the same basic subjects, but will be formatted to suit the laws and regulations of your individual state. The general subject matter of the knowledge test will contain question about the following safety regulations for motor vehicles and driving, traffic laws, road signs and signals and what to do under emergency situations that can take place while driving on the road or operating a motor vehicle. These questions will only contain material relative to your individual state and some may even be trick questions using a traffic law or rule of the road in different scenarios to really test your knowledge of the subject.

After Passing the Test

When you have passed your knowledge test, the next step is to schedule, take and pass your road test. Most facilities require that you call ahead to schedule your road test, that way you ensure you have enough time to have your documents verified, take your knowledge exam and have your vehicle inspected if you are using your own for the road skills test. The road skills test will consist of driving a vehicle, yours or a facility vehicle while a state trooper or certified personnel rides with you and grades your hands on knowledge and skill of rules of the road as well as traffic and safety laws as you demonstrate them.

When you have completed the road skills portion of the test and be informed of a passing grade, you will then have your picture taken and issued a paper copy of your new license that is valid for use until the official hard copy is received in the mail— which can take a few business days or even a couple weeks. Before you leave the office in which you took your test, make sure the information on your new driver’s license is correct otherwise you will have to wait weeks to have it corrected.

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