How to Get a Indiana Driver’s License
The Indiana Graduated Driver License program, or GDL, will give you time to learn how to drive in a controlled way. There are three stages to this program, from no Indiana license to a full license.
Completing the Indiana GDL takes about a year. You’ll complete an Indiana BMV approved driver training course for your learner’s permit. Then, 50 hours of supervised driving for an Indiana probationary license. Drive with it for six months, turn 18, and you’ll receive your full Indiana license.
The steps below have the details you’ll need to know in order to get your full, unrestricted Indiana license.
Get your Indiana learner’s permit
You can start the process to get your Indiana license at 15 years old. To get ready for driving, you can download the Indiana Driver’s Manual and start reading through it. At your local BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) location, you’ll need to fill out an application, bring in proof of identity, and pay a fee of $9 by debit card or check.
Before being issued your IN learner’s permit, you’ll have to pass a vision screening and a written knowledge test, which will be divided into two sections covering traffic maneuvers and types of traffic signs.
You will need to get at least 80% on both sections in order to pass. Consider working through some practice exams before you take it.
If you fail, you must wait until the next business day before you can take another test.
If you’ve completed an Indiana BMV approved driver training program, you can get your learner’s permit as early as 15 years old. Without driver education, you will have to wait until age 16.
You will be given an official paper which is your driver’s permit. You’ll need to have that with you every time you’re behind the wheel.
You have to have your Indiana learner’s permit for at least 6 months before you can apply for an IN probationary license. During that time, you’ll need to have 50 hours of driving practice with 10 hours of those being at night. There are also limits to your Indiana learner’s permit and they are that you must drive only with a licensed driver over the age of 25, or a spouse 21 or older.
This is the point also where you’ll need to get driving instruction. The options for this include an Indiana BMV approved driver’s education program or supervised practice with a responsible adult. The driver education course is 30 classroom or online hours and six behind-the-wheel hours.
If you’re ready for professional driver education, find a driving school to get started.
The 50 hour driving log is required of all new drivers whether they take Indiana BMV approved driver education or not. Once you’ve completed the required amount of instruction, you can apply for your Indiana probationary driver’s license.
Get your Indiana probationary license
Receiving your Indiana probationary license requires that you’ve completed certain requirements. Those are reaching the age of 16 and 3 months with Indiana BMV approved driver education, or 16 and 9 months without driver education.
Driving Skills Exam: You will be required to pass a driving test with a BMV evaluator who will make sure you can perform basic driving tasks safely.
Before you take it, you should check out the Top 10 Automatic Fails on Driver Tests, so you’ll know what not to do on test day.
Once you’re ready, you can schedule a driving skills exam at your nearest Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch.
If you fail this test, you can retake it after 14 days. Failing three times results in a two-month waiting period before you can take it again.
Vision Test: You will need to take a vision test. If you need glasses be sure you’re wearing them.
The application fee for your Indiana probationary license is $17.50.
Your Indiana probationary license will be mailed to you and will have your photograph on it. They take your picture the day you pass your driving skills test. This license will come with the following restrictions:
- There is a restriction on carrying any passengers, except siblings, under the age of 25 for the first 6 months.
- Additionally, Indiana probationary license drivers may not use a cell phone, even a hands-free device, when driving.
As you continue to learn how to operate a motor vehicle in different conditions, there are certain hours when you won’t be able to drive. Teen drivers may only drive between 5:00 AM and 10:00 PM for the first 6 months. After that the curfew is 11:00 PM on weekdays, and 1:00 AM on weekends.
Getting your Indiana unrestricted full license
At a certain point, the state feels that you’ve been able to receive enough supervised driving experience that you can go out on your own. Therefore, once you reach 18 years old and have had your restricted license for 6 months, you can get your full Indiana license.
This means that previous restrictions are lifted. However, you will not receive an updated Indiana license until that one expires. After you renew your Indiana license, you will receive your full, unrestricted license in the mail.
Whether you’ve just finished your Indiana graduated licensing process, or are just starting out, you might also want to consider a telematic companion application to better understand your driving habits, and how to improve them.
The best option is the DriverZ Virtual Coach. Download it today to sharpen your S.P.I.D.E.R.Senses™ to build the driving skills that will keep you safe for a lifetime, track your supervised driving hours, and access bespoke driver training based on your specific needs.
Frequently asked questions
Here are answers to some common questions you might have as you start out on your IN graduated licensing journey.
Can I drive with an out-of-state instructional permit in Indiana?
Indiana does allow drivers to travel through the state with permits from other states, as long as the parameters of the out-of-state permit are followed, and the permit is always in the immediate possession of the driver.
Can I replace a lost or stolen learner’s permit?
You can replace a lost or stolen learner’s permit by visiting your nearest Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch and presenting identification documents. If your name and address have remained the same since you last received your Indiana learner’s permit, you can replace your permit online.
Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles information
For comprehensive information on everything related to the Indiana graduated licensing program, visit the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles You can also call 1-888-692-6841 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Prepare for your license journey by reviewing the Indiana Drivers Manual, and taking a few practice tests.