In most states, individuals may apply for a driver instruction permit—often called a “learner’s permit”—as early as the age of 15 on the condition that they are also enrolled in an approved traffic safety education course. Driving privileges under a learner’s permit are restricted. The restrictions that apply to the learner’s permit will vary from state to state. They may include restrictions on the age of the licensed driver accompanying the learner/driver, the hours in which the learner/driver may be able to drive, and even the types of highways that learners may drive on.
In some states, individuals may be able to apply for a learner’s permit without being enrolled in a class, but they must take the written driving test to prove they are capable of understanding the fundamentals of driving and the rules of the road. Those with a learner’s permit usually may drive a vehicle as long as a licensed driver is present in the vehicle at the time. There are additional requirements stating how long they must have a learner’s permit before they may obtain a permanent license. Individuals can check with their state’s department of transportation for the exact rules which will apply in their situation. As with a permanent driver’s license, when they apply for a learner’s permit, they will be required to supply proof of identification. Proof of age, documented parental consent, and other forms are also required, as well as a fee for the permit.