Driver's Or Learner's Driving Permit

What age do you have to be to get your driver's or learner's driving permit? Getting your learner's permit occurs before your sixteenth birthday to allow you time to practice driving before your driver's license test.

Getting your driver's license is a rite of passage for a teenager. It means the beginning of freedom as well as the beginning of gray hairs for your parents. But you don't have to wait until you're 16 to hit the road. In most states (including California), you just need to be 15 years and 6 months of age to apply for your learner's permit.

With this permit, you will be able to begin practicing your driving with a licensed driver during the day time hours. Of course, these rules are different for each state, so it's a good idea to ask the local DMV when you are just about to turn 15 years of age. Or have your mommy do it for you.

The reason why the DMV lets you get your permit a little early is because they want you to go out and to take some driving classes - they're the law too, you know. In doing so, you can begin to prepare yourself for your driving test and not just show up on your 16th birthday to take that poor DMV worker out onto the open roads.

Chances are good that your parents might even let you drive a little earlier before your learner's permit comes through. Just ask nicely and they might let you back the car out of the driveway a few times or they might let you take them around the neighborhood block. And yes, those white knuckles are a part of your parent's job, so don't worry about them - LOOK AT THE ROAD.

Choose Your State

Q:Can you take your Illinois drivers test before your 16th birthday?

A:No, you cannot get a valid drivers license at the age of 16. You can only apply for learners permit at this age. With this permit, you can get behind the wheel under the supervision of a parent or guardian. It is important that you know what the minimum requirements are for getting a license in Illinois. Take a look at our page and find out what these requirements are.