Driver's License Examination
All persons applying for original driver’s license must take a written, vision (20/40 acuity required in each eye), and driving examination.
Graduated Driver’s Licensing
Alabama has a system of graduated licensing for novice drivers.
At age 15, individuals are eligible for a learner’s/instruction permit.
- Learner’s/instruction permit holders may drive with parent, legal guardian, or licensed passenger 21 or older in the front passenger seat.
- At age 16, after an individual has held a permit for 6 months and completed a minimum of 50 hours behind-the-wheel practice, they are eligible for the road test. An individual can be waived from taking the road test if they have received a certificate from their Driver Education instructor.
At age 16, individuals are eligible for an intermediate license.
- Intermediate license holders may not drive with more than 1 passenger (except family members or licensed drivers age 21 or older) and are restricted from driving between midnight and 6 a.m. (secondarily enforced).
At age 17, with 6 months of driving experience and with no violations, drivers are eligible for an unrestricted license.
Driver’s License Issuance/Application
Driver’s license is required before driving motor vehicle in state.
New residents must obtain driver’s license within 30 days of establishing residence.
Foreign nationals seeking driver licenses and other issued state identification must come to a district driver license office for service, with all immigration documents.
License shall contain licensee’s assigned number, class of license, color photograph, name, birth date, address, personal description, and signature.
At issuance, oath administered and color photograph taken by the driver license examiner at designated driver license office.
License shall not be issued to habitual drug or alcohol user.
A person 16 years of age or older, having met all state requirements, is eligible to obtain a driver’s license pursuant to conditions of the graduated driver license law.
Applicants who are at least 70 years old or have an expired license may elect to obtain a license good for either 4 years ($12) or 8 years ($24). CDL learner’s permits are good for 1 year.
Driver’s License Renewal
Renewal license issued after the expiration of original license does not require examination if renewed within 3 years of expiration.
After original license expires, subsequent renewals are required 4 years from the expiration date of the original license, regardless of when the preceding license is issued. Exception: CDL permits are not renewable.
Renewal notice mailed to each licensee 30 days after expiration date of license, if not yet renewed.
Grace period of 60 days granted after the expiration of license for purpose of renewal, and license is valid during this period.
Renewal of license may occur from 60 days (effective August 1, 2016, 180 days) prior to expiration to 3 years after date; afterwards, applicant required to take and pass examination.
Any valid driver license in the possession of a person on active duty with the U.S. Armed Forces, their dependents, or any person temporarily out of Alabama at time of license renewal may be eligible to renew by mail, but must have a photo on file taken within the last 8 years. Military personnel may renew up to 60 days prior to the license expiration date. Upon return to the state, the licensee should apply for a duplicate license with photo at the office of the license commissioner.
A valid home state license of military personnel and their dependents is honored while based in state.
Types of Driver’s Licenses
Class A, B, C, D, M, and V licenses valid for 4 years. CDL permit valid for 1 year.
Class A is valid for driver with combination of vehicles with Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more, if vehicle is towing an excess of 10,000 lbs.
Class B is valid for single vehicle with GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or more, and vehicle is not towing an excess of 10,000 lbs. GVWR.
Class C is valid for single vehicle with GVWR of less than 26,001 lbs. or vehicle towing another vehicle that has a GVWR that does not exceed 10,000 lbs., which includes vehicles designed to carry 16 or more passengers with the driver, and vehicles used to transport hazardous materials.
Class M is valid for motorcycle and motor-driven cycles.
Class V is valid for motorized watercraft.