Louisiana

Office of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 64886
Baton Rouge, LA 70896
(225) 925-6146 | http://omv.dps.state.la.us

Louisiana State Police
7919 Independence Boulevard
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
(225) 925-6325 | www.lsp.org

Department of Transportation and Development
P.O. Box 94245
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9245
(225) 379-1232 | www.dotd.state.la.us

Title Application

A person applying for a certificate of title must submit an application provided by the Department with the appropriate fees attached.

If a Louisiana certificate of title has been previously issued for the vehicle, the application must be accompanied by a properly endorsed and certified certificate of title.

If a certificate of title has not been previously issued for the vehicle, the application must be accompanied by either a proper bill of sale, a sworn statement of ownership, or any other evidence of ownership the Department may require. If the vehicle is a new vehicle, the application must be accompanied by the manufacturer’s certificate.

The Department will issue a certificate of title to a vehicle even if there is no bill of sale and no current record of ownership upon which to provide a title if the following conditions are met: (1) the vehicle is 25 years or older; (2) the vehicle has not had its registration renewed in any state for 3 years from the date the title was applied for; (3) the applicant has submitted a sworn application that the vehicle has been abandoned for 3 years; and (4) the applicant has provided the Office of Motor Vehicles a statement from the state police auto theft division confirming that based upon a sufficient check the vehicle is not stolen.


Title Transfer of Ownership

No person can sell a vehicle without delivering a certificate of title to the purchaser.

An effective transfer of title requires filling out, endorsing, and delivering the certificate of title by the transferor to the transferee and delivering the certificate to the Department with proper transfer and application fees.

If a certificate of title is held by a lienholder and the lienholder is selling the vehicle, the lienholder can make and deliver to the purchaser at the time of delivery a sales contract and an assignment of certificate of title on the Department’s form. These documents along with the certificate of title must be submitted to the Commissioner within 5 days of the sale. The Commissioner will then send the appropriate parties an amended certificate of title.

A vehicle that was previously purchased and titled in another state is allowed a credit against the state and local use taxes imposed in Louisiana.


Titles for Mobile Homes

A purchaser of a mobile home must apply for a new certificate of title on or before the 20th day in which the mobile home has been delivered.

Registration Application

Every owner of a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or other vehicle must apply for registration at the Department in the parish where he or she lives.

The application will request the following: (1) the address of the owner of the vehicle and the full legal name and license number as it appears on the owner’s drivers license; and (2) a brief description of the vehicle including the engine number, serial number, and the date of sale of the vehicle.

All appropriate registration fees and license taxes must be submitted with the application.

The registration must be kept in the vehicle while it is in operation.

The registration must always correspond with the vehicle’s license plate number.

New residents must apply for registration within 30 days of establishing residency.


Registration for Non-Residents

Any person that is employed in Louisiana and who drives a vehicle in Louisiana must apply for a certificate of registration within 30 days of the date that the person was employed in Louisiana.

A non-resident who is in the military and on active duty in Louisiana may operate a vehicle in the state without obtaining Louisiana registration if the following requirements are met: (1) the license plates on the vehicle are from another state; (2) the vehicle registration and license plates are current and issued to the active duty member; or (3) the owner has one of the forms of financial responsibility required by the state.

A non-resident spouse of an active duty military person can also operate a vehicle in Louisiana without obtaining Louisiana registration if the above requirements are met.


Registration Type

Renewals of registration or the license tax may be made by mail, or online.


Emissions Inspection

Required on an annual basis as part of safety inspection in non-attainment areas or areas required by the federal Clean Air Act only. Visit the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality for more information. OBD is utilized as part of the state emissions inspection process.


Safety Inspection

Every motor vehicle, trailer (exempting boat trailers), semitrailer, and pole trailer registered in Louisiana must have a valid safety inspection certificate issued in the state.  Inspection certificates are valid for 1 or 2 years.

The Commissioner of the Department, any person that the Commissioner designates, or the state police can require the driver of an unsafe or improperly equipped vehicle to stop the vehicle and have it submitted to an inspection.

If the vehicle is found to be unsafe, or in need of repair, the officer will give the driver a notice requiring the driver to have the vehicle repaired so that it is in compliance. This notice will also be sent to the Department.

The notice will require that a certificate of inspection and approval be obtained within 5 days of the citation. The driver must keep 1 copy of the official certificate of inspection and approval and send the other official certificate to the Department.


Title and Registration Fees

AUTOMOBILE

Title Fee: $68.50

Registration Fee: Based on the selling price of the vehicle.*

MOTORCYCLE

Title Fee: $68.50

Registration Fee: $12.00

DUPLICATES

Plate Fee: $10.00

Registration Fee: $12.00

Driver’s License Fee: $17.00

Title Fee: $18.50

Special Plates: Varies

*The current rate is .1% of the value of the vehicle per year, with a minimum base of $10,000. The license plates are sold in 2-year increments, therefore the minimum price is $20.00. An $8.00 handling fee added to all transactions. A Parish fee not to exceed $3.00 is asked in certain Parishes.

Plate Disbursement

The Department issues 1 reflectorized license plate for private passenger vehicles.

Every license plate must display the registration number assigned to the owner, the name of the state, and the registration time period.

The color scheme for license plates is blue on white.

License plates are validated by stickers.

License plates must be securely fastened to the vehicle, no less than 12 inches from the ground, and clearly legible.

Special license plates can be issued for a variety of groups and organizations.

A special license plate for the disabled is available upon application, with doctor’s certificates, to any motor vehicle office.

Transfer of Plates

All regular license plates must be removed and destroyed before the vehicle is transferred to another person. When the license plate has been destroyed, the owner of the vehicle must notify the Department that the license plate has been destroyed and provide the Department with the destroyed license plate number.

The requirements for determining what special license plates can transfer with a car vary depending on the type of special plate.

Driver's License Examination

All applicants for a Louisiana license must pass a knowledge-based and a skills-based driving examination. An eye examination is also given (20/40 visual acuity is required).

The knowledge portion of the examination includes testing a person’s understanding of Louisiana motor vehicle laws, highway signs, railroad and highway crossing safety, and knowledge of the classification of motor vehicle the applicant will be driving.

The skills test will include an on-the-road driving test and possibly a simulated skills-based driving test.

The knowledge and skill tests will be administered by the Department or by a third party approved by the Department.


Graduated Driver’s Licensing

Louisiana has a system of graduated licensing for novice drivers.

At age 15, individuals are eligible to receive a learner’s permit provided they have completed a 38-hour state approved driver education course and have passed a driving knowledge test and vision test. Learner’s permit holders must be accompanied by a licensed driver over age 21. Effective August 1, 2016, individuals must apply for a temporary learner’s permit before participating in a driver education course.

At age 16, drivers who have held a permit for at least 6 months, accumulated 50 hours (including 15 hours at night) of certified driving time, and have passed a road test are eligible for an intermediate license.

  • Intermediate license holders may not drive unsupervised between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Individuals may not drive with more than one non-family passenger under age 21 between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m. A supervising adult must be a parent, guardian, or be at least 21 years old and have a valid license.
  • Drivers must hold the intermediate license for at least 12 months.

At age 17, drivers are eligible for an unrestricted driver’s license.

Driver education is required for all license applicants under age 18.


Driver's License Issuance/Application

A first-time applicant of at least 18 years of age must show completion of a full 36-hour driver’s education course or an approved 8-hour prelicensing training course.  An applicant age 18 or older, or the parents of a 17 year old, must submit a signed statement that the applicant has completed at least 50 hours of practice driving (including 15 hours at night) with a licensed driver age 21 or older.

New applicants transferring into Louisiana with an out-of-state, foreign, or military license do not have to take a driver’s education course or an approved 6-hour prelicensing training course.

All applicants transferring to Louisiana whose out-of-state license has been expired for 6 months or longer must successfully complete the knowledge test. After 2 year’s expiration, the driving test must also be successfully completed.

Every person 60 years of age or older who is applying for a license must attach to his or her application a detailed medical report from a physician or optometrist discussing the applicant’s physical condition and any problems that might impair the applicant’s ability to drive. This rule does not apply to people over 60 who apply for a renewal license.

Every physically or mentally handicapped person applying for a license for the 1st time must include a detailed medical report from a physician indicating the severity of the disability and any problems that might impair the applicant’s ability to drive. If the impairment is visual, a report from an optometrist can be attached to application instead of a physician’s report.

License includes a color photo and optional printing of social security number.

Non-citizens must provide proof of legal presence in the U.S.

  • The expiration date of a non-citizen’s driver’s license is linked to the expiration date of that person’s visa.
  • Licenses of non-citizens contain a restriction code which declares that the license holder is a legal alien.

Driver’s License Renewal

All motor vehicle driver’s licenses expire on the anniversary of the birthday of the applicant which is closest to a period of 6 years subsequent to the issuing of the license, unless this license has been suspended, revoked, or cancelled prior to that time.

Mail renewal is not available to drivers age 70 and older and drivers whose previous renewal was by mail.

Louisiana driver’s license of members of the U.S. Armed Forces/Peace Corps and their dependents who serve outside of Louisiana shall remain valid for 60 days after discharge, provided license was valid upon entrance to service and not expired, suspended, or revoked. The driver’s license will be expired/delinquent on the 61st day after discharge. Last license issued and proof of discharge shall be accepted to renew license. This applies to class “E” operator’s license only.

A resident dependent of any person on active duty with the U.S. Armed Forces and stationed within Louisiana, but who is domiciled in another state and has in his immediate possession both a valid license issued to him by his home state and a current military dependent identification card, shall be exempt from obtaining a Louisiana driver’s license during the period of residency with the supporting member of the U.S. Armed Forces while stationed in Louisiana. Dependents must comply with normal renewal procedure of their home state.


Types of Driver's Licenses

There are 3 general types of driver’s licenses: (1) the commercial driver’s license; (2) the chauffeur’s license; and (3) the personal vehicle driver’s license.

The 3 types of commercial drivers are Class A, B, and C licenses.

  • Class A Commercial Driver’s License – Combination Vehicle permit holder can drive all commercial vehicles or a combination of commercial vehicles with a gross weight of 26,001 lbs. or more. This class of vehicles does not include the operation of motorcycles and motor scooters, unless there is a specific endorsement.
  • Class B Commercial Driver’s License – Heavy Straight Vehicle permit holder can drive any vehicle within Classes C, D, and E, plus any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of more than 26,001 lbs. This class does not include the operation of motorcycles and motor scooters, unless there is a specific endorsement.
  • Class C Commercial Driver’s License – Light Vehicle permit holder can drive any vehicle within Classes D and E, plus any single vehicle less than 26,001 lbs. This group of vehicles includes vehicles designed to transport 16 or more passengers including the driver, and vehicles used in the transportation of hazardous material as outlined in the Federal Hazardous Materials Transportation Act.

Class D Chauffeur’s License holder can drive any vehicle within Class E plus any single motor vehicle used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) between 10,001 lbs. and 26,000 lbs. This class does not allow a person to transport hazardous material as outlined in the Federal Hazardous Materials Transportation Act.

Class E Driver’s License (personal vehicle) holder can drive any single motor vehicle under 10,001 lbs. GVWR or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 lbs. GVWR. This class does not allow a person to transport hazardous materials.

Motorcycles, mopeds, and motorized bicycles are not given a separate class, but these vehicles can only be driven if a person fulfills the appropriate requirements to obtain an endorsement to his or her existing license.

A school instruction permit may be issued to any person who is at least 15 years of age if that person is enrolled in a certified driver education course. This permit is only valid during the driver education course. The permit holder can only drive while he or she is accompanied by the education course instructor.

Distracted Driving

Text messaging while driving is prohibited for all drivers. Driver’s 17 and younger and drivers in their first year of licensure are subject to a complete ban on the use of cell phones. Learner’s and intermediate license holders age 18 and older are subject to a secondary ban on the use of hand-held cell phones. School bus drivers may not use cell phones while driving.  Drivers are banned from using a wireless telecommunications device to access, read, or post to a social networking site.


Emergency Radio/Cellular

Emergency cell number is 911.

Citizen band radio channel 9 is not monitored for emergency calls.


Headsets

Wearing of headphones covering both ears while driving is not permitted. Exempts a headset built into a motorcycle helmet. A secondary offense.


Impaired Driving

All 50 states and the District of Columbia prohibit the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating beverages, with the illegal per se limit set at 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (.08 BAC). All 50 states and the District of Columbia set the legal drinking age at 21.

Every state’s chemical test law has ‘‘an implied consent’’ provision providing that any person operating a motor vehicle on a public highway, who is suspected of driving while intoxicated, consents to a chemical test to determine if he or she is inebriated. Failure to submit or pass such a test may cause the driver’s license to be suspended or revoked regardless of any court action finding the person innocent of the charge.

The most comprehensive resource on U.S. impaired driving laws is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Digest of Impaired Driving and Selected Beverage Control Laws.  NHTSA’s Digest is updated annually.

Louisiana requires the use of ignition interlocks for all impaired driving offenders.


Move Over Law

State law requires drivers approaching any stationary emergency vehicle, including tow trucks, displaying flashing lights and traveling in the same direction, to vacate the lane closest if possible to do so, or slow to a reasonably safe speed.


Seat Belts

Seat belts are required for the driver and all passengers age 13 and older.

Violations of the seat belt law are standard offenses.

Riding in the cargo area of a pickup truck is not permitted on an interstate highway for any passengers.  No person under age 12 is permitted to be a passenger in the open bed of a pickup truck while moving upon any highway in Louisiana; some other exceptions apply


Child Passenger Safety

Children ages 6 until 13 or more than 60 lbs. must be restrained in either a booster seat or a seat belt regardless of seating position. When the passenger side front airbag is active, children younger than age 6 or less than 60 lbs. must be in the rear seat, if available.

Children 4 and 5 years of age or 40-60 lbs. must be restrained in a booster seat.

Children ages 1 until 4 or 20-40 lbs. must be restrained in a forward-facing child safety seat. Children under age 1 year or less than 20 lbs. must be restrained in a rear-facing child safety seat.

Children who because of age and weight can be placed in more than one category shall be placed in the more protective restraint.

Violations of the child restraint laws are standard offenses.


Railroad Crossing

Any person driving a motor vehicle that approaches a railroad crossing must stop between 15 and 50 feet of the railroad crossing if 1 of the following occurs: (1) a clearly visible signal device gives warning of the approach of a railroad train; (2) a crossing gate is lowered, or a human flagman stops traffic; (3) a fast moving railroad train approaching within approximately 900 feet of the highway crossing emits a signal; (4) an approaching train is plainly visible and is in hazardous proximity to such crossing; and (5) a stop signal is at the railroad grade crossing.

Any motor vehicle carrying passengers for hire, school buses, and any vehicle carrying hazardous material must stop between 15 and 50 feet of all railroad crossings and then proceed when it is safe to do so.


School Buses

Vehicles must stop upon meeting, from either direction, a school bus that is stopped for loading or unloading children and displays or has recently displayed a stop signal arm. This rule does not apply if the bus is on the opposite roadway of a divided highway.

Bumper Height

Modification of original vehicle bumper height is permitted.


Headlight Use

Headlights are required to be on from sunset to sunrise, when wipers are in use, or when conditions of insufficient light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions limit visibility to 500 feet.


Hazard Light Use

Hazard light use is not permitted while driving.


Tire Chains

Tire chain usage is permitted for hazardous weather or other related incidents only, but may not damage the highway surface.


Studded Tires

Studded tires are permitted but only with rubber studs.


Glass/Window Tinting

A person may not drive a motor vehicle with any tinted windows that obstruct the inward and outward view. The exceptions to this rule are: (1) a sun-screening device used with automotive safety glazing material on the front side window with a light transmission of at least 40%, the side window behind the driver with a light transmission of at least 25% and rearmost windows with a light transmission of at least 12%; (2) a transparent material, not colored red or amber, affixed to the top of the windshield not extending more than 5 inches down from the top; (3) an adjustable nontransparent sun visor that is not attached to the glass and mounted forward on the side window; and (4) all vehicles that have windows tinted on or before December 31, 1993, that were in compliance with the law at that time, as long as the owner obtains a certificate stating that the tinting occurred before 1994; a certificate confirming this must be filed with the Department. Individuals can seek medical exemptions.


Telematics

A person may not operate a motor vehicle that has, nor shall a retailer install, a television screen or other means of receiving a video signal where the moving images are visible to the driver when the vehicle is in motion.


Radar Detectors

Radar detectors are permitted for passenger vehicles but prohibited for use by commercial vehicles.


Windshield Stickers

Prohibited (motor vehicle inspection certificate allowed).


Other Equipment Rules

N/A.

Motorcycle Equipment

Every motorcycle must have 2 properly equipped white headlights on the front of the motorcycle that emit a white beam.

Every new motorcycle sold in Louisiana must have 2 red reflectors. All other motorcycles must have at least 1 reflector, which must be mounted properly so that it is visible for at least 100 feet.

All stop lights and turn signals are required on new motor vehicles.

All motorcycle riders must wear a properly equipped safety helmet.

All motorcycle operators must wear protective eye gear, unless the motorcycle is equipped with a windshield of sufficient height to protect the operator’s eyes.

All motorcycles carrying a passenger must have a footrest for that passenger.

No motorcycle may be equipped with handlebars that require the hands of the operator to be above the operator’s shoulder height when the operator is sitting astride the seat and the operator’s hands are on the handlebar grips.


Motorcycle Licenses

There is no separate class of driver’s license for motorcycle riders.

To operate a motorcycle, a person must obtain an endorsement to his or her regular driver’s license. An endorsement can be obtained by passing an operation skills test and a knowledge test. An operation skills test does not have to be taken if the applicant successfully completed the Department-approved Motorcycle Safety, Awareness, and Operation Training Program.

Children: No operator shall carry or transport a child on a motorcycle who is required to be restrained in a rear-facing or forward-facing child safety seat. Children may be a passenger on a motorcycle only if he or she is over the age of 5 and is wearing a safety helmet.


Motorcycle Noise Limits

No statewide noise limit restriction.


Mopeds & Other

There is no separate class of driver’s licenses for motor scooter riders.

To operate a motor scooter, a person must obtain an endorsement to his or her regular driver’s license.

An endorsement can be obtained by passing an operation skills test and a knowledge test. An operation skills test does not have to be taken if the applicant successfully completed the Department-approved Motorcycle Safety, Awareness, and Operation Training Program.

Trailer Dimensions

Total length: 65 feet; trailer length: 30 feet; motor home length: 45 feet; width: 8 feet 6 inches (excluding safety equipment and for motor homes, safety equipment up to 6 inches); height: 13 feet 6 inches (14 feet on designated roads).


Trailer Brakes

A trailer or semitrailer that weighs at least 3,000 lbs. must be equipped with brakes adequate to control the movement of and to stop and to hold the towing vehicle and trailer or semitrailer.

These brakes must be designed so that the driver of the towing motor vehicle can apply the brakes from the towing vehicle itself and adequately stop both the towing vehicle and the trailer or semitrailer.

Every trailer or semitrailer manufactured after 1962 must be equipped with brakes upon all wheels.

Every trailer or semitrailer between 3,001 and 5,000 lbs. only requires brakes on 1 axle.


Trailer Hitch/Signals

No requirements by law as to type of hitch or mount. Safety chains required on all trailers under 6,000 lbs. Tow bar not required.


Trailer Lighting

Trailers and semitrailers 80 inches or more in width must be equipped with 2 front clearance lamps on each side, 2 rear clearance lamps on each side, and 2 side marker lamps and 2 reflectors, 1 of each on the front and on the rear.

Trailers and semitrailers 30 feet or more in length must have 1 amber side marker

lamp and 1 amber reflector, centrally located on each side.

Every trailer and semitrailer must be equipped with at least 1 red light mounted on the rear that emits a light for at least 1,000 feet.


Trailer Mirrors

Every semitrailer or trailer manufactured after December 31, 1972, must be equipped with a mirror mounted on the left side of the vehicle and so located as to reflect to the driver a view of the highway for a distance of at least 200 feet to the rear of the vehicle.


Trailer Speed Limits

Boat or utility trailer, same as passenger car; house trailer, 55 mph, day, 50 mph, night for brake-equipped trailers 15 to 32 feet long, 50 mph for trailers without brakes less than 15 feet; all others, 45 mph.


Trailer Towing

The connection between 2 vehicles when 1 is towing the other must be of sufficient strength to pull all weight towed.

The connection must not exceed 15 feet.

When the connection between a vehicle and a towed vehicle is a chain, rope, or cable, a red flag or cloth at least 1-foot square must be displayed on the connection between sunrise and sunset, and a red light visible for a distance of at least 500 feet must be visible on the connection between sunset and sunrise.

Maximum of 2 trailers may be towed behind passenger or pleasure vehicles.


Trailer Other Provisions

Riding in towed trailers is prohibited.

Accident Reporting

Crashes must be reported immediately in cases of death, injury, or when property damage exceeds $500.00. Crashes must be reported when property damage exceeds $100.00. The deadline to file a report is 1 day.


Bail Bonds

Mandatory recognition of AAA club arrest bond certificates up to $200, where accepted.


Liability Laws

Motor vehicle operators must carry a motor vehicle liability policy in their car at all times.

Minimum liability insurance coverage must be at least $15,000 for bodily injury or death of 1 person, $30,000 for the bodily injury to 2 or more persons in any 1 accident, and at least $25,000 for damage to property as a result of any 1 accident.

State has non-resident service of process law; does not have guest suit law.


Weigh Stations

The following vehicles must stop: (1) agricultural vehicles; (2) passenger or specialty vehicles, either single or in combination (towing a trailer) with GVWR of 10,000 lbs. or more; (3) commercial trucks with GVWR of 10,000 lbs. or more.


Bicycles

Bicycle helmets are required for riders under age 12.

Drivers passing a bicycle must pass with a space of 3 feet between the motor vehicle and the bicycle.

Bicycles used in nighttime must be equipped with a front white light and a rear red light, both visible from a distance of 500 feet, as well as rear and side red reflectors visible from 100-600 feet with car headlights.


Other

Louisiana is party to the Non-Resident Violator Compact.