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.