How old do I have to be to obtain a permit?

That depends on your state, which permit you want to obtain (some states include more than one kind of drivers permit in their GDL programs) and, in some cases, whether you’ve taken drivers education.

The grid below will tell you how old you must be to obtain the first learners permit (unless otherwise stated) in your state; if your state’s GDL program requires you to obtain another kind of drivers permit between the initial permit and your full drivers license, that required age will be older than the one you see in the grid (but younger than 18 or, in some cases, 21).

Your state’s DMV or driver licensing Web site and driver handbook are two good places to find out more information about your state’s GDL program. They’re also great resources for learning more about preparing to obtain your learners permit such as studying for your permit test and taking a practice permit test.

Alabama 15
Alaska 14
Arizona 15 1/2
Arkansas 14
California 15 1/2
Colorado 15-15 1/2 (for the Driver Education Permit, if you complete an Affidavit of Completion of a Driver Education Classroom Course or Behind-the-Wheel Training); 15 1/2-16 (for the Driver Awareness Permit, if you complete an approved four-hour driver awareness program); 16-21 (for the Minor Instruction Permit)
Connecticut 16
Delaware 16
Florida 15
Georgia 15
Hawaii 15 1/2
Idaho 14 1/2
Illinois 15
Indiana 15 1/2 (for the Driver Education Learner Permit); 16 (for the regular learners permit)
Iowa 14
Kansas 14
Kentucky 16
Louisiana 15
Maine 15
Maryland 15 and 9 months
Massachusetts 15
Michigan 14 and 9 months
Minnesota 15
Mississippi 15
Missouri 15
Montana 14 1/2
Nebraska 14 1/2
Nevada 15 1/2
New Hampshire 15 1/2
New Jersey 16
New Mexico 15
New York 16
North Carolina 15
North Dakota 14
Ohio 15 1/2
Oklahoma 15 1/2 (with drivers ed); 16 (without drivers ed)
Oregon 15
Pennsylvania 16
Rhode Island 16
South Carolina 15
South Dakota 14
Tennessee 15
Texas 15
Utah 15
Vermont 15
Virginia 15 1/2
Washington 15
West Virginia 15
Wisconsin 15
Wyoming 15
Washington DC 16

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