Ready to get your Alabama driver’s license and start cruising around the Heart of Dixie? Let Aceable walk you through the process. If you’re 15 to 17 years old, it’s prime time to go through a little something we call the Graduated Driver License (GDL) system. If you’re full grown, scroll to the bottom for the adult licensing process.
Obtain Your Alabama Driver License in Four Steps
- Complete drivers ed or 30 hours of supervised driving
- Pass the Department of Public Safety vision and knowledge Exam
- Practice driving
- Pass the behind-the-wheel driving test
Step 1: Enroll in Driver’s Ed (Or Don’t)
The great state of Alabama is giving you options when it comes to learning how to drive. Driver’s ed isn’t legally required, but you can take an Alabama State Department of Education approved course to learn the rules of the road. If you’d rather just practice with a parent, you can complete 30 hours of supervised driving instead of taking a class.
Step 2: Vision and Knowledge Tests
Take a vision test and written knowledge test at your local Department of Public Safety (DPS) office. You’ll need to bring original or certified copies of your U.S. birth certificate and Social Security card, and proof of school enrollment or graduation. Find examples of acceptable documents here. Once you’ve sufficiently identified yourself and proven that you have the eyes and brain of a fit driver, they will give you a learner license. The fee is $5 for testing and $36.25 for the permit.
Step 3: Practice Driving
Carry your learner license for six months while you get behind-the-wheel practice with your parent or other licensed adult who is 21 or older. If you chose to practice for 30 hours instead of taking an official drivers ed course, your parent or guardian must sign a verification form from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.
Step 4: Ace the Driving Test
Pass the behind-the-wheel driving test to get your restricted driver’s license. If you’re 16 years old, you’ll need to bring your parent or guardian (17 and older can roll up solo). Contact the DPS office by phone or online beforehand to schedule an appointment. Oh, and remember to bring your own insured vehicle for the test. This a BYOC (Bring Your Own Car) situation.
Step 5: Enjoy the Licensed Life!
Be a good sport and obey the curfews and passenger restrictions placed on your restricted driver’s license. Those rules will go away when you turn 18. You can also apply for an unrestricted license at age 17 as long as you’ve held your restricted license for at least six months.
Driver’s License Process for Adults
If you’re over 18 years old, getting your first Alabama driver’s license is a bit easier (which is great, because you’ve got all kinds of other adult stuff to do). Head to your local DPS office to pass a vision test and knowledge test. Make sure to bring your Social Security card and at least two forms of ID. Find examples of acceptable documents here. You’ll also have to pay a $5 testing fee and $36.25 license fee to the DPS. If you’re exactly 18 years old, you will also need to submit proof that you’re enrolled in school or have already graduated.
Once all the paperwork is out of the way, you can take the road test to prove your driving skills. You’ll need to have a licensed driver with you and an insured vehicle that will pass inspection. That’s it. You’ll receive your driver’s license and be ready to hit the road.