Teen Driver’s License Checklist
Is your teen gearing up to get their driver’s license? Use these 8 steps to support their dream and newfound freedom by helping them navigate the licensing process. Oh — and be sure to celebrate after they pass their test. Yay!
Check the requirements. Review your state’s Graduate Driver’s Licensing requirements. Most require teens to complete a driver’s education course and have behind-the-wheel practice hours to get a temporary license.
Go to class. Help your teen sign up for a driver’s education class, which helps them learn the rules of the road, safe driving habits, and handling tricky conditions and emergencies.
Practice, practice, practice! Practice with your teen as often as possible. Start on parking lots, country roads or quiet areas of town before moving to the streets around town. Make sure you spend a good amount of time on the highway too – help them get comfortable driving at higher speeds, changing lanes and dealing with more traffic.
Make the appointment. Once your teen feels comfortable driving, have them schedule a licensing exam at your Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office.
Get organized. Check with your state’s DMV to see what documents your teen will need to bring.
Take the test. The driving test consists of two parts:
- Basic maneuvers: Sometimes in a nearby parking lot, the evaluator will ask drivers to perform basic maneuvers such as 3-point turns, parallel parking, acceleration and braking, using signals, checking mirrors.
- On-the-road evaluation: The driver, with the evaluator, will drive on local streets where they will review safe driving habits in real life situations. They’ll be looking to make sure the driver checks mirrors before turning, signals before turning, makes safe lane changes, applies the brake and accelerates appropriately, follows traffic signs including the speed limit, among other tests.
Fill out the paperwork. Your teen passed – yay! After the passing exam to the DMV office, fill out an application, pay a fee and have your photo taken. In most cases, you’ll get your driver’s license right there!
Be kind to yourself. If you don’t pass, don’t worry! Lots of people have to take the exam more than once. The waiting period varies by state, so ask the examiner when you can take the test again. Then get out there and practice!