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Alabama Driver’s License Requirements (A Complete Guide)

Alabama Driver’s License Requirements

Calling everyone in Alabama looking to get their first driver’s license….

Are you not sure where to begin?

What the step-by-step requirements are?

We’ve got you covered. 

We’re going to give you a complete guide to Alabama driver’s license requirements. We’re going to mention the steps for both teens and adults so that everyone can benefit from this guide. 

Plus, we’ll include an FAQ section at the end. 

So buckle up and let’s go!

What are the Requirements to Get a Driver’s License in Alabama?

For anyone between 15-17, you need to follow Alabama’s Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) program. 

This program consists of 3 stages:

  • Learner’s permit
  • Restricted or provisional license
  • Unrestricted or regular license

Let’s take a close look at each stage.

Stage 1. Learner’s Permit

Once you hit 15 years old, you can already get a learner’s permit. 

With this, you’ll be able to practice how to drive. However, you must always have your parent, legal guardian, a licensed driver age 21, or a certified driving instructor on the front seat. 

So how do you get your learner’s permit?

Here are the 6 steps:

  1. Schedule an appointment with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) online (click here)
  2. Pass a vision test
  3. Pass the written exam
  4. Pay the fees
  5. Get your learner’s permit

When you arrive at the office, don’t forget to bring:

  • 2 forms of identification. One should be a primary ID.
  • Original Social Security card or Medicare/Medicaid card
  • Proof of school enrollment (can either be a completed form DL1/93 or a GED or graduation certificate)
  • $41.25 for the fees ($5 for the exam and $36.25 for the permit). Important: must be paid through cash or money order. The DMV does NOT accept checks. 

What can you expect from the written exam?

All 30 questions are based on information found in the Alabama Driver Manual. You need to get 24 questions correct to pass. 

Tip: It’s a good idea to study the Alabama Driver Manual if you want to pass the test on your first try. If not, then you can also avail of a FREE permit practice test here

Once you get hold of your learner’s permit, you can then start practicing how to drive!

Note: learner’s permits are valid for 4 years. 

Stage 2. Restricted or Provisional License

When you turn 16, you can change your learner’s permit to a restricted license, as long as you have held the permit for 6 months and have completed 30 hours of behind-the-wheel practice. 

Note: you can keep your learner’s permit until you turn 18. If so, you can skip stage 2 and go straight to stage 3. However, your driving will be very limited until your 18th birthday. 

Now, the restricted license allows you to drive more freely. However, as the name implies, there are still restrictions. These are:

  • CANNOT drive between 12 am to 6 am unless: 
    • Your parent, legal guardian, or a licensed driver at least 21 (with parent/legal guardian consent) is with you
    • You are driving to and from a school or religious event
    • You are driving to and from work 
    • You are driving for a medical, fire, or law emergency
  • CANNOT have more than 1 passenger with you unless it’s your parents, legal guardians, or family members
  • CANNOT use any handheld devices while driving

As for the steps to get this license, you need to: 

  1. Submit a 30-hour behind-the-wheel verification form. It must be signed by your parent, grandparent, legal guardian, or certified driving instructor. If not a verification form, you can submit a certificate of completion form stating that you completed a State Department of Education (SDE) approved driver’s education course. 
  2. Submit a ‘permission to drive without supervision’ form signed by your parent, grandparent, or legal guardian. 

All forms can be found here. 

  1. Pass the road skills exam
  2. Pay the fees
  3. Surrender your learner’s permit
  4. Get your restricted or provisional license

Tip: you no longer have to take a road skills exam if you completed a Private High School Driver and Traffic Safety Education program at your high school. 

To schedule your road skills exam, you can do so online (click here). However, walk-ins are also allowed in any Driver’s License Office

Here’s what you should bring when you arrive at the office:

  • The forms we mentioned above (verification OR certificate of completion form AND permission to drive without supervision form’)
  • 2 forms of identification. One should be a primary ID.
  • Original Social Security card or Medicare/Medicaid card
  • Proof of school enrollment (can either be a completed form DL1/93 or a GED or graduation certificate)
  • If 17 or younger, you must bring your parent or legal guardian
  • A vehicle for the road skills exam (should be in good condition and have proof of car insurance)
  • $36.25 for the license fee (checks not accepted)

If you pass, then Hooray! You’ve now entered stage 2!

But what if you fail?

Don’t worry. You can always retake it. 

Want to get an idea of how the road skills exam works? Check out this video:

Stage 3. Unrestricted or Regular License

We’ve come to the final stage of Alabama’s Graduated Driver’s License program. This is when you can finally get hold of a regular driver’s license. 

Once you turn 17 and have held your restricted license for 6 months, simply visit a local Driver’s License Office, pay a fee of $31.25 (may be more expensive in different counties), and exchange the restricted license for an unrestricted one. 

As simple as that!

However, if you skipped stage 2, there are a few steps you need to complete in order to get the regular license. 

  1. Schedule a road skills exam online or simply walk in your local Driver’s License Office 
  2. Pass the road skills exam
  3. Pay the license fee of $36. 25 (checks NOT accepted)
  4. Surrender your learner’s permit
  5. Get your unrestricted or regular license

What if you are just starting the driver’s license process when you are 18 years old or older?

For that, you need to get a learner’s permit, hold it for 6 months, then follow the steps above. 

So that ends our guide for the Alabama driver’s license requirements. 

As you can see, Alabama’s Graduated Driver’s License program is very straightforward with its different stages. 

Alabama Driver’s License Requirements FAQs

Got some questions?

We’re going to answer the most frequently asked questions here in hope that we answer yours. 

What forms of ID do I need to get my license in Alabama?

For identification forms, you need one primary ID with photo and one secondary ID. 

Here is a list of some primary IDs in Alabama:

  • U.S Passport
  • Certified U.S Birth Certificate
  • Alabama Identification Card
  • Certificate of Citizenship
  • U.S Certificate of Naturalization
  • Alabama Voter Identification Card

Here is a list of some secondary IDs in Alabama:

  • School ID card with photo
  • Voter Registration Card
  • Health Insurance Card
  • Immunization (Shot) Record
  • Utility Bill (no more than 6 months old)
  • Social Security Correspondence
  • DMV receipt for fines paid (must be recent)

How many questions are on the Alabama driving test?

There are 30 questions, all multiple choice and based on the Alabama Driver Manual. To pass, you need to answer at least 24 correct (80%).

Can you take the written driving test online in Alabama?

Unfortunately, Alabama does NOT allow you to take the driving test online. You will need to appear at your local Driver’s License Office to take it. 

Can you get your license at 20 without a permit in Alabama?

As stated above, if you are 18 years old or older, you no longer need to go through the full Graduated Driver’s License program. 

You can go straight from a learner’s permit to a regular license. All you need to do is hold the permit for 6 months, pass the road skills exam, and pay the license fees. 

Who is NOT allowed to get a driver’s license in Alabama?

You cannot get licensed in Alabama if:

  • You are under 15 years old
  • You’ve had your license suspended or revoked in another state
  • You suffer a physical or mental impairment that prevents you from controlling a motor vehicle
  • You are a habitual drunkard or addicted to narcotic drugs
  • You are under 19 years old and do NOT have secondary school graduation

Conclusion 

So there you have it. 

You now understand the Alabama driver’s license requirements. 

Whether you just turned 15 or are already 35, this complete guide will help you get hold of your full, regular license. 

To give you a quick recap:

  • 15-year-olds and older should start with a learner’s permit. They need to hold the permit for 6 months, turn 16 years old, and complete 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training (the last 2 not applicable for 18-year-olds and older)
  • 16-17 year olds can then get a restricted license. They need to hold this license for 6 months before getting an unrestricted or regular license. 
  • Age 18+ can get their regular license, whether they have a restricted license or not

We hope that this article has been a great help!

Good luck!

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