Do you remember when you got your learner’s permit? It was probably an exciting time (tinged by a little bit of fear). In fact, now that I think about it, it was probably the same for your parent(s) – except maybe the fear outweighed the excitement.
Now, here you are, with a teenager of your own and it’s time for your baby to get a learner’s permit. The only thing is that you homeschool them and don’t know where to start the process. You also might be like me, imagining them still just like in the picture below-
I know, I was in the same boat as my own teen just this year entered his 15th year of life. After a few nerve pills (LOL), I had to buckle up (pun intended) and figure out what to do, where to go, whom to speak with, and get the ball rolling towards his learner’s permit.
That’s what this article is all about. I hope to give you the important info on how homeschoolers can get their learner’s permit. While the rules for who can get a learner’s permit, when, and how it is done may vary, the following are things you should know.Basically, this is a mini version of the homeschoolers guide to getting a learner’s permit.
What is a learner’s permit?
A learner’s permit (also called a driver’s permit, a learner’s license, or an instructional permit) is a restricted license that is given to a person (normally a teenager) who is learning to drive, but has not yet met the prerequisite for receiving a driver’s license. It allows them to learn to drive on the road, but with certain limitations.
The biggest limitation with a learner’s permit is the person must be supervised by an adult with a driver’s license in the passenger seat whenever they are driving. More specific rules (such as how many other passengers can be in the car, hours during which they can drive, etc.) vary from state to state.
What are the basic requirements?
Proof of identity, age and residency.
The minimum age for a learner’s permit is generally 14 to 18 years of age. However, you should check your state’s requirements to be sure. You should also be able to provide documentation such as social security card, birth certificate, and any other documentation required by your state.
If your child is a minor, you must provide proof of your residency in person by providing documentation such as your vehicle registration, a utility bill, a receipt for personal property or real estate taxes, a deed or mortgage, or any other documentation approved by your state.
Pass a written knowledge test
Your child should be able to take and pass the written learner’s permit test to prove that he or she will be a knowledgeable, safe, and responsible driver. To prepare for the test, it is recommended that your child study your state’s driver’s manual. He or she can also take practice tests.
Pass a vision test
Just as with getting a driver’s license, a person applying for their learner’s permit must pass a vision test to ensure that they can see well enough to drive.
Possibly Pass a Driver’s Education course
Many states require some type of driver’s education course in order to apply for a learner’s permit. These driver’s ed programs cover such material as traffic signs, motor vehicle laws, and safe driving techniques. This is where things get a bit complex, though far from impossible. For homeschoolers, there are several options for completing driver’s ed. They can take it:
- At a local public or private school
- At a commercial driver training school
- Via homeschool instruction (though approval of this may be required through your local school district and/or DMV office, so it helps to check).
- Online driver’s ed programs, such as Cordura, Aceable, DriversEd.com, and Driver Ed To Go.
Fill out a learner’s permit application
Of course, your child will need to fill out a learner’s permit application. You can do this at your local DMV office. Some states also have an online application.
Pay any applicable fees
You will also need to pay any fees for the application and tests.
Provide signed consent from parent or guardian
If your child is under the age of 18, you will need to provide signed consent that they can receive their learner’s permit.
As long as you have these things taken care of, your child should be able to receive a learner’s permit – and be one step closer to becoming a licensed driver. Woot!
What to do if the DMV gives you trouble?
Unfortunately, there have been cases where DMV officials have refused to accept homeschool documentation (such as intent forms or transcripts) as official. Of course, this can be unfair and frustrating. Fortunately, the cause has been championed over the years by the Homeschool Legal Defense Association.
They have fought ceaselessly for the rights of homeschool families – including the right for homeschool students to be able to drive legally. As the result of their hard work, a bill was passed that requires all DMV officials to treat homeschool diplomas the same as they would any other diploma.
To learn more about the bill that assured equal treatment for homeschooled learners permit applicants, read this HSLDA article, DMV Lets Homeschoolers Drive. If you have ever had a homeschool-related issue getting a learner’s permit, reach out to the HSLDA. They’re here to help us! Know the laws for homeschool in your state is also a bit helpful.
As mentioned throughout the article, the laws and specifics about getting a learner’s permit vary by state. It always helps to contact your local DMV office with specific questions. You can also visit DrivingTests.org to find more information about driving tests in your state.
Don’t miss out on Homeschooler’s Guide To Getting a Learner’s Permit– Learning to Drive Mashup on my youtube.
Lastly, let me just cry one more time about my own teen. See picture A-
Just a few years ago he was so excited about this car at a local dealership back in West Virginia.
Now Picture B-
Now we are here. I am both excited for the future and a bit sad, in the blink he grew up. Now all, please pray for me as this one hits the road- literally. lol Also, thank you to all my friends who let me include their babies pictures in my post. <3