A driver’s license is incredibly important, but getting one from your local DMV can be a chore. Due to the processes involved, some people are unsure how long does it take to get a driver’s license. Knowing how long it takes can help you better prepare and plan things for an appointment.
Unfortunately, determining the exact time it takes is difficult as the rules vary from state to state and country to country. So instead, we’ll look at the steps needed and come to an estimate.
Steps Required To Get A Driver’s License
Getting a driver’s license isn’t as simple as you might think, and there are several steps involved. The steps themselves can vary depending on where you live, so you must look through the procedure.
A difference in procedure can often mean a month of difference in waiting time, so familiarize yourself with what you need to do.
First and foremost, you need to ensure you have the proper legal documents and photos taken of yourself. Look up your state or country’s guidelines for the driver’s license and check what you need.
Missing one document or photo will cost you a trip and even a day or two, depending on how busy the DMV is. So gather your required documents and photos and place them together so that you have easy access to them.
Alongside documents, make sure you are prepared to take any written tests. If you need study material, simply download a copy of the driver’s handbook for your state or country.
This will contain the necessary rules and questions in the test usually ask for those. One day is often enough to cover the necessities for your test if you are an average learner.
2. Getting a Learner’s Permit
In most places, a learner’s permit is usually issued before one gets a driver’s license. This is a way for younger drivers to learn how to drive and gain experience. For older drivers, this is often a way to get some experience and see if they are good enough to get their license.
There is a good deal of variation in earning your learner’s permit, with some areas like the United States also requiring an intermediate license afterward. To get your learner’s permit, you need to pass a basic driving test and a vision test.
The time required for getting a learner’s permit depends mostly on how long the DMV takes to issue it. You can complete the test in a day and fill out the necessary form and submit all necessary documents. Issuing the license itself can take a week at worst.
3. Practicing Driving
To apply for the driver’s license test, you will need to have the learner’s permit for some time.
The learner’s permit is used to record time spent driving, and many DMVs specify having to drive for a certain amount of time before you’re eligible for the test. This time can vary and is usually the step that will take the longest.
If you’re aiming to get a senior license before 18, generally, you will require at least 6 months of driving to qualify.
Older people will usually require anywhere from 1 to 2 months of driving using the learner’s permit. So you should ask your DMV how much time you need to spend driving on qualifying and planning out accordingly.
In New York, you usually need to have your learner’s permit for 5 to 6 months before you can get a full driver’s license.
Once you are finally eligible for the driver’s test, you can proceed to the next step.
4. Taking the Driver’s Test
Next, you’ll need to the driving test at your local DMV by making an appointment.
Although you can make do without an appointment, depending on how busy your city is, you might end up waiting an hour for your turn. Having an appointment will save you valuable time and will also allow you to prepare at your own time.
Once you schedule an appointment for your driving, written, and vision exams and have a date fixed, you should take some time to read up on the rules. Make sure you practice parallel parking, as this is one of the most common mistakes people make in DMV driving tests.
The test itself doesn’t last too long, and at the most, it can take up to 3 hours.
5. Waiting for the Results and License
Some DMVs like the Santa Ana in Southern California have very short waiting times. You will get the results soon after your test. Then you will need to wait until they prepare your license and issue the date of collection. This is usually 2 or 3 days after the test unless a problem occurs.
So to summarize, you can expect it to take 6 to 7 months to get your driver’s license. Your first driver’s license lasts up to 5 years.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does a US driving test last?
The driving test usually lasts for 1 to 2 hours. It can vary based on your instructor, as some of them will want a longer test to judge better. The test itself will have you driving around a specified area and have you perform basic driving tasks.
How should you prepare for the test?
Read the rule books for your written test. As for the driving test, there will be a lot of points based on your driving attitude and etiquette. Improper lane changing and careless driving will cost you points and even your license.
How long does it take to learn to drive for the license?
It varies based on how quick you are on the uptake. You can learn the basics in 5 to 6 months and pass the exam if you practice every day.
What are the requirements for a US driver’s license?
This varies from state to state as the required age differs. Some states allow you to apply for a junior license at 15, while others allow at 17. Carefully check your state’s requirements before applying.
So, how long does it take to get a driver’s license? On average, 6 to 7 months, but it can take less time if you progress properly. The main time-consuming part is getting enough hours on your learner’s permit for qualification.