How Long Do You Have To Have Your Permit (And Why)?

How Long Do You Have To Have Your Permit (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 6 Months

The literal meaning of the term ‘permit’ is to give permission. Thus, a driver’s permit which is also known by other names such as learner’s permit, learner’s license, or provisional license is the initial stage before proceeding towards getting the final driver’s license.

A driver’s permit can be availed by people who have not yet attained the legal age of obtaining a driving license and are still minors but are eligible for obtaining a learner’s permit. This permit allows the holder of such permit to drive a vehicle but not entirely on their own.

How Long Do You Have To Have Your Permit?

When a person has reached their legal age to obtain a learner’s permit which is different for different states and nations, one can apply for a driver’s permit to be able to drive a vehicle under supervision. Holders of this permit are allowed to drive with restrictions once they pass the road test for obtaining the driver’s permit.

Mandatory documents which would be required by such a person to apply for a permit are proof of identity, receipt of payment of required fees, a written acknowledgment of passing the vision test, and a driving knowledge exam. However, these requirements might vary from state to state.

The restrictions that are imposed on a holder of a learner’s permit get removed once such a person reaches maturity or the legal age of driving of the concerned state. Thus, one could comprehend a driver’s permit as a stepping stone in achieving a full driver’s license at a later stage.

A person who has not at all driven any vehicle before, such a person might first be required to obtain a driver’s permit before being eligible to obtain a full driver’s license. After the person has driven the car for a certain period with the learner’s permit and is of legal age of being a licensed driver, one can get the final driver’s license

To take an actual road test for obtaining a full legal license by eligible people to become licensed drivers, one was to wait for at least 6 months from the date of receiving the learner’s permit.

Validity of a learner’s permit6 months
Validity of a permanent driving license20 years

Why Do You Have To Wait So Long To Have Your Permit?

A learner’s permit may be held either by minor people or by people who have never driven any vehicle before. Thus, no matter what age a person is, such a person may not be allowed to drive alone unless supervised and accompanied by an adult who is a valid holder of a legal driving license.

Thus, people who are below the age of 18 which is mostly the legal age of driving in most states, are issued with a learner’s permit which is a provisional license with restriction and such people should hold the permit for at least 6 months and not less than 6 months before taking the behind the wheel road test to obtain the final license.

For all people who are willing to obtain a full driver’s license, getting a learner’s permit first is mandatory. To get closer to becoming a fully licensed driver, one has to cross the first stage and avail of the learner’s permit. One can easily obtain it by passing a driving knowledge written exam or taking a basic competency test in the vehicle, or both as per the requirements of the concerned state.

After 6 months of having the driver’s permit and successfully complying with the compulsory driving hours as the case may be, along with completion of road test and having necessary driving knowledge, one can apply for a full driver’s license to become a fully valid licensed driver who can drive on his own without having another licensed driver accompanied with such person as in case of a person with a learner’s permit.


A permit is a type of restricted and provisional license that gives access to a person who is learning to drive to drive a vehicle under the supervision of a fully licensed person. As this permit is given to a person who is learning to drive or to first-time drivers, it is also called a learner’s permit or driver’s permit.

A person has to wait for a minimum of 180 days i.e 6 months from the date of availing of the learner’s permit to apply for a full driver’s license and to appear for the road test for the same. This is known as the 6 months rule which has to be mandatorily complied with.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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