What Happens If Your Learner's Permit Expires?

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Every state requires a learner's permit when you are learning how to operate a vehicle. It is illegal to continue driving if yours has expired. Contact your state's motor vehicle department for specific information on how to get your expired permit valid again.

Valid Period

The period of validity varies by state. Many offer two-year permits, but some offer one-year permits, like Washington, and others extend theirs as four years, like Alabama. While your permit is active, you can take driving lessons from a professional instructor and practice with anyone licensed and qualified to drive. This person must have had their license for the number of years that your state specifies. You must satisfy the hours of training required in your state before you can apply for a driving skills test to obtain a license.

Available Options

In some places you can renew your learner's permit under certain conditions. For instance, in Washington, D.C., you can renew if you are under 18 and your permit has been expired no longer than six months. Individuals aged 21 or older cannot renew a learner's permit in the District, so they must reapply. Other states require a new application for a permit when the initial one expires.

Renewing a Permit

If your state allows you to renew your permit, you may have to pay a fee. The amount depends on the state. Show your identification and your expired permit. You won't have to retake the written test.

Reapplying for a Permit

The process of reapplying for a learner's permit is the same as that of applying for an initial one. Complete an application at your state's regulating department and submit documents that prove your identity, age, legal status, Social Security number and residence. Some acceptable documents include your passport, Social Security card, birth certificate and permanent residence card. You can prove your residence with utility bills that show your current address. Your state's motor vehicle department also might provide a list of documents you can bring on its website or over the telephone.

In addition to the documentation,you must bring a parent or legal guardian with you to sign the form if you are under 18. Pay the fee with cash, check or credit card. The amount varies by state.

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