How to Get a Driver's License

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Getting a driver's license requires first taking a written driving test, attaining a learner's permit, practicing with a licensed driver and finally taking the state road test. Get a driver's license, mastering skills such as parallel parking and lane changing, with safety tips from a driving instructor in this free video on driving lessons.

Part of the Video Series: Driving Tips & Road Safety
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Video Transcript

Hi, Rick the driving instructor again, this time we're talking about obtaining your state drivers license. Okay, most states have a two set process, all right. You have to have the knowledge, know what you're doing out there and you got to have the experience. Okay. The knowledges comes from you taking and completing your state's written test or the knowledge test. That usually results in you getting a permit. The permit is usually good up for a year, doesn't mean that it's going to take a whole year but it's good for a year because the idea is you know, maybe it takes a year for you to get all the experience you need to be driving out there with somebody in the car acting as your coach. Remember, the permit means you got to have someone else in the car other than yourself, and most states require they be eighteen years or over, excuse me, twenty-one years or over and a licensed driver to act as your coach, which usually means it's got to be somebody, a relative, a cousin, not a brother or sister or a friend of yours. They want somebody in there that's got some experience that can be a good instructor for you. Okay. Once you pass that test, you're set to go to take driving instruction from somebody like me, or with somebody else like a parent or a friend that's a licensed driver. Okay the second step is passing your state's road test. Every state is going to require you to demonstrate that you've got not only the knowledge but you also have the skills and the confidence to handle this automobile on the particular route that that state has you negotiate to get your license. Typically it takes about fifteen minutes, it may involve parking through some cones, it may involve parking parallel parking or perpendicular parking. Some states require the parallel, some states don't. It all depends on what your particular state would require you to do. The other thing to remember is is that when you go through the road test, that you can make minor mistakes, there's an evaluation system of course, but you can make minor mistakes without it being a show stopper. Obviously if you do anything unlawful, run through a red light or fail to stop completely at a stop sign, or you do a bad lane change or anything like that without using signals or checking your blind spots, that's going to be a show stopper. So remember when they're over there and they're writing things down on that clipboard, they're writing the good things you're doing and the mistakes. You can make minor mistakes, you don't have to be perfect. Once you've accomplished that, then you're ready to go because you've passed the written test, you know what you're supposed to be doing out there, and you've demonstrated by passing the road test that you know what you're supposed to do out there when there's no one there acting as your coach. So those are the two steps you must qualify for in order to get your state driving license. Now, for those who already have a license from a different state, different process. Normally, you've been driving before and therefore there's no requirement for you to do a road test for that state. However some states will require you to take their knowledge test again because every state again has different laws. So just be prepared that you may have to bone up a little bit on that state's particular laws through obtaining a copy of the handbook for that particular state. Otherwise there should be no problem changing over your license from a state to a different state to the state that you're in right now. Also the time limit on that - most states only give you a thirty day time limit, a lot of folks think it could be three months or sixty days, it's usually thirty days. So just remember, thirty days is the magic time period for you to obtain the state's drivers license from that particular state, if you're going to be there for more than thirty days. So that's what you have to know about obtaining your drivers license in a particular state that you're going to be sharing the road with all the other fellow travelers out there.

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