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Driving


  • Drivers younger than 18 years old must complete either a;
    • Driver education course consisting of classroom hours plus behind-the-wheel hours, or a
    • Pre-licensing course consisting of classroom hours plus behind-the-wheel hours. 
  • The driver education course and the pre-licensing course must be taken through a certified driving school that has been approved through the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.
  • Drivers older than age 18 are not required to take driver's education classes.
  • All licenses are issued at your local Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) and you must apply in person. You may need an appointment, so it is best to call ahead.
  • You will need to bring two primary forms of identification, or one primary and two secondary forms;
    • Primary forms of ID: original birth certificate, a certified copy of a birth certificate, or a passport.
    • Secondary forms of ID: social security card, an ID card that has your photograph on it, high school diploma, high school yearbook that contains your photograph, Medicare/Medicaid card, or a printed pay-roll stub. 
  • If you are a male U.S. citizen between the ages of 15 to 26 years old, you must supply your social security number when you apply for a Louisiana State driver's license.
  • You must pass a vision test, a written test, and a road skills test to get your driver's license. You must answer 80 percent of the questions on the written test correctly to pass.
    • Questions for the written test are taken from the "Louisiana D & E Drivers Guide". For more information about the written test, and links to the Louisiana D & E Drivers Guide in English and Spanish, visit http://www.dmv.org/la-louisiana/driver-handbook.php.
    • You can also visit a Louisiana OMV office for a hard copy version of the Drivers Guide.
  • Road Skills Test: The road skills test may be administered by the Louisiana OMV or a certified third party provider. If the OMV is administering the road test, you must provide your own vehicle for your driving test, and the official conducting the evaluation will ask to see proof of insurance, your inspection sticker, license plates, registration and proof of your behind-the-wheel hours.
    • There is a charge for a certified third party tester to administer the test. The cost may be up to $40.00.
    • If you do not own a vehicle, a third party tester may rent a vehicle to you at an additional cost to take the road skills test.
  • You will need to pay a driver’s license fee, which is generally paid in cash. The Office of Motor Vehicles accepts payment by cash, credit cards, debit cards, money orders, and electronic funds transfer, but will charge an extra fee for any payment made with a credit, debit card, or electronic check. Refer to the Office of Motor Vehicles website for updated payment information. (Also see: http://omv.dps.state.la.us/
  • If you are presently in foster care, the fees for your license can be waived, but there is still a fee for the driver’s education course or pre-licensing class.
  • Yes, if you own a car, the state requires that you have in your car proof of liability insurance coverage at all times. Failure to maintain liability insurance may result in the loss of your driver's license and/or seizure of your vehicle, and also may require you to pay fines and reinstatement fees. Also, when you register your car you are required to show proof of liability insurance.
  • If you are driving someone else's car, there must be proof of their liability insurance coverage in the car.
    • Under the "No Pay/No Play" law, if you do not have liability insurance on the vehicle involved in an accident, you cannot collect from the other driver for the first $25,000 in property damage or $15,000 bodily injury, regardless of who is at fault. Plus, you may still have to pay fines and reinstatement fees, even if an accident is not your fault.
  • No. Under Louisiana law, you may not write, send, or read a text message, nor access social media, while on a public road or highway. Texting while driving will result in expensive tickets. The fines may be doubled if you are involved in a traffic accident while texting.
  • Persons under 18 may not use a cell phone when driving.
  • In a school zone, no one may use a cell phone for talking, texting, or social media except for emergencies.
  • Limited exceptions to cell phone laws may be made if you find yourself in one of the following situations:
    • Reporting a traffic crash, medical emergency or serious road hazard;
    • Reporting a situation in which you believe your personal safety is threatened;
    • Reporting or preventing a criminal act against yourself or another person; or
    • Writing, reading or sending a text message while your vehicle is lawfully parked.
  • If a police car is following you with its siren on or emergency lights flashing, pull over to the right as quickly and safely as possible. Come to a complete stop, and stay in the car until and unless the officer directs you to get out. Don’t start rummaging through your back pocket for your wallet and license, or in your glove compartment for your registration, until the officer asks you for them.
  • Even if you haven’t committed a violation, police officers can order drivers and any passengers to get out of a car. If an officers “reasonably believes” that drivers or passengers might be carrying weapons, they can “pat down” the car’s occupants. If an officer asks you if he/she can search the car, you have a right to say no, and this is not an admission of guilt. Police officers cannot search a car without your permission or a warrant based on a traffic violation, unless they have reason to believe that the car contains a weapon or evidence of crime that someone other than the driver might dispose of.
  • Read your traffic ticket carefully.
    • Printed on the ticket will be the name of the parish where you were ticketed as well as important information regarding payment deadlines.
    • Traffic ticket fines vary based on the type of violation. Fines also vary based on the parish where you received the ticket.
    • There may be expensive late fees or additional penalties added to your traffic ticket fine if you do not pay on time and/or appear in court on the scheduled date.
    • Read your traffic ticket for payment instructions. The parish in which you received the traffic ticket may allow you to pay your ticket online, by mail, or in person. You may be required to appear in court for certain of types tickets. If you want to fight the traffic ticket you will need to appear in court. You may want to hire a traffic ticket attorney to help you.
  • If your traffic ticket doesn't show the amount due, contact the appropriate parish traffic court for information, or visit their website to get the correct fine amount you are required to pay.
  • The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) keeps track of the number and types of traffic offenses you have committed. If you have committed certain or too many traffic offenses, your driver's license could be suspended or you could be charged higher car insurance premiums by your car insurance company.
    • You can sometimes have your traffic ticket dismissed by completing a defensive driving course. This depends on the type of violation you received. Contact the Louisiana parish court where you ticket was issued to check to see if you are eligible to take a defensive driving course.
    • If you have lost your traffic ticket, contact the parish traffic court where your ticket was issued to get your ticket information and request a copy of your ticket.
Louisiana State Bar Association
601 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70130
(800) 421-LSBA(5722) / (504) 566-1600