Can You Drive Alone With a Permit? The [Complete] Facts

Many teens look forward to receiving their driver’s permit. But, this doesn’t mean it’s all fun because many rules come with it. The most important rule is that you need to be with a licensed adult before you can drive alone.

So, can you drive alone with a permit? The short answer is no. You’ll have problems that will persist in the future if you’re caught driving alone with a permit.

Continue reading to understand why you can’t drive alone with a learner’s permit.

What is a driver’s permit?

A driver’s permit is also called a provisional license, learner’s license, or learner’s permit. If you’re a first-time driver, you need to get this before you get a professional license. The validity of a driver’s permit usually lasts for 2 to 4 years. You can drive alone, but there are restrictions. There’s no single minimum age to get this permit since it varies by state.

Remember that you can only use this permit within your state because the rules and regulations are different from state to state. This is done to prevent confusion when learning road rules. If needed, you can request to be exempted from this from your state DMV.

What are the requirements for driving with a permit?

requirements for driving with a permitAgain, the requirements differ depending on the state. But, these are some of the most common requirements:

Be of a certain age

Many states require you to be at least 14 to 16 years old to get a driver’s permit. At this age, they’re expected to know how to follow road rules and understand the limitations of their permit.

Your supervising driver should have a valid driver’s license

driver should have a valid driver's licenseSome states not only require a certain age but also check the number of years of the supervising driver. The licensed driver might need to have one to five years of driving experience. Though the common age requirement for the driver is at least 21 years old, it can be at least 18, 20, or 25 years old.

Now, you might wonder why there are age restrictions if you’re driving with a licensed driver.

This is done to lessen possible injuries or accidents.

Have proof of insurance

All drivers, provisional or licensed, need to have insurance before they can drive alone. But. it doesn’t mean that you need your own policy. You can use your parent’s policy if you’re a dependent.

There are many insurance policy types. It’s up to you what level of protection you want for yourself and your car in case you get into an accident while driving.

Have proof of identity

The DMV, or Department of Motor Vehicles, has a record of all the drivers in the US starting from the time they received their permits. If it’s your first time processing a permit, the DMV in your state will require you to submit documents to provide identity, age, and residence in the US.

If you don’t have these supporting documents when you apply for your permit, you are likely to be rejected on the spot. Here are some of the documents you better bring with you:

  • An ID showing your name and age
  • Social security number
  • Any document showing your state residency
  • Proof of United States citizenship or legal presence

These requirements might be a little different in other states, so it’s best to check with your local DMV to make sure you have complete requirements.

Pay your testing and permit fees

Pay your testing and permit feesYou need to pay a fee before you can have the written test. The amount varies from state to state, but it’s usually not more than $100. Some states might require you to pay when you set an appointment to get your permit.

If you plan to pay fees at your local DMV, confirm with them what payment methods they accept. That’s because some only accept a check or money orders.

Pass the written test

Many states require you to pass the written test before getting your driver’s permit. This basic knowledge exam covers the traffic rules stated in the driver’s handbook. Though the number of questions differs by state, it’s usually around 25 to 50 questions. You need a passing score of 70% in most states.

It’s also possible to have a driver’s permit after you observe other drivers for years. However, reading the handbook once in a  while is good since not all drivers obey traffic rules to the letter.

Pass the vision test

You have to take this test because you need to see well to drive safely. But, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get your permit. You just need to get glasses or contact lenses.

If you wear glasses or contact lenses when you obtain your permit, the examiner will include an endorsement to your permit indicating that you wear them. That means you can’t drive even with your permit or with a supervising driver if you don’t wear your corrective lenses.

If your eyesight grade isn’t high or you only wear your glasses at times, you can pass this test. You also won’t need to wear your glasses or lenses every time you drive alone.

Attend a state-approved driver’s education course

Enrolling in a driver ed’s course will help you understand traffic signs, signals, and ways to maneuver a vehicle among many others. You can take online, face-to-face, or hybrid classes.

Drivers under the age of 21 are often only required to have this course. If you’re a student, you can attend driver’s ed courses at a discounted rate or for free. If you’re over 18, you can get information on accredited driver’s ed course providers from your state.

Can you drive alone with a permit?

No, you can’t under any circumstances. That means you can only drive alone if you’re with a licensed adult. But, can you drive alone with a permit over 21? No, it’s still not possible. If you’re just a driver’s permit holder, regardless of your age, you have to be with a licensed adult.

You also have to remember to bring your permit with you all the time when you drive alone. Aside from proving that you can drive with supervision, you can be easily identified if there’s an accident or emergency.


What is a learner’s permit?

A learner’s permit or driver’s permit is given to those who are just learning how to drive alone. So, there are restrictions meaning they don’t meet the requirements yet to have a driver’s license. When you have your learner’s permit for a certain time, attended your driving course, and passed the driving test, you qualify for a driver’s license.

What is the minimum age for a learner’s permit in my state?

There’s no single minimum age because this depends on the state. However, if you’re at least 14 years old, you can get a learner’s permit.

Are there any curfew restrictions for permit holders?

You can’t drive alone between 12 am and 5 am for the first 12 months. However, you can be exempted if you’re an independent minor, have a medical emergency, or you need to drive from work to school. Just remember to have documents proving that these conditions apply to you.

How many people can I drive alone with a permit?

The state can allow you to have a passenger who isn’t your sibling, child, or stepchild younger than 20 years old if you’ve had your permit for 6 months. Then, you can be allowed to carry 3 passengers. Make sure that there’s only one person in the passenger seat. You better follow this if you don’t want to commit a misdemeanor. However, some states aren’t strict when it comes to this.

What happens if I drive alone with a permit?

You violate traffic laws when you drive alone with a permit. Therefore, this has consequences. They’re different in every state. To give you an idea, here are some of them:

  • You have to wait longer before you can have your driving test
  • Your driving record will show your fines and tickets.
  • You’ll get points on your license
  • Your permit can be suspended or revoked
  • You can be arrested

There are also other rules you need to take note of. Some states have laws on who can be with you in the car when you drive alone. There can also be restrictions on whether you can take young passengers with you. You might also have to follow curfews

What happens if I get a traffic citation while driving with a learner’s permit?

Not only you but also your accompanying driver can be punished if you get a ticket while driving with a learner’s permit.  On top of that, you might have to wait longer to get a driver’s license. It can take a year after your violation. You might also be asked to pay fines.


Finally, driving alone with a permit is a hard no. You need to be under supervision at all times when driving. Reading this article, you have a better understanding of how important it is to follow rules and restrictions when you’re a permit holder.

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