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LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
OFFICE OF MOTOR VEHICLES
Section:I Issuance of Driver's LicenseEffective: 05/01/1986
Number:1.00Revised: 01/08/2014

CLASSES OF LICENSES AND AGE REQUIREMENTS

POLICY:

To view Louisiana Statutes: http://www.legis.state.la.us/

AUTHORITY
R. S. 32:405.1
R. S. 32:407
R. S. 32:408
R. S. 32:422

GENERAL
Every person who operates a motor vehicle which is designed as being in either Class A, B, C, D, or E , before driving or operating any such motor vehicle on any public street, road, or highway of this State, shall secure from the Department an appropriately classified driver's license with all necessary endorsements.

Types of driver's licenses:
Class E - personal vehicle license
Class D - chauffeur license
Classes A, B, and C - commercial vehicle license

EXCEPTIONS
  • The only driver's license required of a full-time, regularly-paid operator or volunteer of an emergency medical vehicle or fire-fighting equipment unit employed by a municipality, parish, fire protection district, or other political subdivision of this State, or civilian employees of the U.S. military who are required to operate emergency vehicles, shall be a Class E driver's license when operating such vehicle or equipment unit in the course and scope of his employment. However, if a driver is employed by a private EMS service, he will have to secure a Class D license.
  • The only license required for military personnel on active duty driving a military vehicle will be a Class E license. This includes National Guard and Reserve personnel while on duty and is valid only for operation of military vehicles.
  • The only license required for farmers and their employees will be a Class E license as long as they are operating within 150 air miles of the owner or operator's farm. A farmer may transport agricultural products, farm machinery, farm supplies, agricultural crop production fertilizers, agricultural chemicals, or agricultural related fuels found to be hazardous under the provisions of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act which requires the motor vehicle to bear a placard.
  • The only license required for someone operating a recreational vehicle for personal use will be a Class E license.

NOTE: The operator of any motorcycle, motor driven cycle or motorized bicycle/moped (a pedal bicycle which may be propelled by human power or helper motor or both), in excess of 5 horsepower, regardless of maximum speed, or size of motor, must have an "M" endorsement on one of the classes of driver's license.

DEFINITIONS & AGE REQUIREMENTS
The class of driver's license needed depends on the kind of vehicle being driven. Drivers may also be required to have appropriate endorsement(s) on their Commercial Driver's License.

R.S. 32:408 B.(2)(a) and 405.1:
Class A Commercial Driver's License - Combination Vehicles
Age Requirements: 18 years or above for intrastate and 21 years or above for interstate.
Permits the operation of all vehicles within Classes B, C, D, and E, with any appropriate endorsements and any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, provided that the gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicle or vehicles being towed is in excess of 10, 000 pounds.
  • If the pulling unit of the combination vehicle is 26,000 pounds or less, a restriction (55 - No 18-wheelers) must be added to the license.
  • If vehicle being towed has a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less, it is not taken into consideration.

R.S. 32:408 B.(2)(b) and 405.1:
Class B Commercial Driver's License - Heavy Straight Vehicle
Age Requirements: 18 years or above for intrastate and 21 years or above for interstate.
Permits the operation of any vehicle within Classes C, D, and E, with any appropriate endorsement(s) plus any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of twenty-six thousand and one or more pounds. A "straight vehicle" is defined for the purpose of this class as being one that does not bend or have a moveable joint in its frame between the driver seat and the cargo or passenger compartment.

R.S. 32:408 B.(2)(c) and 405.1:
Class C Commercial Driver's License - Light Vehicle
Age Requirements: 18 years or above for intrastate and 21 years or above for interstate.
Permits the operation of any vehicle within Classes D and E, with any appropriate endorsement(s), plus any single vehicle less than 26,001 pounds GVWR.
This group includes vehicles designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, and which are not within the definition of a Group A or B vehicle, and vehicles used in the transportation of placarded amounts of hazardous materials.

Special Note for Commercial Driver's Licenses
R.S. 32:408 (3)
Applicable Endorsements:
"T" Double/Triple Trailers
"P" Passenger
"N" Tank Vehicles
"H" Hazardous Materials * (issued only to persons 21 years of age or above)*
"X" Combination Tank Vehicles and Hazardous Materials
"M" Motorcycle
"S" School Bus

R.S. 32:408 B. (2)(d) and 405.1:
Class "D" Chauffeurs Driver's License
Age Requirements: 17 years or above.
Permits the operation of all vehicles included in Class E plus any single motor vehicle used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle has a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,001 or more pounds but less than 26,001 pounds, or any combination of vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the vehicle has a combined vehicle weight rating of 10,001 or more pounds but less than 26,001 pounds (inclusive of a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds); or any vehicle designed or utilized for the transportation of passengers for hire or fee; and not utilized in the transportation of materials found to be hazardous under the provisions of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act which requires the vehicle to bear a placard under the provision of Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR Part 172, Subpart F).

NOTE: As long as the combined gross vehicle weight rating (truck and trailer) is less than 26,001 pounds you can operate with Class D.

R.S. 32:408 B.(2)(e) and 405.1:
Class E Driver's License - Personal Vehicle
Age Requirements: 17 years or above.
Permits the operation of any single motor vehicle under 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, any personal use recreational vehicle and farm vehicles controlled and operated by a farmer to transport agricultural products, farm machinery, or farm supplies to and from a farm within 150 air miles of the owner's or operator's farm (not used in operation of a Common or Contract Carrier, and not used to transport passengers or property for hire)or any other vehicle which is not used in the transportation of hazardous materials which is required to be placarded. No first-time application for a Louisiana Class E license shall be received from any person seventeen (17) years of age or older unless there is also submitted with the application written evidence of the successful completion by the applicant of a full thirty-eight (38) hour driver's education course. If the applicant is eighteen (18) year of age or older, he must provide written evidence of the successful completion of an approved six (6) hour "pre-licensing" training course in addition to completion of an eight (8) hour behind-the-wheel instruction course which was approved by the Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections. Effective January 1, 2011, the applicant shall provide a signed statement to the department attesting that he has completed a minimum of fifty (50) hours of supervised driving practice with a licensed parent, guardian, or adult at least twenty-one (21) or older. At least fifteen (15) of these hours must be night time driving. New applicants transferring in with an out-of-state, foreign, or military license are exempt from this requirement.

NOTES:
Effective 08/01/2012
  • An eighteen (18) year old or older or parent or guardian of a seventeen (17) year old first time applicant for a Class "E" license shall provide a signed statement to the department attesting he has completed a minimum of fifty hours of supervised driving practice with a licensed parent, guardian, or adult at least twenty-one (21) or older. At least fifteen (15) of these hours must be night time driving.
  • If the applicant for a Class "E" license is seventeen (17) years of age and is emancipated, the applicant shall provide the attestation for himself, provided that the applicant has the necessary identifying information and documentation.

Effective 09/16/2013
  • Effective September 16, 2013, the minor applicant seventeen (17 years of age) must also present a completed Certification of Required Attendance form indicating his enrollment / attendance status. A current Certificate of Required School Attendance must be submitted each time a minor makes application with the Office of Motor Vehicles (to lift the 02 restriction, be issued a duplicate, be issued a Class E (at age 17) or request a change of address).
  • For home study or registered nonpublic school students, the parent/guardian must submit one of the following documents each time a minor makes application with the OMV (as stated above) :
  • SBESE home study - signed and approved Home Study Approval Notification Letter. This letter is valid for one year from the date on the letter and must be renewed annually.
  • Private option - signed Registered Nonpublic School: Registration Confirmation Letter verifying registration of the nonpublic school. This letter is valid for one year from the date of the letter and must be renewed annually.
  • If the applicant has graduated or attained the high school equivalency diploma, he may present the diploma upon application in lieu of the Certification of Required Attendance.

R.S. 32:422
Class E Learner's License for those 18 years of age and above
Any applicant eighteen (18) years of age or above who is applying for a learner's license will be required to provide proof that he/she has completed a full thirty-eight (38) hour driver's education course or a six (6) hour pre-licensing course in addition to completion of an eight (8) hour behind-the-wheel instruction course. Once this proof is furnished and provided all other general requirements are met including successfully passing the vision and written examinations, the learner's license may be issued. This license authorizes the holder to drive while accompanied by a licensed driver. Upon providing this proof, the restriction may be removed immediately upon the applicant successfully passing the on-the-road driving examination.

GRADUATED DRIVER'S LICENSING PROGRAM
The GDL program applies to applicants under the age of seventeen.

R.S. 32:407
Class E Learners Permit
Age Requirements: 15 and 16 years of age.
A minor fifteen or sixteen years of age may only be issued a Class E Learner's License/Permit. This license will enable the minor to drive while being accompanied by a licensed parent, guardian or a licensed adult at least age twenty-one or older or a licensed sibling at least age eighteen or older but in no event may it be upgraded to a higher class license prior to the minor reaching sixteen years of age. In addition to the licensed parent, sibling, guardian or adult, there may be other members of the permittee's immediate family in the vehicle and when accompanied by a driver's education teacher there may be one or more fellow driver education students in the vehicle.

The following qualifications must be met in order to obtain the learner's license:
  • Must successfully complete an approved driver education course approved by the Department of Education or the Department of Public Safety & Corrections consisting of a minimum of thirty (30) hours classroom training and eight (8) hours of on-the-road training.
  • Must pass a written examination and a vision examination.
  • Must submit a completed Certification of Required Attendance form indicating the applicant's enrollment / attendance status (effective September 16, 2013).
  • If the applicant is home schooled, the parent/guardian must contact the Department to obtain the attendance form.
  • If the applicant has graduated or attained the high school equivalency diploma, he may present the diploma upon application in lieu of the Certification of Required Attendance.

Class E Intermediate License
Age Requirement: 16 years of age.
The Class E learner's license may be converted to a Class E intermediate license upon the applicant being at least sixteen years of age and passing the on-road driving test, provided that the applicant has held the license for at least one hundred eighty days if he is not yet seventeen years of age. Effective January 1, 2011, no applicant shall be issued a Class "E" intermediate license unless a signed statement by the parent or legal guardian is provided to the department attesting that the applicant has a minimum of fifty (50) hours of behind the wheel driving experience with a licensed parent, guardian, or adult at least twenty-one (21) or older. At least fifteen (15) of these hours must be night time driving. The intermediate license shall restrict those under the age of seventeen from driving between 11:00 pm and 5:00 am unless otherwise accompanied by a licensed parent or guardian, by a licensed adult at least twenty-one years of age, or by a licensed sibling at least eighteen years of age. An intermediate licensee may not transport more than one passenger under 21 years of age and who is not a member of his immediate family (between 6pm and 5am) unless he is accompanied by a licensed parent or guardian, or adult at least 21 years of age. In addition to the licensed parent, sibling, guardian or adult, there may be other members of the permit holder's immediate family in the vehicle and when accompanied by a driver's education teacher there may be one or more fellow driver's education students in the vehicle.

Once an applicant with a learner's permit reaches his 17th birth date, that applicant is eligible for full licensure provided he passes the road skills test.

Note: A custodial parent's signature will always be required at any time a license is upgraded to a higher class. In the case where joint custody has been awarded, only the domiciliary parent may sign. Exceptions to this rule are those minors who are married or who have been emancipated.

Exceptions:
Any applicant at least sixteen years of age, but less than seventeen years of age, moving to Louisiana from another state shall be eligible for the issuance of a Class E intermediate driver's license provided such applicant meets all other requirements for licensure in Louisiana if proof of issuance of a driver's license or learner's license for a minimum of 180 days from the state of previous residence is provided. The proof of driver’s education will not be required as this applicant will not be considered a "first time" applicant.

Fees for Upgrading:
When upgrading to the next stage within the GDL program, the following fees apply:
  • $5.00 - duplicate license fee
  • $8.00 - handling fee
RELATED POLICIES
Section I 6.01 Driver Education Requirements
8.00 Authorization/Licensing of Minor's Application for a Driver's License
8.02 Provisional Custody by Mandate
Section II 16.00 Privileges Cancelled by Request of Parent


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