The State of Indiana issues new driver’s licenses at BMV branches. All applicants for new driver’s licenses must meet Indiana Real ID requirements. A Real ID issued by the Indiana BMV meets federal identification requirements. The issuance of a Real ID requires an applicant to present documents verifying identity, Social Security number, lawful status, and Indiana residency.
Persons who are not United States citizens (persons with temporary or permanent lawful status) are also required to have a Real ID and must present full documentation to be issued a new credential, or to renew or amend a credential. This includes providing documents which demonstrate identity, Social Security number (or ineligibility for a SSN), lawful status, and Indiana residency. This documentation is not required when replacing a valid Real ID. Please note that the BMV does not accept Matricula Consular cards for purposes of establishing identity or residency.
Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, a Real ID-compliant driver’s license, permit, or identification card will be required to board commercial airplanes or enter certain federal facilities unless you present a Department of Homeland Security-approved document. Indiana residents who have not already made application for a Real ID should do so during their next renewal.
Driver's License Types
Probationary Driver's License
If you are under the age of 21 when you obtain your Indiana driver's license, your license is considered probationary. To obtain a probationary driver's license, you must meet Indiana’s age requirements below and have held a learner's permit for 180 days (approximately six months). You may also need a co-signer for financial liability and a log of supervised driving if you are under the age of 18 years old.
Age Requirements for a Probationary Driver’s License
If you have successfully completed an approved driver education program you must be at least 16 years and 90 days old to obtain a driver's license.
If you have not successfully completed an approved driver education program you must be at least 16 years and 270 days old to obtain a driver's license.
A probationary driver’s license cannot be renewed until after your 21st birthday. You will have 30 days after your 21st birthday to renew your driver’s license before you will be required to pay a delinquent fee.
If you are 21 years of age or older, your Indiana driver's license is not probationary.
Renewing or Replacing a Driver's License
You may renew or replace your driver's license online if:
- your name and address have remained the same since the last time you received a license;
- you are not required to take an examination; and
- your previous renewal transaction was completed in a license branch.
You will need to provide your name, date of birth, residential address and Social Security number in order to renew or replace your driver's license online.
- Review criteria to renew online
- RENEW your driver's license online
- REPLACE a driver's license online
Endorsements and Restrictions
Endorsements and restrictions change the circumstances in which an individual may operate a motor vehicle. Some endorsements and restrictions also apply to identification cards.
Additional Licenses and Endorsements
Indiana also issues licenses for commercial driver’s licenses along with motorcycle and for-hire endorsements.
Effective January 1, 2017, the BMV will begin issuing a for-hire endorsement in place of a public passenger chauffer’s (PPC) or chauffer’s license. A PPC or chauffer’s license issued prior to January 1, 2017 will remain valid until the expiration date printed on the license.
- Obtaining a commercial driver's license
- Obtaining a motorcycle endorsement
- Obtaining a for-hire endorsement
Examinations and Screening
If you are an Indiana resident and apply for a driver’s license, you most likely have already passed your knowledge examination. However, there are situations where you may need to take another knowledge examination, such as:
- You are renewing from a probationary driver’s license to a driver’s license and have six or more points on your driver record.
- You recently moved to Indiana from another country and are applying for a driver’s license.
- Your driver’s license has been expired for more than 180 days.
- You wish to add endorsements to your driver’s license or commercial driver’s license.
As of July 1, 2019, if you are moving to Indiana from another state and hold a valid driver's license in that state you are no longer required to complete a knowledge exam (written test).
You must arrive at least one hour before a branch closes to take a knowledge examination. You do not need to schedule an appointment for a knowledge examination unless you need to have the exam read to you, you are deaf or hard of hearing. Appointments for applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing can be made by a branch manager or by calling the BMV’s Contact Center at 1-888-692-6841.
The vision screening measures your visual acuity.
Driving skills exam
You must arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time to take a driving skills exam.
- Schedule a driving skills exam as an Indiana resident
- Schedule a driving skills exam if you are new to Indiana
- Learn more about the driving skills exam
If you need to visit a BMV branch, here is a list of BMV locations.
Other Documentation You May Need to Get an Indiana Driver’s License
Log of supervised driving
Indiana law requires persons with a learner’s permit to complete at least 50 hours of supervised driving practice with a licensed instructor or:
- If the individual is less than 18 years of age:
- A licensed driver, with valid driving privileges, who is at least 25 years of age and related by blood, marriage, or legal status
- A spouse, with valid driving privileges, who is at least 21 years of age
- An individual with valid driving privileges who is licensed as a driver education instructor and is working under the direction of a driver training school
- An individual with valid driving privileges who is certified as a driver rehabilitation specialist recognized by the BMV and is employed through a driver rehabilitation program
- If the individual is over 18 years of age:
- A licensed driver, with valid driving privileges, who is at least 25 years of age
- A spouse, with valid driving privileges, who is at least 21 years of age
At least 10 hours of supervised driving practice must be nighttime driving. The practice time must be maintained in a Log of Supervised Driving and presented to the BMV at the time of application for a driver’s license. If you have a restriction G on your learner’s permit, you do not need to complete the 10 hours of nighttime driving; however, you must still complete the 50 hours total.
Financial Liability for Injury or Damage
Applicants for a learner’s permit or driver’s license who are less than 18 years of age must have one of the following adults sign a sworn or affirmed statement of financial liability in person at a license branch. The lawful (IC 9-24-9-3) order of preference is:
1. The parent having custody of the minor applicant or a designee of the custodial parent specified by the custodial parent
2. The noncustodial parent (as defined in IC 31-9-2-83) of the minor applicant or a designee of the noncustodial parent specified by the noncustodial parent
3. The guardian having custody of the minor applicant
4. In the absence of a person described in one (1) through three (3), any other adult who is willing to assume the obligations imposed by the provisions of this chapter (IC 9-24-9)
An adult who co-signs for financial liability swears or affirms financial liability for a minor applicant and agrees to be responsible jointly and severally with the minor applicant for all damage that results from operating a motor vehicle. The adult who co-signs for financial liability must present a valid form of identification, including a U.S. government-issued photo identification card that displays a United States address. The BMV does not accept Matricula Consular cards for purposes of financial liability. Any form of identity must be a U.S. government-issued identity document.
Drivers with Disabilities
If you are at least 18 years of age, disabled, and have successfully completed driver rehabilitation training conducted by a certified driver rehabilitation specialist recognized by the BMV, you may apply for a driver’s license without a learner’s permit on your record or a completed Log of Supervised Driving.
Residents with an Out-of-Country License
An out-of-country driver's license cannot be used for identification purposes. An out-of-country driver's license must be in the English language or presented with a verifiably accurate English translation of the document.
Translation of documents that are in a language other than English and without English subheadings, must be translated into English. The translation must be typed on a separate page on the letterhead of a government entity, accredited educational institution or translation agency. The translation must include a signed statement from the translator indicating that the translation is complete and accurate, attest to his or her competence as a translator and state that the document has not been translated for a family member, friend, or business associate.
If you have an out-of-country driver's license and intend to become a resident of Indiana, you must pass the vision screening, written knowledge exam, and driving skills exam to obtain an Indiana driver's license.
All documents proving your identity, Social Security number, lawful status and Indiana residency will be verified through a central verification process. The BMV will issue an interim license, valid for 30 days, authorizing the holder to drive pending authentication of documents submitted.
Once the BMV has verified the documentation that you have provided, you will receive the license, learner’s permit, or identification card. If the documents cannot be verified, you will receive a letter explaining the determination and your rights to request an administrative hearing to review the determination.
How Long is My Driver’s License Valid?
If you are a US citizen or permanent resident, you may renew your license up to twenty-four (24) months prior to its expiration. An operator knowledge test is not required when you renew a driver’s license, unless you have accumulated six or more points on your driver record since your previous renewal or your license has been expired for more than 180 days.
If you have lawful temporary status, you may renew your driver’s license at any BMV branch up to 30 days before the license expires. If you have Temporary Lawful Status your license is valid until the end date of your lawful presence OR for;
- Six years if you are less than 75 years of age,
- Three years if you are at least 75 years of age and less than 85 years of age, or
- Two years if you are at least 85 years of age.