Here's how to get your new Louisiana driver's license, replace your out-of-state license, or renew your license.
Time Required: One to several hours
- For a first-time Louisiana driver's license, you must go to the Office of Motor Vehicles Field Office at 2001 Behrman Ave. New Orleans, LA 70114. The office is open Monday-Friday and people usually start to get in line around 6 a.m. As there is little space inside the building, you will probably have to join the line outside, so be prepared for the heat, and bring an umbrella if there's a chance of rain.
- The good news is, if you're renewing your LA driver's license, you can probably do it online. You will need to use a credit card and your current LA driver's license.
- If this is a new license for you, you will have to take the written and practical driving tests. Do not assume that you will be able to pass the written test on the strength of driving experience alone. The test is specially geared towards information in the handbooks and manuals, copies of which you can download here. Be sure to memorize all rules of the road, including distances involved, international street signs, and safety information. A class might help from an official driving school.
- Before you can take any tests for your first-time license, you will need to present proper ID and proof of insurance. These forms must be original, no Xeroxes! For the ID, you must have two of the following: birth certificate, passport, permanent resident card, certificate of naturalization, Native American tribal document, or a DOH authorization document.
- If you only have one of these, bring it and two of what are called secondary documents, which include things like an out-of-state driver's license, a high school diploma, and an LA college ID. For a complete list, see here.
- Whether this is a first driver's license or a renewal, you will have to take the vision test.
- You will need to pay your fees at the office. They take cash, cashier's checks, and credit cards. No personal checks are accepted.
- Contrary to rumors you may have heard, you have to be at least 17 years old to get a Louisiana driver's license. If you are 17, you will need your parent/guardian to come with you.
- Once you have dealt with the tests and fees, you will go to another side of the building to have your picture taken and get your license. If you're agreeing to be an organ donor, double-check that they know this before they make the card.
- This card-making part of the process can take quite a while if the office is busy. Bring something to keep yourself occupied. If at all possible, do not bring your children.
- If you are late, even by one day, in getting your license renewed, you will have to take the driving test.
What You Need
- Proper ID
- Cash, cashier's check, or credit card
- Proof of insurance