Transitions has had the pleasure of supporting several of our Apprentices as they work toward getting their driver’s licenses. Apprentice Garett got his permit earlier in the summer and has been enjoying learning how to drive and getting to know his hometown in a new way by navigating behind the wheel. Though it’s only been a couple months, he already feels comfortable getting around his community in his teacher’s red Fiat. Garett hasn’t worked on the dreaded parallel parking yet, but he’s developing safe driving habits and making great progress toward getting his license!
Following in Garett’s footsteps, Apprentice Coty just got his permit in the past week! This means that he and Garett can support each other as peers as they practice driving.
If you or a young person you know wants to get their driver’s license but is unsure how to go about it, read on for a step-by-step guide from the Transitions staff.
- Identify if you feel ready to study for the driver’s permit test. Self-awareness and good safety skills are a must! Transitions helps students improve in these areas and identify what they need to work on.
- Research your region’s rules and procedures for obtaining a driver’s permit. A good place to start is your state’s DMV website.
- Create a budget to save the funds necessary to take the permit test. Fees for taking tests and getting permits and licenses vary depending on where you live. Check your local DMV for details.
- Prepare for the permit test. Study your local DMV’s Driver’s Manual, take practice tests and get experience in navigating on the road. Transitions encourages Apprentices to learn how to use their phone GPS and look up directions to get to destinations. While they are on the road together, mentors will ask for step-by-step directions, quiz Apprentices about road signs and challenge Apprentices to problem solve if there is construction or if a route is incorrect.
- After you have aced all your practice tests, fill out a permit application.
- Take and pass your permit test! Don’t be discouraged if you don’t pass it on the first time. Try again until you are successful.
- Once you have your permit, identify who will help you practice driving and keep track of your hours. You must have a licensed driver age 21 or older in your passenger seat while you practice. If family and friends are not an option, Transitions supports Apprentices to apply for ACCES-VR services for driving lessons. Research to see if ACCES-VR or similar services are available to you.
- The requirements you must meet as a permitted driver before you can take your road test for a driver’s license vary depending on your age and where you live. Some requirements may include a certain number of hours logged on the road, completing a driver education class and having your permit for a certain amount of time. Check your local DMV to find your requirements.
- When you have met all your requirements and feel ready, schedule your road test.
- Take and pass your road test! Again, do not be discouraged if you don’t pass on your first attempt. Many people don’t. Try again.
Congratulations! You have earned a driver’s license. But your work isn’t done. After you have become a licensed driver, you are still responsible for:
- Continuing to practice safe driving habits.
- Reviewing road and car safety procedures.
- Making sure your license doesn’t expire and all your paperwork is up to date.
- Learning about accruing credit and researching the steps necessary to purchase and finance a car. You will have to learn about insurance, registration, inspections and more.
- Developing a budget and estimating a time when you will be able to purchase your first car.
Now that you have a driver’s license, enjoy the independence of coming and going as you please! And remember: whether you are just trying for your permit or are an experienced driver, safety is the most important thing. Stay alert and responsible, and good luck!