Young drivers facing change in procedure

The American Press

The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles has begun a new procedure for youngsters seeking a driver’s license. Before enrolling for a driver’s education course, they must apply for a temporary instruction permit (TIP) at a local DMC office.

Previously, the TIP could be obtained through the driving school. OMV officials said the change is designed to keep sensitive personal information more secure in one location. It will also be there when young drivers seek a learner’s permit.

Applicants age 15 and 16 have to participate in the graduated licensing program and have to start with a learner’s permit. Those who are 17 are eligible for either a learner’s permit or a full license once they meet the requirements.

Driving school owners said the TIP relieves them of the responsibility of keeping the sensitive records. Other owners have said it will require students to get out of school to get to the DMV office during its operating hours. Rural areas will also have to make some arrangements.

The cost of the TIP will be $32.25 with a service fee of up to $6. However, there is no additional cost to convert from the TIP to a learner’s permit.

Once the student successfully completes driver’s education, the TIP will be surrendered to the OMV along with proof the course has been successfully completed. The learner’s permit is the first stage of the state’s graduated driver’s licensing (GDL) program for teenage drivers.

Applicants for the learner’s permit have to be at least 15 and have completed an approved driver’s education class consisting of 30 hours of classroom time and 8 hours of driving time.

There are restrictions for holders of learner’s permits and all of that information can be found at or by calling the local DMV office. The office said more information about the application process and completing the GDL program can be found on its page “Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Louisiana.”

Once the driver turns 16, has held the learner’s permit for at least 180 days and completed the required hours of supervised driving practice, he or she can apply for an intermediate driver’s license.

Although driving rules might be considered difficult, they will result in better-trained drivers on Louisiana’s highways.

This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Crystal StevensonJohn Guidroz, retired editor Jim Beam and retired staff writer Mike Jones.

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