How to Apply for a New Drivers License in Alabama
Getting a drivers license in Alabama from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) is essential before you are able to legally operate a motor vehicle in the state. There are certain important aspects of getting a license that you must be aware of before you are able to obtain your license, including eligibility requirements, steps for applying for the license and more. Once you have become more familiar with whether or not you are eligible to get a DPS license in Alabama and how to actually complete the licensing steps, you can expect a much smoother and efficient process.
It is also important to understand that the drivers license requirements differ depending on your age when you are applying. If you are 18 years of age or older, you can expect a different experience from what you may need to do if you are younger than 18 years of age. Because of these differences, it is essential that you understand what is required of you based on your age.
How to Apply for a Drivers License in Alabama as an Adult (18 or Older)
If you are 18 years of age or older and wishing to get your DPS divers license, you will not have to meet all of the same requirements for that license that those younger than 18 years of age will have to meet. For example, providing proof of school enrollment is not necessary, and you will also not be required to obtain and hold a learner license before you can get your license.
If you are an adult 18 years of age or older, you already meet the drivers license eligibility age requirement because the minimum age in Alabama to obtain an official license for driving is 16 years old. However, there are other important requirements that you must consider, as well, including citizenship requirements.
If you are wondering how to get a drivers license in Alabama as someone who is not a United States citizen, it is important that you know that you do not need to be a United States citizen to get a license. However, you do need to be residing in the United States legally. You must provide proof of this by presenting the following documentation to the Alabama Department of Public Safety:
- A valid foreign passport and acceptable visa or resident alien card
- Social Security number verification in the form of an SSN card, U.S. military form DD 214, Medicare or Medicaid identification card or W2 tax form
- OR a letter from the Social Security Administration stating your non-eligibility for an SSN
- An approved document stating authorized presence in the United States for more than 160 days
- This may include a marriage license, U.S. military DD-214 or ID card or certified school record.
It is important that you know what you need to get your license before you start the process so that you can be completely prepared. The steps for how to apply for a drivers license if you are 18 years of age or older include the following:
- Visit the Department of Public Safety (DPS) office nearest you. A DPS office is where to get a drivers license in the state of Alabama. Schedule an appointment if you are able to in order to save a lot of time.
- Provide two acceptable forms of identification. One document must include a photograph, otherwise you will need to provide three forms of non-photo identification. Acceptable documents include, but are not limited to:
- Certified U.S. birth certificate.
- S. passport.
- Alabama identification card.
- Alabama driver license.
- Certificate of naturalization.
- Certificate of citizenship.
- S. certificate of birth abroad.
- Resident alien card.
- Valid foreign passport with valid U.S. immigration document.
- Provide proof of your Social Security number. This may be done by presenting your Social Security card or a W-2 tax document.
- Pay the $5 testing fee.
- Complete required testing. Typically, both a written knowledge test and on-the-road driving test must be passed before you can obtain a license. You are required to have a licensed driver, proof of car insurance and a reliable vehicle in order to complete the testing.
- Pay the drivers license cost. You must pay a $36.25 fee to purchase your new Alabama drivers license. This must be paid for with an accepted Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover). Checks are not accepted.
- Get your license. You may receive a temporary license to use until your official license is sent to you.
Getting an Alabama Drivers License as a New Resident
Completing a driving license application as a new resident is mandatory after a certain period of time. Out of state license transfers must be completed for any non-residents who become new Alabama residents within 30 days after becoming residents. The process for getting a new Alabama license includes the following:
- Visit an Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) office. It offers drivers license services for new residents.
- Present your out-of-state license, Social Security card and an acceptable form of identification.
- Pay a $5 transfer fee and a $36.25 license purchase fee with a valid Credit Card.
- Receive your valid Alabama drivers license.
How to Apply for a Drivers License in Alabama as a Teen (Younger Than 18)
There is slightly different drivers license information that you must be aware of if you are interested in getting your license as someone who is younger than 18 years of age. There is a graduated licensing program in Alabama, so if you are a teenager interested in getting your license it is crucial that you read the information listed in the sections below so that you understand the requirements specific to you.
Eligibility for a drivers license in Alabama is based on a few different factors. You must be 16 years of age or older, you must be in good academic standing, and you must hold a learners license for at least six months or until your 18th birthday. A drivers education course is not a mandatory requirement for Alabama residents, although it is highly recommended for first-time drivers.
The education can be completed to fulfill the required driving hours, and it also provides students with hands-on driving practice and instruction from qualified driving instructors. Drivers ed can be taken as an elective course at many different Alabama high schools.
Steps for Getting a Drivers License in Alabama as a Teen (Younger Than 18)
The process for applying for a drivers license as a teen in Alabama is very similar to getting a license as an adult older than 18 years of age although there are a few differences. Alabama has a graduated licensing program that includes three different stages: learners permit, restricted license and unrestricted license. A restricted license must be obtained for 16-year-old drivers and 17-year-old drivers licensed less than six months through the same process as a regular unrestricted license with the exception of needing to provide a parental permission form.
The steps for getting a restricted or unrestricted license as a teenager include the following:
- Visit the Department of Public Safety (DPS) office nearest you: There is no drivers license online option available.
- Obtain a valid learners license and hold it for at least six months.
- Provide two acceptable forms of identification.
- Provide Graduated Driver License Form, signed by parent or guardian if you are younger than 17 years of age and requesting a restricted license.
- Provide proof of school enrollment or graduation.This may include a form DL1/93, certificate of graduation, GED certificate or certified letter from school officials stating that you are enrolled as a student.
- Provide proof of your Social Security number.
- Pay the $5 testing fee.
- Complete required testing.
- Pay the $36.25 drivers license cost with a valid Credit Card.
If you are younger than 18 years of age, you must obtain a learners license and hold it for at least six months or until your 18th birthday before you can be eligible to get an official license for driving. To get this learners license, you must be at least 15 years of age or older and follow these steps:
- Visit your nearest DPS office.
- Provide your U.S. birth certificate and Social Security card.
- Provide acceptable proof of school enrollment or graduation.
- Pay the $5 testing fee.
- Pay the $36.25 learners license fee.
Alabama Drivers License Costs
There are a few different costs associated with obtaining an Alabama driving license, depending on what you are interested in getting. These costs include:
- A $5 testing fee if obtaining a new license, regardless of the type of license.
- A $5 transfer fee if doing an out-of-state license transfer.
- A $36.25 fee to purchase the learners OR drivers license.
When you pay the fees, you must use a valid Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover) and note that a convenience fee of 4 percent applies to the total charge.