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Beginner Drivers Guide by

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Starting Out

So you have to decided to learn to drive and get your driver's license? Well the first thing you need to know is without a drivers license you are only able to get behind the wheel of a car with a learner's permit. The rules regarding learner's permits are state specific so it is strongly suggested that you find your state on the map above and click on it. States might differ on the exact conditions you need to fulfil before acquiring a learners permit and what might be sufficient in one state will not be sufficient in another. The state specific section of, which can be accessed by choosing your state on the map, will provide this information to you.

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The Steps

Now, you might be wondering what exactly is a learner permit? You can think of it as a temporary driver's license you receive on your way before getting a fully fledged driver's license. States have a minimum age, different for each state, after which a person may attempt to take the written test. In order to pass the written test you should demonstrate that you understand what the proper rules of conduct on your state's roads are. If you wish to practice, click on your state on the map and in you state's section will find a 50 question test which has been made specifically for that state.

Once you pass the written test you will become eligible attempt the driving test. It is strongly suggested that you do not try to take it right after passing the written test because getting actual behind-the-wheel time is essential for successfully passing the driving exam. Some states have drivers ed programs to help with this step.

Once both of those test are behind you, what will remain will most likely be paperwork. You will likely need some sort proof of identity, proof of residency, and some other documents, but keep in mind that the documents considered valid will differ from state to state so you will want to find out ahead of time what you need to bring so that you save yourself an extra trip. To find information specific to your state find you state on the map and click on it.

Finally, even if you have a state recognized drivers license you are still not allowed to drive if you do not have insurance. As a new driver your insurance will be much higher than that of an experienced driver. This is even more noticeable for new drivers who are teens. Generally, insurance will be lower if you have taken some sort of recognized driver training program. Also, it is important that you shop around a bit before purchasing insurance since the contracts usually last for at least a year and there are early cancellation penalties. Visit the auto insurance section for more information. If you will need to purchase a car, see our guide on first time car buyers.

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