Delaware learners permits provide residents with the ability to drive motor vehicles for the first time in the state. Specific DMV permit regulations are established to help new motorists safely learn skills on the road. The process of obtaining this type of license begins with meeting basic eligibility standards for new drivers. The DE Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) determines guidelines that define who can legally receive permits.

The DMV learners permit application procedure must be successfully completed in order for driving privileges to be granted. Applicants are required to provide personal data and official documentation, take tests and pay license fees during this process. Furthermore, additional permit requirements and regulations are enforced for minor residents. Consult the following sections to find more information about restricted licenses in Delaware.

Did you know? 7 out of 10 state drivers license applicants fail the written driving test on their first try. Taking our drivers ed practice test will expose you to questions like those found on the actual Delaware knowledge test, whereby increasing your chances of passing the exam the first time.

Delaware Learners Permit Eligibility Guidelines

DE drivers permit requirements outline the qualifications needed to hold licenses in the state.  These rules determine whether residents are eligible to exercise legal driving privileges. Applicants must back up eligibility credentials with valid documents.

To be granted learning licenses, residents must meet specific age standards. The minimum age to apply for permits is age 16. The maximum age to apply for permits is 18.

Minors younger than 18 years of age should present a Delaware Driver Education Certificate to certify they have attended instructional classes. Furthermore, teen residents need to have parent or guardian approval for getting driving privileges. Legal guardians must:

  • Sign license applications before submission.
  • Retain liability for any damages caused by minors.
  • Designate a supervisor for new license holders.

When applying for DMV driver certification, all Delaware residents must prove their identity, birth date, residency and citizenship status. The following personal details and documents should be submitted:

  1. Full legal name
  2. Proof of Social Security Number (SSN):
    1. Social Security Card
    2. Pay stub
    3. 1099 form
    4. W-2
  3. Proof of name and birthdate:
    • Birth Certificate
    • Certificate of Citizenship
    • S. passport or foreign passport
    • Driver learners permit from another state
    • Certificate of Naturalization
    • Certificate of Birth Abroad
    • Employee identification card
    • Health insurance card
    • School ID
  • Proof of residency:
    • Recent utility bills
    • Voter registration card
    • Pay Stub
    • Mortgage documents
    • Cancelled check
    • Bank statement
    • Rental agreement

How to Apply for a Learners Permit in Delaware

Successful completion of the application process is necessary for new permits to be granted. Drivers can prepare for getting a learners permit by going over the required steps in advance.

For residents wondering how to get a driving permit online, licenses can only be obtained in Delaware through in-person DMV visits. The following steps should be followed closely to successfully apply for instructional permits in the state.

  1. Complete the official license application by providing all necessary personal details on the form. This includes one’s full name, birth date and SSN are needed.
  2. Gather verification documents, certificates and forms that must be presented at the DMV in advance. Verifying documents include financial responsibility affidavits, identity forms and legal status forms.
  3. Look for where to get a learners permit in your area by finding official licensing offices nearby. Research can easily be done online, by phone or talking to friends and loved ones. If possible, make an appointment by contacting your chosen location in advance.
  4. Apply for a learners permit by visiting the office most conveniently located office in your area. Minors must have parent or guardian approval before the DMV can process these requests.
  5. Submit all required documents and provide any other information needed for approval.
  6. Take written knowledge and vision exams, available at licensing locations throughout the state. Both tests must be passed for permits to be granted.
  7. Pay all testing, processing and application fees in full.

Drivers receive DE instructional permit cards after all required items are processed and approved by the state.

The Delaware Driver Permit Test

DMV permit tests are administered to all new Delaware drivers. For instructional permits, applicants must pass vision and written knowledge assessments. When license holders request unrestricted privileges in the future, additional tests are required.

DE residents should keep in mind that online drivers permit tests are not available in the state. Instead, applicants must go to DMV offices and take written knowledge examinations.

The restricted license written exam assesses driver knowledge on various license-related topics. Safe driving practices, road signs and vehicle laws are the main focus of these tests. Applicants should use this information to improve their driving abilities on the road. Answers to every question on the knowledge examination are found in the state drivers manual.

Learning what to bring to permit tests is helpful when preparing for exam day. To most accurately take vision tests, residents need to bring prescription lenses and/or contacts to wear. Additionally, personal identification is always required for drivers to be administered assessments at DMV offices.

There are no official DMV practice permit tests available to drivers living in Delaware. Applicants can prepare for the knowledge exam by studying the state driver manual. The handbook is easily found online and accessible for residents to access. Some third-party websites do offer learners permit practice tests.

Delaware Driving Permit Rules and Restrictions

DE drivers must follow learners permit rules as soon as they begin driving in the state. These laws are enforced to create safe situations for permit holders to practice their driving skills. Official permit regulations are described below.

  1. While driving using permits for the first 6 months, residents must have a valid supervisor in the car. Supervisors are required to:
    • Be age 21 or older
    • Have a valid state license
    • Remain in the passenger seat of the vehicle
  2. DE permit driving hours are enforced the first 6 months of holding a permit. Drivers cannot operate vehicles from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. After this period is over, overnight driving may occur in the presence of a valid adult supervisor.
  3. During the first six months of permit use, 50 practice driving hours including 10 during nighttime are required.
  4. For the last six months of permit use, drivers can have no more than one other passenger in the car.

DE learners license holders could face a variety of consequences for committing traffic violations. Drivers who fail to maintain the aforementioned requirements may have their wait period for regular driving privileges extended.

When can you drive with a permit alone in the state? When the six-month supervisory period is over, residents are allowed to start driving unsupervised during daytime hours.

Residents must hold restricted permits for 12 months and one day before they can obtain regular licenses. Unrestricted permit applicants must be age 16, take drivers education courses, pass additional assessments, pay fees and more.

How long does a learners permit last for drivers in Delaware? Instructional licenses are valid for 12 months. When this yearlong period passes, permits are automatically upgraded to regular licenses.

Delaware Learners Permit Fees

How much does it cost to get your permit for restricted driving privileges in the state? Fees are assessed for application processing, examinations and creation of license cards. Getting payments ready before visiting DMV offices is a helpful way to prepare for the process.

The total DMV permit cost is $40. This price includes the cost of a future Class D regular license. Taxes may apply to permit transactions.

Drivers must cover all necessary fees using acceptable forms of payment. If personal checks for DMV permit prices fail to process, a $25 penalty is applied by the DMV.

Last updated on Wednesday, March 4 2020.