How to Renew a Learner's Permit

by Johnno CaryUpdated August 11, 2023
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Items you will need

  • Birth certificate

  • Social security card

  • Proof of residence

A learner's permit is a necessary step on the road to becoming a licensed driver. This junior operator's driver’s license enables young drivers to learn to drive for the first time behind the wheel of a car, provided they are accompanied by a licensed adult/legal guardian, as well as functions as a valid ID card. In general, a learner's permit expires two years after it is first acquired. Young drivers who don't feel confident enough to acquire their commercial driver’s license (CDL) after two years or who simply let their junior permit expire will need to renew it. The procedure for renewing a gov-sanctioned learner's permit may vary slightly by state.

Step 1

Check the expiration date on your commercial learner's permit identification card. The expiration period on your current license varies from state to state, so you're better off if you know exactly when it will expire ahead of time. In general, the renewal process will be much easier if you begin before your permit has expired.

Step 2

Pay a visit to your local Department of Motor Vehicles office. You can simply walk in to the office and wait to be seen. If you live in a highly populated area, you might want to make an appointment beforehand to save time.

Step 3

Bring proper documentation along with you, since you may be turned down from license renewal if you don't have all the necessary paperwork. In general, you will need proof of identity like a birth certificate with your date of birth, a social security card with your social security number and proof of residence. Don't forget to bring a form of payment like cash, money order or credit card, since you will likely have to pay a fee to renew your permit. In general, fees hover around the $20 range.

Step 4

Be prepared to take the driver’s education knowledge test again. Some states require that you pass the written test and vision test all over again for a permit renewal. Other states may require you to pass the driving tests oor vision screening tests again only if your permit has been expired for an extended period of time. Unless you're positive you won't have to re-take the exam, it's best to walk into the DMV prepared for anything.

Step 5

There are plenty of practice tests and online services for driver training that anyone can sign up for. For FAQs permit holder’s can find just about any question they need on the DMV website or at the DMV office. PDFs of driver’s manuals in english and other languages are available, as well as resources for those with disabilities that make it harder to drive.


Most states have very informative, reliable websites, typically ending in .gov, listing their policies when it comes to learner's permit renewals.

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