In Indiana, there are different paths for young drivers to obtain a license depending on their age, education, and purpose for driving.
Driver’s education. Beginning at 15 and a half years old, a teen who is enrolled in driver’s education can take a written and a vision test to obtain a learner’s permit. The permit allows the teen to drive only with a licensed driving instructor as part of the driver’s education course. Once the teen has started the driver’s education course, he or she can drive under the supervision of an authorized relative. In Indiana, an authorized relative is a licensed relative who is at least 25 years old or a licensed spouse at who is at least 21 years old.
No driver’s education. Teens who are 16 years old can apply for a learner’s permit without enrolling in driver’s education but must still pass the vision and knowledge tests. This permit allows the licensee to drive in Indiana as long as an authorized relative (or licensed instructor) is in the front passenger seat.
The motorist must hold the learner’s permit for at least 180 days before advancing to a probationary license.
After holding the learner’s permit for 180 days, a teen can apply for an operator’s license. The applicant must show completion of 50 hours of supervised driving time (ten of which must have been done at night). The applicant’s parent or guardian must also sign a consent and liability statement for the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). And to obtain the operator’s license, the teen needs to pass a behind-the-wheel driving test.
Restrictions. Anyone who is under 21 years old and holds an operator’s license is subject to certain restrictions. These drivers are entirely prohibited from using a cellular phone while driving and for the first 180 days of holding an operator’s license:
These restrictions don’t apply if the driver is supervised by a licensed driver who is at least 25 years old or a licensed spouse who is at least 21 years old.
After the first 180 days, a driver who’s under 18 isn’t permitted to drive from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. These restrictions are inapplicable if the driver is supervised by a licensed driver who’s at least 25 years old or a licensed spouse who’s at least 21 years old.
Violation of any teen license restriction is a class C violation and carries a fine of up to $500.
Indiana permits individuals who can show hardship conditions to be exempt from certain requirements. The hardship provision can even waive up to six months of the age requirement.
Before any driver can operate a vehicle in Indiana, the vehicle must be properly insured. In Indiana, the mandatory insurance requirements are:
Uninsured driving is a class A violation and can result in a fine of up to $10,000 and driver’s license suspension of 90 days to one year. A second offense within five years is a Class C misdemeanor and carries a mandatory one-year suspension of the driver’s license and vehicle registration. A class C misdemeanor carries up to 60 days in jail and a maximum fine of $500.