Most first-time drivers in Oklahoma must complete a drivers ed course to learn how to drive safely. This step is required by the Oklahoma Oklahoma Department of Public Safety (OK DPS) to obtain a driving permit or a drivers license. Fortunately, it’s not difficult going through one of these courses, and there are plenty available to choose from.
Steps to Getting Your Oklahoma License
If you’re looking to get your Oklahoma drivers license, we’re here to help. Welcome to our step by step guide to get you off of your couch and out onto the road. We know you have a lot of questions, so let’s get going.
No matter your age, getting your license can be an exciting, scary, and confusing time, sometimes all at the same time. First off, let’s clear up some Oklahoma DPS terms. In some cases, it seems they’ve gone out of their way to make it confusing.
Terms (and abbreviations) you should know:
- Classroom Driver Education—A.K.A. “drivers ed.” A state-approved course that will cover driving law and basic driving skills.
- Learner Permit—A.K.A. “Instruction Permit” or “Driving Permit.” This permit will allow you to practice drive legally before applying for your license.
- Class D License—The license you’re shooting for, allowing you to drive any vehicle besides a motorcycle or commercial vehicle.
- Knowledge Test—A.K.A. “Written Driving” or “Permit” Test, it’s the one you’ll have to pass to get a permit.
- Driving Skills Test—A.K.A. “Road Skills Test” or just plain ‘ol “Driving Test,” it’s the one you’ll have to pass to get your license.
- GDL—A.K.A. “Graduated Drivers License.” A “Class D” with some restrictions. These restrictions will apply if you are under 18.
See? I told you they made it confusing!
Who Must Take Oklahoma Drivers Ed?
No matter your age, it’s probably not a bad idea for anyone to take a drivers ed course before getting their first license.
In Oklahoma, if you are between 15 ½ and 16, you will need to be enrolled (or have completed) drivers ed.
If you are under 18, you will need to provide documentation that you meet school attendance requirements. A letter from your school will usually be enough but, if you can’t get one, here are some alternate ways you can fulfill this requirement.
The Path to an Oklahoma License in a Nutshell
The quick and dirty looks like this:
- Take drivers ed
- Get a learner’s permit
- Complete 50 Hours of Practice Driving
- Pass a road skills test
Now let’s take a look at what it’ll take to get those three steps done.
Step 1—Take Drivers Ed
Oklahoma drivers ed can be completed in two ways.”
- With 30 hours of classroom instruction and at least 50 hours of practice driving, OR
- With a 55-hour Parent-Taught Drivers Ed program
Oklahoma drivers ed teaches topics like:
- Oklahoma traffic laws
- Meanings of road signs, signals, and markings
- Your responsibilities as a licensed driver
- Alcohol safety and drug abuse awareness
- Motor vehicle operation fundamentals
- Driving in hazardous situations
- Driving in emergency situations
You don’t have to get your learner permit before drivers ed but, if you don’t, you’ll only be able to drive with a certified instructor from your driving school in the car.
Oklahoma drivers ed can be completed online, at an approved driving school, as a parent taught course, or, if it is offered, at your high school.
At the end of your course, you will receive a certificate of completion. Hold on to it. You’ll need it when you apply for your license.
Perhaps the easiest way is to complete the classroom portion of drivers ed is online. Taking drivers ed online means you can complete this portion at a pace and on a schedule that works best for you.
If you think completing a course online might be a good fit, here’s a list of some great Oklahoma online drivers ed providers.
Best Oklahoma DPS Approved Online Drivers Ed Course Providers
If you (or your folks) would prefer a traditional driving school experience, check out our guide to selecting the best driving school.
Step 2—Getting Your Permit
If you are 15 1/2 and have completed drivers ed, you can apply for your instruction permit.
Application for a permit will happen at your local DPS office. When you arrive, be sure to have the following:
- Drivers Ed Certificate of Completion
- Proof of Identity
- Social Security Number
- Parent or Legal Guardian
Check out the DPS list of acceptable documents to see exactly what you should bring.
You’ll also need to bring:
- Your eyeballs (for a vision test)
- Check, cash, or credit card to pay your application fee
Now it’s time for your written permit test
The test will include questions about:
- Driving laws and their penalties
- Various kinds of driving skills, such as turning, signaling, lane changing, and parking
- Differences between highway driving and city driving, including speed limits
- Procedures to be used in accidents or emergencies
- Distinguishing various signs and their meaning based on color and shape
- Meanings of pavement markings on both highways and streets
To pass the 50-question multiple-choice test, you’ll need to score 80%. Here are some suggestions on how to prepare.
Another way to give yourself a leg up on passing the permit test is to consider one (or more) of the following:
- Study the Oklahoma Drivers Manual
- Take a driver prep course, a great way to get you ready for your license. (Learn more)
- Quiz yourself with an Arkansas permit practice test
A permit practice test has everything the “real” test does, except the pressure. That’s because practice tests feature questions taken from actual DMV exams. It’s like seeing all the answers before the test even begins! Don’t head to the DMV without a dress rehearsal, you want to pass the first time.
What If Your Test Didn’t Go Like You Planned?
What if you get to the testing center and, despite all your best preparation, your nerves get the best of you, and you wind up failing the test? First, don’t panic. Nearly 1 out of 3 test-takers fail on their first attempt
If you do happen to fail, the DPS will give you three more chances, but there are some rules.
- You will have to wait until at least the next day for another attempt
- You will have to wait 30 days between tries 3 and 4
Step 3—50 Hours of Practice Driving
Now it’s time to put that learners permit to good use, and you are required to use it for six months before you can apply for your license.
Before you can take a driving test, you’ll have to complete 50 hours of practice driving, and at least 10 of those will need to happen after dark.
Your permit does come with some restrictions. You must be accompanied at all times by a licensed driver who is 21 or older, licensed at least two years, and riding in the front passenger seat. You are also limited to using your permit between the hours of 5 a.m. and 10 p.m.
While you might be nervous at first, do your best to enjoy this time and always pay close attention to what’s going on around you. You never know the kinds of things, good and bad, that you might learn from the drivers around you. Take time to learn all you can from the licensed driver who is with you.
Also, do yourself the favor of driving in as many conditions as you can, places like:
- On the highway
- In neighborhoods
- On winding or hilly roads
- In downtown areas
- In bad weather
It’s better if you don’t see these things for the first time on your own.
Since you’ll be using your permit for six months, there’s no reason not to drive WAY more than 50 hours! It can only do you good.
BTW—If you are planning a family road trip, you may get the chance to do some practice driving in another state. Check this out to see if you can.
Step 4—Pass a Driving Test
Finally, the last hurdle, your driving test. It’s all good. You got this.
You must be at least 16 years old to apply for a full license. You must also have:
- Held a valid instruction permit for at least six months
- No at-fault crashes in those six months
- No moving violation convictions in those six months
- No alcohol or drug convictions of any kind in those six months
You have to go to a Driver License Exam station and perform your skills (drive) test with a Driver License Examiner or if you have completed an Approved Driver Education course, you may test with an approved Designated Examiner. You will need an appointment for your driving test and you can schedule it online.
When you arrive for your appointment, be sure to have the following with you:
- Parent/Guardian If they cannot be there, they can send a notarized copy of this form with you
- Your Learners Permit
- Drivers Education Certificate of Completion
- A vehicle to take the test in. The vehicle must:
- Be insured
- Be properly registered
- Be able to pass a visual safety inspection
During the test, you will be observed (and graded) on your ability to perform maneuvers like these:
- Back the vehicle in a straight line
- Parallel park
- Approach intersections
- Turn the vehicle
- Stop in regular traffic conditions
- Control the vehicle
- Observe traffic
- Use signals
- Maintain vehicle position while turning, stopping, etc
Using Your New License
Per the rules of the Oklahoma Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Program, your new license will come with some restrictions concerning when you can drive and who you can have in the car with you.
With an intermediate license, you can’t drive state-wide from 10 P.M. to 5 A.M. except when driving:
- To or from work
- To or from school
- To or from an event sponsored by a civic, religious, or public organization.
With an intermediate license, you may only transport one unrelated passenger unless supervised.
A Final Note
Any licensed driver will tell you that you will never face a driving situation as complicated, nerve-wracking, and time-consuming as getting your license. By no means should you let your guard down once you’re behind the wheel but, rest assured. You’ll never face anything on the road that will compare with the process it took to get you your license.
Good luck as you work your way through this. Can’t wait to see you out on the road!
A Final Final Note
If you’ve made it this far, may we suggest you bookmark this page? You’ll probably be coming back to it often as you work your way through this!