Your First-Time Oklahoma Drivers License Guide

by Jim Thompson | Last Updated: March 16, 2021

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, or, if it is offered, 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

Website Name Phone Aceable Drivers Ed for Mobile and Web 512-522-4174 Drivers Ed 888-651-2886 Teen Driving Course 800-482-6593 I Drive Safely 866-388-9068 Driver Ed To Go 866-749-4445 First Time Driver 800-732-4135

If you (or your folks) would prefer a traditional driving school experience, check out our guide to selecting the best driving school. 

How to Choose the Best Driving School for Your Teen

If your parents are interested in the parent-taught option, here are some FAQs and a parent taught packet for download.

Step 2—Getting Your Permit

If you are 15 1/2, you can apply for your learner permit.

Application for a permit will happen at your local DPS office

When you arrive, be sure to have the following:

Check out the DPS list of acceptable ID documents to see exactly what you should bring. We’ve also provided a list of links to all of the documents mentioned on the DPS list at the end of this post.

  • You’ll also need to bring
    • Your eyeballs (for a vision test)
    • Check, cash, or credit card to pay your application fee

After you have shown all of this to the folks at the DMV, hold on to it! You may need much of it again when you apply for your license.

Now it’s time for your written permit test

The test will include questions about:

  • Driving laws and their penalties, including traffic, liability insurance, alcohol-related, pedestrian, and implied-consent laws
  • Various kinds of driving skills, such as turning, signaling, lane changing, and parking
  • Distinguishing various signs and their meaning based on color and shape
  • Meanings of pavement markings on both highways and streets

To pass the 40-question multiple-choice test, you’ll need to score 80%. Here are some suggestions on how to prepare.

How to Pass the Permit Test

Another way to give yourself a leg up on passing the permit test is to consider one (or more) of the following:

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.

You can find permit practice tests (both paid and free versions) all over the internet.

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.

Fail Your Permit Test? You’re Not Alone

If you do happen to fail, the DPS will give you two more chances, but there are some rules.

  • You will have to wait until at least the next day for another attempt
  • You may be subject to a $4.00 additional fee

How to Retake Your Permit Test

Another Note—If you’re new to Oklahoma and started this whole license dance somewhere else, here are some tips that might help, or here’s what the DPS has to say about it.

I Just Got My Permit and Now We’re Moving?!?

Step 3—50 Hours of Practice Driving

Now it’s time to put that learners permit to good use. 

  • If you are under the age of 18, you’ll have to hold your permit for six months before you can apply for a license.
  • If you are 18 or older, you’ll have to wait a minimum of 30 days before you can.

Before you can take a driving test, you’ll have to complete 50 hours of practice driving, with at least 10 of them being after dark. 

Your permit does come with some restrictions. 

  • If you are 15 ½, you’ll be able to drive between the hours of 5 A.M. and 10 P.M., if you are in or have (completed) drivers ed
  • If you are 16, you’ll be able to drive between the hours of 5 A.M. and 10 P.M., with or without drivers ed

In either case, you’ll have to be accompanied at all times by a licensed driver who is at least 21.

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. 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 30 days to six months, there’s no reason not to drive WAY more than 50 hours! It can only do you good.

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 can take your driving test at a DPS Driver Exam Site or with a Certified Designated Examiner. You’ll need to make an appointment, either by phone or online.

You can reschedule your appointment at no charge until one minute before the time of the appointment. Go to the appointment schedule website and click on the “Search my Appointments” button. 

When you arrive for your appointment, be sure to have the following with you:

  • Parent/Guardian (If they can’t be present, you may bring a notarized copy of this form that they have signed)
  • Learner Permit
  • Drivers Education Certificate of Completion 
  • Check, cash, or credit card to pay your application fee
  • A vehicle to take the test in. The vehicle must:
    • Be insured
    • Be properly registered
    • Be able to pass a visual safety inspection

The examiner may cancel your test if they consider the examination route roadways are too slick or hazardous due to inclement weather.

During the test, serious traffic violations, such as speeding or failure to yield, will result in automatic failure. Examiners use a point system to grade other aspects of performance. 

If you fail the test, the examiner will explain why and instruct you on how to re-take it. Take his advice, work on the areas where you had problems, and get ready to pass the next time. 

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.

If you are under age 18, you can’t drive 10 P.M. to 5 A.M. except when driving:

  • To or from work, school, or church activities
  • When accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 

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!

A Few More Helpful Items from the Oklahoma DMV

Parent Taught DE Packet and FAQs

Oklahoma Drivers Manual

Links to Alternate School Enrollment Documents  

Proof of an Excused Absence, as defined in State Statutes Title 47 Sect. 6-107.3

Links to the Items on the List of Acceptable ID Documents

Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240)

A Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550 or Form N-570)

A Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-560 or Form N-561)

Permanent Resident “Green” Card (Form I-551)

Form I-94