How Much Does a Driver’s Permit Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 7, 2018

A driver’s permit, also known as a learner’s permit, is a restricted license that is issued by the state.  This license is handed out to those who have recently passed a driver’s education course.  With this permit, most states require that an adult over the age of 21 or a legal guardian rides with the driver whenever they are behind the wheel.  In the United States, most soon-to-be drivers can get their learner’s permits between the ages of 14 and 18, and the cost of a learner’s permit will depend on the state.

Steering Wheel - 2014 Toyota Highlander by HighTechDad, on Flickr
Steering Wheel – 2014 Toyota Highlander” (CC BY 2.0) by HighTechDad

How much does a driver’s permit cost?

On average, a learner’s permit can cost anywhere from $0 to as much as $100.  This is going to depend on the state in which the driver acquires the license.  New York has the highest fees, while states such as Arkansas and Michigan offer it for free.  Refer to the table below to see what it may cost in your state; however, keep in mind these rates can change at any given time.

Driver’s permit overview

With a permit, the driver will be able to drive with an adult over the age of 21 or a legal guardian to complete the amount of hours necessary in order to graduate to the next level.  Once a legal age is reached and a sufficient amount of driving time is accomplished, the driver can graduate to a license that allows them to drive without anyone in the car.  Each states will vary with its laws and restrictions.  DMV.org breaks down the restrictions for each state.

In most states, students will have to drive for a certain amount of time, usually around 30 to 100 hours for at least six months.  After these requirements have met, students will then either take another course and/or fill out the appropriate paperwork, signed by the instructor, to verify your driving hours and graduate to a restricted driver’s license.

What are the extra costs?

The driver’s permit is the first step that must be taken in order to be eligible for a driver’s license.

States may have miscellaneous fees.  For example, in Maryland, the state will charge extra if you have never had a license in the past.

Some states will charge extra for each test that has to be re-taken.

While optional, some students tend to purchase additional books and materials to learn more about the classes if they have difficulty passing the first time.

Tips to know

The penalty for driving with a permit alone, without a licensed adult, can include fines and similar fees if the driver were found to be violating driving laws such as speeding.  The fines and penalties will depend on the state, the offense and the judge.

How can I save money?

Driver’s permits have prices that are set by the local state and as such they are non-negotiable.  Be sure to study for the test before taking it so that it does not have to be retaken.  Each time the test has to be retaken, an additional waiting period and fee will be applied.


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Average Reported Cost: $75

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  1. dJade36 (Hinesville,  Georgia) paid $75 and said:

    Can’t remember how much I paid back then, but it is probably around $75. Good thing I got a good friend mechanic that gave me a good reviewer for the examination. Now we do the modding of my truck together, waiting for the new exhaust and CAI I ordered from 4WheelOnline to arrive and get installed. It really pays off to have a good friend mechanic.

    Was it worth it? Yes

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