New Resident Requirements for Indiana Licensure

Apr 12

When you move to a new state, there are many things you need to consider while you are adjusting. One requirement for new residents of Indiana is to obtain an Indiana driver’s license within 60 days of your move. When you do this, you give up your driver’s license from a previous state, and you begin to build your Indiana driving record. 

If you were hit by a driver who did not have a valid Indiana driver’s license, you want to discuss this matter with a car accident attorney as soon as possible. 

The following are the requirements for a new Indiana resident to obtain a driver’s license.

Adults with a Valid Driver’s License from Another State

If you have a valid license from your previous state and you are at least age 18, you will need to present the following at a BMV branch office:

  • Documents proving your residency in Indiana
  • Documents proving your lawful status in the U.S.
  • Documents proving your identity and Social Security number
  • Your current driver’s license or driving record (you may also use a verification letter from the agency that issued your license)

You will need to pass a vision test in addition to presenting these documents. 

If your current license expired before you seek an Indiana license, you will need to pass a driving knowledge written exam. If your license is over three years expired or you have only had your out-of-state license for less than one year, you must pass a driving skills test with a BMV examiner in your car. 

Adults without a Valid License from Another State

People without driver’s licenses in another state will need to obtain a learner’s permit in Indiana. You must hold your learner’s permit for at least 180 days before you are eligible to take your tests for your full driver’s license. 

Minors with a Driver’s License from Their Previous States

People who are between 16 years and 180 days old and 18 years who have held another driver’s license for at least six months must:

  • Present their current license and driving record to the BMV
  • Present documentation proving their residency, identity, SSN, and lawful status in the U.S.
  • Pass a driving knowledge written exam and a vision test

For those who had their license for less than a year, they must pass a driving skills exam as well. 

Switching Your License to Indiana: A Step-by-Step Guide

The first step involves scheduling an appointment at the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license or vehicle registration. You can make an appointment if you’re older than 18 years or younger than 18 but older than 16 years and have a valid out-of-state driver’s license for at least 180 days in your state.

Consider booking your appointment at least one or two weeks in advance.

Here’s the required documentation when transferring an out-of-state driver’s license to Indiana:

  • A valid out-of-state driver’s license
  • A verification letter or a copy of an official driver’s license record
  • You must present a document that proves your identity, lawful status, Indiana residency, and social security number
  • Foreign passport
  • U.S passport
  • U.S birth certificate issued by the local authority or state
  • A consular report of an abroad birth

Applicable Tests

  • Vision Screening: You must pass the test to evaluate whether your eyesight meets or exceeds the state’s standards. If need be, the BMV may refer you to an eye specialist for a vision evaluation.
  • Knowledge Exam: You must take a written exam to test your knowledge of Indiana traffic laws and safe driving information in the BMV driving manual. If you fail the knowledge exam, you’ll wait one business day before retaking the test.
  • Driving Skills Exam: The driving skills exam, also known as in-car evaluation, tests your skills on the road. It tests your ability to operate the vehicle safely by using turn signals, parking, and other safety skills.

You should also pay the applicable fee to obtain the driver’s license, which you must get within 60 days if you have a valid license from another state. You must also transfer your vehicle’s title and registration details from the previous state to Indiana.

Understanding Indiana’s Driving Rules for New License Holders

Here are a few driving restrictions for Indiana residents with probationary driver’s licenses:

  • Using Mobile Devices: You may not use a mobile device while driving except to make a 911 emergency call.
  • Driving with Passengers: You cannot drive with a passenger for 180 days after getting a probationary license. There’s an exception to the rule when accompanied in the front seat by a licensed instructor, an individual with a valid driver’s license at least 25 years of age, or a spouse who’s 21 years old.
  • Time Restrictions: Indiana traffic laws restrict probationary drivers from driving between 10 pm and 5 am for 180 days after getting their license. However, you can drive any time when traveling to or from work, religious events, or school-sanctioned activity if accompanied by an experienced driver at least 25 years old or a spouse with driving privileges who’s at least 21 years old.

Establishing Residency: Proving You Live in Indiana

Here are the standard documents you can use to prove Indiana residency:

  • Bank statement
  • Medicare benefit statement
  • Medicaid
  • A computer-generated bill from a utility provider, hospital, doctor, or credit card issued within 60 days from the date you visit the BMV branch, containing your name and residency address.

Speak with an Indiana Car Accident Lawyer Today

It is important for new Indiana residents to meet all requirements and obtain a valid license before they continue to drive in the state after 60 days. If someone does not obtain the proper driver’s license, it can cause problems if they are pulled over by police or if they cause a car accident.  

The law firm of Blackburn Romey represents car accident victims in complex cases in the Fort Wayne, South Bend, Indianapolis, Lafayette and Terre Haute areas. Contact us online or call (201) 588-1500 for a free case evaluation. We can assess whether someone else should be liable for your injuries and answer any questions you might have. 

Tom Blackburn

Blackburn Romey founding partner Tom Blackburn graduated with honors receiving a degree from Indiana University at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Initiating his legal career in 1977, he has been active in practicing law and currently serves as a member of the Indiana State Bar Association on the Ethics and Advertising Committees, the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, as a board member at the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, and as an appointed member of the Executive Committee for the State of Indiana for the National Trial Lawyers Association.

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