Louisiana, with 8 different nicknames, prides itself on its uniqueness. As “The Bayou State”, its vast swamplands and marshes hold mystery and intrigue for visitors from all over the world. As “The Sportsman’s Paradise”, this state boasts an enormous variety of wildlife, hunting excursions, fishing opportunities and outdoor recreation activities. With so many options, Cheapcarinsurance.net is simplifying Louisiana’s car insurance options by organizing all the information in one place.
LAWS & REGULATIONS
Whether camping, watching horse races or floating through the bayou, Louisianans don’t need to be bothered with sifting through complicated driving laws and regulations. Following is a list of the necessary facts, essential for driving, visiting and living in “The Pelican State”.
Minimum Requirements for Car Insurance in Louisiana
- Louisiana state law has protected all drivers in the state by making it mandatory to possess liability insurance coverage.
- Liability Coverage minimums:
- $25,000 per single bodily injury or death.
- $50,000 per multiple bodily injury or deaths.
- $25,000 for property damage.
New Driver Licensing Requirements
- Louisiana drivers have 30 days from residency to obtain a valid state drivers license. A driver with an out-of-state license expired less than 1 year only needs to pass the vision test during the application process. If the applicant’s license is expired 1 year but less than 2, he/she needs to pass the vision, written and traffic sign exams. An applicant with a license expired 2 years or more must pass the vision, written, traffic signs and road skills tests.
- Louisiana participates in a Graduated License Program (GDL), which allows drivers to obtain driving experience prior to becoming eligible for a full license. The Louisiana Driver’s Guide explains each of the 3 steps in detail. The following is an overview of the program:
- Learner’s Permit. To obtain a permit, the applicant must be at least 15 years old and have a parent/legal guardian sign the application. The applicant must follow these requirements:
- Complete 30 hours of classroom drivers education instruction and 8 hours of driving instruction
- Must pass vision, written and traffic signs exams
- Must maintain the permit for a minimum of 180 days
- May only drive with a licensed driver age 21 or older or with an immediate relative age 18 or older
- Intermediate License. After completing the permit phase, an applicant 16 years or older may apply for the intermediate license. The following parameters are required:
- Must pass the road skills test.
- May not drive between the hours of 11 pm and 5 am unless accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or older or an immediate family member age 18 or older.
- Must maintain the license until turning age 17
- Upon passing the following tests and paying the appropriate fees, an applicant who has successfully completed the GDL may obtain a Full Unrestricted License. Applicants over 17 years of age who have not completed the GDL may apply for a Full License after completing a Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles approved driver education course.
- Vision Exam. An applicant must have a visual acuity of at least 20/40 to pass the vision exam. Restrictions apply, and corrective lenses are permitted.
- Traffic Signs Test. The applicant will be evaluated on his/her ability to identify and understand traffic signs by shape, color and/or symbol.
- Knowledge Test. A multiple-choice test, the Louisiana Driver’s Guide contains all the necessary information to pass the knowledge test.
- Road Skills Test. The road test is designed to evaluate an applicant’s driving ability. The vehicle, provided by the applicant, must have proof of insurance and current registration. The test administrator will evaluate the applicant’s skills by requiring the driver to:
- Observe and obey 2 stop signs
- Obey 2 traffic signals
- Make 2 lane changes
- Make 2 reversal maneuvers
- Make 3 left turns
- Make 3 right turns
- Park straight-in
- Fees. The following fees apply for every applicant:
- Learner’s Permit, $21.50
- Full License Fees, $36.50 ($46 in New Orleans):
- BAC limit: .08 Louisiana maintains a BAC of .08 for drivers 21 and older and a BAC of .02 for drivers under 21. Penalties for under-21 DUI offenses vary in severity according to the circumstances of the offense. Following is an outline of the major penalties restulting from a Louisiana DUI:
- First Offense:
- Imprisonment: 6-month maximum
- Fine: $300 to $1,000
- License suspension: 90 days
- Possible Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed
- Second Offense:
- Imprisonment: 30 days to 6 months
- Fine: maximum $1,000
- License suspension: 12 months
- Possible IID installed
- Third Offense within 5 Years:
- Imprisonment: 45 days to 5 years
- Fine: maximum $2,000
- License suspension: 2 years
- IID required
- Additional fines, suspension terms, imprisonment sentences and other penalties may be exacted for various factors involved in each offense.
Texting & Driving Laws
According to Distraction.gov, Louisiana has banned handheld cell phone use for drivers with a learner’s permit or intermediate license. There is also a ban on all cell phone use for bus drivers and novice drivers. The state has also banned texting for all drivers.
Louisiana is a unique state. And its laws are sometimes just as unique. A good example is the New Orleans ordinance that prohibits chasing fish in the city park. A few more uniquely “Louisianan” laws include ordinances that state trees may not be planted on public highways, one may not tie an aligator to a fire hydrant and a woman is only permitted to drive a car if her husband walks in front of it waving a flag!
Average Car Insurance Premiums
Average car insurance premiums in Louisiana hit a record high in 2013, increasingly its already-distant lead over the national average. According to NAIC.org, the state’s average premiums as a percentage of income are also well above the rest of the country.
Drunk Driving Fatalities
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Louisiana surpassed the national average in drunk driving fatalities. In 2012, the state was still above after experiencing a slight increase. It increased further in 2014.
Teen Drinking and Driving
The Centers for Disease Control indicates that Louisiana’s teens drink and drive more than teens across the nation.
Vehicular Theft in Louisiana
Louisiana’ auto thefts fell to 171.3 in 2012. The FBI reports that this brings the state to nearly 60 points below the national average. In 2014, though, the number of vehicle thefts almost matched that of the national average.