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Frequently Asked Questions - Idaho Teen Driver

All newly licensed drivers in Idaho under the age of 17 must limit the number of passengers. After obtaining a license, during the first six months you are not allowed to have more than one passenger under 17 in the vehicle unless the passenger is related to you by blood, adoption or marriage.

Anyone under the age of 17 must successfully complete a driver-training program approved by the state that consists of:

• 30 hours of classroom instruction
• 6 hours of in-car observation in a driver-training vehicle
• 6 hours of behind-the-wheel driving with a driver training instructor

Students who attend driver education classes at a public school must complete a minimum training period of 30 days. Most school districts offer training programs for any Idaho resident between 14 and a half and 21 years of age, even if they are not enrolled in public school.

You must submit proof to the DMV that you have completed a driver-training program in another state if you are under 17 and have not been issued a license.

Anyone who resides in Idaho must apply for a driver’s license within 90 days of moving to Idaho, regardless whether their out-of-state license has expired or not. You must fill out an application for a Supervised Instruction Permit or a Class D License for underage drivers.

Applicants Under 17
• Submit proof that you have completed an approved driver-training program and met the requirements of the Idaho Graduated Driver’s License Program.

Applicants Under 18
• You need to have a birth parent or legal guardian with you to sign the Liability Signer consent form.

Applicants With Driver’s License or Identification Card
• You are required to surrender any driver’s license or identification card issued by another state, U.S. Territory, Puerto Rico or the District of Columbia when applying for an Idaho driver’s license. You do not have to surrender a driver’s license issued by a foreign country, but you are not allowed to use it for the purpose of operating a motor vehicle.

Once I get my permit, what do I need to do before I can drive with my parents?
You can practice driving with your parents, legal guardian of any person who is 21 years or older. They must have a valid driver’s license and sit next to you in the passenger seat at all times. You must accumulate at least 50 hours of supervised driving including 10 hours at night before applying for a driver’s license.

During the six-month instruction period, your permit may be canceled under the following conditions:

• You are convicted of violating Idaho traffic laws
• You violate any of the permit restrictions
• The DMV suspends your driving privileges

You will have to apply for a new Supervised Instruction Permit and begin the process over again.

The Idaho DMV requires teen drivers to pass the following tests:

Written Knowledge Test
• The written knowledge test is required for new applicants or drivers who have let their Idaho driver’s license expire for more than one year. The exam will test your knowledge of Idaho traffic laws, highway signs by symbol and shape, traffic signals, pavement marking and equipment required on a motor vehicle.

Vision Screening
• You must be able to pass the test with a minimum of 20/40 vision in at least one eye, with or without corrective lenses. If you wear glasses or contact lenses during the test, a lens restriction will be placed on your Idaho driver’s license. You are required to wear your glasses or contact lenses when operating a motor vehicle or you may be cited and lose your driving privileges for a period of time.

Skills Test (Required for the following applicants)
• You have never been licensed before
• You have completed driver’s training and the supervised instruction period
• Your license has been expired for one year or more
• You surrender a driver’s license issued by a foreign country (excluding Germany)
• Your most recent driver’s license was issued by a foreign country
• Your vision does not meet the minimum standards
• You have a physical or mental impairment that could affect your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle
• If the examiner has concerns about your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle (regardless of age, experience or prior license)

The State of Idaho has the following restrictions for teens that have an instruction permit or driver’s license:

Supervised Instruction Permit
• You must be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and occupies the passenger seat next to you at all times.

• All occupants in the vehicle must wear a seat belt or child restraint if applicable at all times.

• You must have the Supervised Instruction Permit in your immediate possession while driving.

• You must observe all the laws regarding drugs, alcohol or other intoxicating substances.

Class D License Restriction for Underage Drivers
• If you are under 16 years of age, you can only drive during the daytime unless accompanied by a licensed driver who is 21 years or older and occupies the passenger seat next to you at all times.

• If you are under 17 years of age, you cannot have more than one passenger under 17 in the vehicle during the first six months of having your license.

Once you have met the requirements of the Graduated Driver’s License program, you must pass the knowledge test, skills test and vision test to obtain a driver’s license. These tests cannot be taken sooner than six months from the date you completed the driver’s training course or until you reach age 17, whichever comes first. If you fail the written test or skill test, you must wait three days before taking a retest.

The State of Idaho has a graduated driver’s license program and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has the following requirements to obtain a Supervised Instruction Permit:

• You must be at least 15 years old.
• You must successfully complete an Idaho approved driver-training program.
• You must have a Liability Signer who will assume legal responsibility for you.
• You will need to submit proof of school enrollment or proof that you have completed high school.
• If you have a medical or vision condition, you will need to provide a statement from your physician verifying your ability to operate a motor vehicle.
• You will need to submit proof of age, identification and Idaho residency.

Supervised Instruction Permit holders must complete not less than six months of supervised driving time.

Teens who want to obtain a Supervised Instruction Permit should enroll in an approved driver-training program. You should also begin studying the Idaho Driver’s Manual so you can pass the written knowledge test. The topics include:

• Licensing information
• Traffic laws
• Signs, signals and pavement markings
• The driving task (defensive driving and handling an emergency)
• Sharing the road
• Adjusting to driving conditions
• Freeway driving
• How to protect your driving privileges
• Vehicle equipment and safety
• Vehicle title and registration

The manual can be found online at the Idaho DMV website or a copy can be obtained at any DMV office.