As a teenager or young adult, receiving your driver’s license is a symbol of freedom and independence that you won’t experience until after childhood. This process involves a few steps but is not overly complicated if you know what you’re doing.
Similar to many states, Idaho requires teenagers to complete the Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) program in order to receive full driving privileges statewide. This gives younger drivers ample experience under controlled and supervised conditions before hitting the road alone.
In this guide, we’ll go through all the steps to getting your Idaho driver’s license!
Step 1: Apply for Supervised Instruction Permit
Step 2: Enroll in Driver’s Education
Step 3: Complete Supervised Driving Requirements
Step 4: Obtain your Underage Driver’s License
Step 5: Apply for your Unrestricted Driver’s License
The first step towards getting your driver’s license is to get your permit. Teenage drivers under the age of 17 are required to obtain an Idaho Supervised Instruction Permit (SIP) as the first part of the Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) program.
Teenagers over the age of 14 years and 6 months old are eligible to apply. This will allow you to practice driving with a licensed driver over the age of 21 as you gain comfort with operating a motor vehicle. Your permit must be held for at least six months after completing driver’s education, or until you turn 17.
To obtain a Supervised Instruction Permit, you will need to apply in person at one of Idaho’s many DMV office locations. Be sure to check and make sure your desired location offers driver license services, as not all offices do so.
Upon arrival, you will need to provide the following documentation for your learners permit:
The Idaho Department of Motor Vehicles has an interactive tool that allows new drivers to figure out the exact documents they need for their trip to the DMV office. It may be a good idea to double-check this tool to avoid confusion.
Teenage drivers will also need parental consent and proof of secondary school enrollment or completion before being allowed to obtain a SIP. A $15 permit fee and a $6.50 administration fee. You will also be required to pass a vision exam.
While holding your Supervised Instruction Permit, there are requirements you must obey by while practicing your driving skills.
If you are caught violating these rules during the six-month supervisory period, you will be required to reapply for and purchase a new permit. You will also have to restart and complete a new six-month period of supervision. In addition to violating the rules above, a SIP can be canceled for:
Consequences for traffic violations, as well as intoxicating substance convictions, vary depending on the number of convictions:
1st Conviction: Written warning
2nd Conviction: Minimum thirty-day driving suspension
3rd or subsequent conviction: Minimum sixty-day driving suspension
Taking an approved driver’s education class is the next step towards gaining your full Idaho driver’s license. If you attend a public school in the state, your campus may offer an in-person driver’s education class free of charge. Private school students or those attending high schools that do not offer driver’s ed are eligible to take a number of DMV approved courses throughout the state. This class must consist of at least 30 hours of classroom instruction, 6 hours of behind the wheel instruction, and 6 hours of in-car observation.
As the name suggests, supervised driving requirements are also mandated for those holding a Supervised Instruction Permit. We recommend practicing with a parent or sibling over the age of 21, as they’ll be able to supervise and provide feedback in a way that is familiar to you. You must complete 50 hours of driving, including 10 hours of night driving as part of this requirement.
As mentioned earlier, you will also need to hold your Idaho driver’s permit for at least six months after completion of driver’s education or up until your 17th birthday.
After holding your permit for the required amount of time, you will be eligible for applying for your Underage Driver’s License, also known as the Idaho Class D driver’s license. This license allows you to operate a motor vehicle with a bit more freedom than a SIP, but still comes with restrictions.
You must meet these requirements to obtain your underage driver’s license in Idaho:
You’ll need to apply for your underage driver’s license at your local Idaho DMV. You’ll need to bring the following documents with you.
A parent or legal guardian will be required to accompany you in order to obtain your underage drivers’ license. You will also be assessed a $15 driver’s license fee, $17.50 testing fee, and $6.50 administrative fee.
At this point, you will also be required to pass two tests:
You’ll receive an underage driver’s license after passing both exams. On your 18th birthday, you’ll be allowed to upgrade your license to an unrestricted Idaho driver’s license!
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If you have completed the Idaho GDL, you will simply need to upgrade to an unrestricted license at your local DMV.
If you’re an adult driver over the age of 17 who has never previously held a driver’s license, this part is for you!
To begin the process, you’ll need to visit your local Idaho DMV in order to complete a driver’s license application form and provide the necessary documentation:
At this time, you’ll be required to complete three tests: the vision exam, the knowledge exam, and the driving skills test.
The vision test is assessed to ensure your eyesight is suitable to operate a motor vehicle. You must meet a minimum standard of 20/40 in at least one eye.
The knowledge test assesses a driver’s ability to identify road signs, as well as their understanding of traffic laws within the state. While this test does not require an appointment, you will want to make sure you have ample practice before sitting for the exam. There are 40 questions and you must answer 34 correctly to pass.
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The driving skills test is often known as one of the more difficult parts of the driver’s license application process. You will take the driving skills portion of the exam with a certified skills tester within the state of Idaho.
Welcome to the state! If you’re under 17 and moving to Idaho, you must apply for a new driver’s license, whether you obtained one in your previous state or not. However, if you completed driver’s education as part of the licensing process, you will not be required to repeat this course in Idaho.
Adult drivers moving to Idaho will need to transfer their license within 90 days of establishing residency within the state. If you haven’t gotten around to getting a driver’s license start at Step 5!
That’s it! That’s all you need to get an Idaho driver’s license! While the process is a bit lengthy, especially for teens, it ensures that everybody is fully prepared to exhibit safe driving techniques while traveling streets and highways. Be sure to reference this guide early and often on your journey to receive your license!