How to Get Your Idaho Driver’s License: Step-by-Step

The Idaho Division of Motor Vehicles oversees the state’s graduated licensing program. This program helps first-time drivers learn driving basics through testing, behind-the-wheel practice, and real-world experience under the supervision of a licensed adult until they turn 17 years old.

Idaho begins this program with the supervised instruction permit (SIP).

This guide shares the entire process of getting a permit to an unrestricted license. It also covers how you can apply for a license as an adult or if you’ve recently moved to the state.

You will visit an Idaho DMV throughout each of licensing applications.

Getting a Driving Permit in Idaho

Idaho’s GDL program begins when a teen, ages 14 1/2 to 17, applies for the supervised instruction permit. The SIP is a requirement before the teen takes a driver’s education program.

Once these two are satisfied, the teen can then practice on-the-road before upgrading to an intermediate license.

Teens new to the state should apply to the GDL program within 90 days of residency. Anyone under 17 years old will go through this process. If they’ve taken a driver’s ed course in another state, they can submit their certification to skip the pre-requisites. If holding a license, they can transfer their out-of-state license by following the steps under the “adult license” section.

Here is how the teen will apply for their learner’s permit.

Applying for the Learners Permit

  1. Visit a local DMV office
  2. Provide proof of Idaho residency
  3. Provide (2) proofs of Identification
    1. Examples: ID card, passport, social security card, and/or birth certificate
  4. Provide proof of high school enrollment
  5. Provide written consent form from the parent/guardian(s)
  6. Pay the permit fees:
    1. $15 learner’s permit fee
    2. $6.50 admin fee

Is There a Written Test?

Idaho does not require you to take and pass a written test when getting your learner’s permit. You will, however, need to take this when upgrading to your intermediate/restricted license. Consider taking a licensing practice test to get an edge on your understanding of road rules.

Idaho Learner’s Permit Driving Restrictions

New learner’s permit holders must obey the following:

  1. During driver’s ed: Must be accompanied by a driver’s ed instructor
  2. After driver’s ed: Can drive with a licensed driver over 21 years old

You must follow all road rules – seatbelts, no phones, etc. – while behind-the-wheel else you could forfeit your ability to drive. And, you may be required to restart the GDL program!

Behind-the-Wheel Requirements

Idaho teens are expected to get 50-hours of behind-the-wheel experience.

This includes:

  • 40 hours of day driving
  • 10 hours of night driving

The teen must always be supervised during their practice.

Getting a Provisional Driver’s License

An Idaho provisional / intermediate license becomes available for teens meeting these requirements:

  • Be at least 15 years old
  • Held their learner’s for at least 6 months after driver’s ed or turned 17
  • Completed the 50-hours of behind-the-wheel experience
  • Have not received any traffic violations while holding their permit

Got these covered? Here is what you’ll do when visiting the DMV:

  1. Provide proof of Identification
  2. Provide proof of Idaho residency
  3. Provide your Social Security card
  4. Provide proof of school enrollment
  5. Provide the certificate from driver’s ed
  6. Pay the fees:
    1. $15 licensing fee
    2. $28.50 testing fee
    3. $6.50 admin fee

You will take a written test during the application. The written test examines your knowledge of road rules and safety. You should have gained this knowledge during your behind-the-wheel experience and driver’s education – else brush up by taking online practice tests.

Your intermediate license restrictions include:

  • If under 17: 1 passenger under 17 (family member) for the first 6 months
  • If under 16: Only day driving, night driving with licensed (21+) adult, no passengers in the front seat beside the supervising driver

Teens will hold their provisional license until they turn 18 before upgrading to the full (adult) license.

Getting an Unrestricted (Adult) License in Idaho

Teens going through the state’s GDL program must meet these requirements when upgrading their provisional license into a full (adult) license:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have passed prior licensing steps

New to the state and transferring a license? You will have 90 days from the time you’re a resident to transfer the license at your local DMV. You will surrender your out-of-state license and proceed with the steps below to get your Idaho license.

The steps required to get an unrestricted Idaho license includes:

  1. Visit an Idaho DMV office
  2. Provide proof of ID residency
  3. Provide proof of identification
  4. Take the applicable tests:
    1. Vision screening
    2. Written test ($3 fee)
  5. Take and pass the road test ($28.50 tester fee, $6.50 county fee)
    1. Provide a registered vehicle with Idaho auto insurance
    2. May retake every 3 days but will repay the fee
  6. Get your photo taken
  7. Pay the licensing fees
    1. 18 to 21 years old: $30 (valid for 3 years)
    2. 20 years old: $15 (valid for 1 year)
    3. 21 years and older: $30 (valid for 4 years)
    4. 21 to 62 years old: $55 (valid for 8 years)

Those in the GDL program will have taken their 40-question written test before applying. The extra tests are applicable to those over 18 wanting to get their license. Be prepared by either going through the GDL program or taking a driver’s education course (or both!).

And like that… you have an adult license!

Congratulations!

You’ve completed your journey in getting an Idaho driver’s license. Your unrestricted license is good for a typical 4 to 8-year period. The timing and price vary depending on when you’re applying.

What’s next? Consider registering a vehicle in Idaho under your name.

Stay safe out there!