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

The Nebraska Department 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.

Nebraska’s GDL program has a few permitting types:

  • Ages 14 to 16: School learner’s permit (LPE)
  • Ages 14 and 2-months to 16 years and 3-months: School permit (SCP)
  • 60 Days before 15 years old: Learner’s permit (LPD)
  • 60 days before 16 years old: Provisional operator’s permit (POP)

These permits depend on your age, location, and school size. The general learner’s permit is available to everyone given they meet requirements. A learner’s permit turns into a provisional after some time.

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 a Nebraska DMV throughout each of licensing applications and online when upgrading the provisional to the full license later on.

Getting a Driving Permit in Nebraska

Below, you’ll find the requirements and steps needed for each permit type. Ultimately, you’ll need to provide personal information (ID & residency), payment for your fees, and documents showing your eligibility for the different types.

School Learner’s Permit (LPE)

The school learner’s permit, available at age 14 to 16, comes before the school permit. This permit is valid for 3 months until upgrading.

You will do the following:

  1. Visit the DMV
  2. Provide proof of ID & residency
    1. 1 form of ID
    2. 2 forms of residency
  3. Provide proof of social security number
  4. Pay the $10.50 application fee

You will also take a vision and written test while at the DMV (see below).

School Permit (SCP)

The school permit is available for those that live outside a city of more than 5,000 people. Or, if the first-time driver attends a school outside of a city of more than 5,000 people. This permit is available for those 14 years and 2-months until 16 years and 3-months old.

You’ll have to hold a school learner’s permit for 2-months before applying for this permit.

You will do the following:

  • Pass a driver’s safety course
  • Do 50-hours of driving practice (10 at night)

Then:

  1. Go to the DMV
  2. Provide proof of ID & residency
  3. Provide proof of social security number
  4. Pay the $10.50 application fee

You will also take a vision and written test while at the DMV (see below). You won’t need to take the written test if you have a valid school learner’s permit (within 1 year of upgrading).

Learner’s Permit (LPD)

The learner is your typical permit as part of the graduated licensing program. You can apply for this permit 60 days before turning 15 or if you’re currently age 15.

You will do the following:

  1. Visit the DMV
  2. Provide proof of ID & residency
  3. Provide proof of social security number
  4. Pay the $10.50 application fee
  5. Pass your tests:
    1. Vision
    2. Written (waived if you have a prior permit)

This permit is valid for 1-year until you’re ready to upgrade to a provisional license.

About the Written Test

The knowledge test varies by your permit type. This test is waived if you hold a prior permit while going through the graduated licensing program (given it’s still valid when upgrading).

You will take a knowledge test during the application. This test examines your ability to acknowledge and answer road safety questions. We recommend reviewing your NE driver’s manual or use online practice tests from approved third-parties to improve your passing chances.

The DMV may waive your written test if you’ve completed a driver’s education course. Check with your local listings or browse the Nebraska driving education course directory for more information.

Driving Restrictions for Permits

The various permits have different driving restrictions:

  • School Learner’s Permit (LPE) – A licensed driver (21+) must ride with you
  • School Permit (SCP) – Drive anytime with a licensed (21+) driver, or unsupervised to school, work, and other extracurricular activities
  • Learner’s Permit (LDP) – A licensed driver (21+) must ride with you

Behind-the-Wheel Requirements

Nebraska expects you to complete 50 hours of behind-the-wheel experience. A licensed adult (21+) must supervise you during the driving. 10 hours of the experience is to be done at night.

Drivers will log their behind-the-wheel time in the 50-Hour Certification (DMV 06-91) form.

Getting a Provisional (Restricted) Driver’s License

The provisional license becomes available 60 days before turning 16 years old. Or, available to any first-time driver already 16 years old having held a permit.

Your requirements when upgrading to a provisional operator’s permit includes:

  • Held a permit up to 6 months
  • Has not incurred more than 3-points on their record (in the last 6 months)
  • Complete a driver safety course

… or the driver can complete the 50-hours of driving practice.

The state will waive the written test if you’ve taken a driver’s ed course. Otherwise, you will need to prepare through the behind-the-wheel experience portion required before upgrading.

Meet this requirement and then complete the following:

  1. Visit a local DMV
  2. Present a certificate of driver’s education completion, or:
    1. Waiver form, or
    2. School permit
  3. Submit your 50-Hour Certification form
  4. Pass the tests:
    1. Vision
    2. Written (waived if you’ve done driver’s ed)
    3. Driving (waived if you’ve done driver’s ed)
  5. Provide proof of ID & residency
  6. Pay the $17.50 licensing fee

Your restrictions with a provisional include:

  • Unsupervised driving between 6 AM to 12 AM
  • Unsupervised driving to work/school between 12 AM and 6 AM

… and anytime driving if you’re accompanied by a licensed (21+) adult.

You’re expected to continue following driving rules and laws until you’re ready to apply for an unrestricted license.

You’ll hold this provisional for 1-year and until you’re 17 years old – or if you turn 18 – whichever comes first. You cannot incur more than 3-points on your driving record within 12 months before applying for the unrestricted license, either.

Follow these rules and you’ll soon have an unrestricted license!

Getting an Unrestricted (Adult) License in Nebraska

Those with a provisional can upgrade to an unrestricted (adult) license when they reach the criteria.

Licensing criteria includes:

  • Held their provisional for 1 year and turned 17 years old (or turned 18)
  • Surrendered their out-of-state driver’s license

Your written and road test is waived if you’ve completed a driver’s education course or have the provisional license when upgrading (if it’s still valid). Adults applying for their license will need to pass the DMV tests and exams.

You can apply online if you’ve had a provisional for 12 months, be 17, have less than 3 points on your license, and haven’t changed your name since the provisional was issued.

The steps required to get an unrestricted Nebraska license includes:

  1. Visit a Nebraska DOR office
  2. Submit your proof of ID, residency, and SSN:
    1. Birth Certificate or Passport
    2. W-2 or Utility Bill
    3. Social Security Card
  3. Submit your proof of driving experience
  4. Pass your applicable tests:
    1. Vision
    2. Written
    3. Driving
  5. Pay your licensing fees:
    1. Up to 1-year: $7.50
    2. 1 to 2 years: $12.50
    3. 2 to 3 years: $16.50
    4. 3 to 4 years: $21.50
    5. Up to 5 years: $26.50
    6. Online transaction fee: $2.50

And like that… you have an adult license!

Congratulations!

You’ve completed your journey in getting a Nebraska driver’s license. Your unrestricted license is good for 5-years unless certain restrictions apply.

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

You’ll want auto insurance during the registration and throughout your time on the road. Check with local insurance providers or use our NE insurance guides for full details!