Nebraska Learner’s Permit: A Guide for New Drivers

Are you ready to hit the open road in Nebraska? Before you can do that, however, you’ll need to get your learner’s permit. Here’s what the process looks like from start to finish! The journey may seem intimidating initially; after all, who wouldn’t be a little anxious about taking on such an important endeavor? But don’t worry–we’re here to break down everything for you and make getting your driver’s license in Nebraska as stress-free as possible!

The Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles oversees the state’s graduated licensing program.

The GDL 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 learning permit types:

  • Ages 14 to 16: School learner’s permit (LPE)
  • Ages 14 and 2 months to 16 years and three months: School permit (SCP)
  • 60 Days before 15 years old: Learner’s permit (LPD)

These permits depend on your age, location, and school size.

This guide shares the steps, forms, and fees required to apply for a learner’s permit as a new/teen driver in Nebraska.

Getting a Driving Permit in Nebraska

There are three learner’s permits in Nebraska. Below, you’ll find the steps required for each — check over each to ensure you’re applying for the right one!

School Learner’s Permit (LPE)

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

You will do the following:

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

You will also take a vision and written test 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 two months until 16 years and three 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 evidence of social security number
  4. Pay the $10.50 application fee

You will also take a vision and written test at the DMV (see below). You won’t need to take the written test if you have a valid school learner’s permit (within one 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 using online practice tests from approved third parties to improve your passing chances.

The DMV may waive your written test after completing a driver’s education course. Check 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. Ten 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.

Next: Upgrading to a Provisional License

Teens/new drivers can upgrade their learner’s permit into a provisional once they’ve met the state’s requirements:

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

The provisional becomes available 60 days before turning 16 years old. Or instantly available if the teen is 16 years or older (plus the mentioned requirements).

Ready to upgrade? See our Nebraska Intermediate Licensing Guide for the details.