Utah Learner’s Permit: A First-Time Teen Driver Guide

The Utah Department of Public Safety Driver License Division oversees the state’s graduated licensing program. This program helps first-time drivers learn driving basics through knowledge testing, behind-the-wheel practice, and real-world experience under the supervision of a licensed adult.

Utah’s GDL program begins at 15 years old, under certain requirements, taking the driver through a series of permits and licensing. The permit then becomes an unrestricted (adult) license with patience and practice. This article shares how to apply and get a learner’s permit in Utah.

The Learner’s Permit in Utah: Requirements

The learner’s permit becomes available at age 15 and to residents of the state.

The teen will appear before a Driver License Examiner, submitting their application and taking their vision/written tests.

There are different requirements for each age group (detailed below).

Non-U.S. citizens can apply to get their learner’s permit, too, by providing legal documentation. Out-of-state, first-time drivers can transfer their learner’s if they have a valid permit and submit documents.

Any teen under 18 is required to take a driver’s education course to obtain their learner’s permit. The course covers essential driving skills and knowledge. These courses are available locally or found through our current listing of Utah driver’s ed programs.

An adult should accompany you to a local DMV when processing your learner’s permit. An insured vehicle is required, too, as you will take a driving skills test during the permitting.

Permit Requirements (Ages 15 – 17)

Teens between ages 15 and 17 have the following requirements when applying for a permit:

  • Have parental or guardian consent
  • Complete a driver’s education course
  • Pass the written and driving test
  • 40-hours of practice driving (10 at night)

Permit Requirements (Age 18)

Adults (age 18) have the following requirements when applying for a permit:

  • Complete a driver’s education course
  • Pass the written and driving test

Permit Requirements (Age 19)

Adults (age 19) have the following requirements when applying for a permit:

  • Pass the written and driving test
  • Hold a permit for 90-days with 40-hours of practice or complete driver’s ed

Applying for Your Learner’s Permit

Given you’re on track through the graduated licensing program – here are the steps when submitting your learner’s permit application when under 19 years of age:

  1. Visit your local DMV with a parent or guardian
  2. File the Learner Permit Application (DLD6a)
  3. Provide proof of identification
    1. Primary: Birth certificate, passport, or other official ID
    2. SSN: W-2, paystub, or Social Security card
    3. (2) forms showing residency
  4. Pay the $19 learner’s permit fee

Note: You may also take a vision and medical test during this process.

You will take a 50-point knowledge test during the application. This test examines your ability to acknowledge and answer road safety questions. We recommend reviewing your UT driver’s manual or use online practice tests from approved third-parties to improve your passing chances.

Pass these requirements and you can drive with a qualified parent, guardian, or driving trainer. This will let you gain the valuable behind-the-wheel experience needed when upgrading to a provisional.

Behind-the-Wheel Experience

Getting behind-the-wheel experience is a requirement for those going through the GDL program.

Requirements include:

  • Under 18: 40 hours (10 at night) with a driving instructor, licensed parent/guardian
  • Over 18: 40 hours (10 at night) with a licensed driver over 21

Upgrading to an Unrestricted Driver’s License

Show enough patience and respect for the road rules and you’ll be one step closer to getting an unrestricted license in Utah. When ready, teens and new drivers will take their road test and complete their application.

See our Utah Driver’s Licensing Guide for the full details of what you’ll do next when upgrading the learner’s permit.