Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) in Idaho
Compare Insurance Rates in 3 Easy Steps
1. Start Your Quote:
Whether you just established residency or are a first-time driver, you must hold a driver's license to legally drive in Idaho. The following licenses are offered:
- Class D (regular driver's license for all cars, SUVs and pickups)
- Motorcycle endorsement (required on any Class D license or Commercial Driver's License (CDL))
- Three different CDLs: Class A, B or C
NOTE: If you're younger than 17 you must complete a state-approved driver training program and adhere to Idaho's Graduated Driver License (GDL) requirements.
Drivers younger than 17―a state-approved driver training program is required.
17 and Older―Although not required, a driver's education course is strongly encouraged, especially if you're applying for a Class D license for the first time. Taking a supplemental course, such as the one offered by our sponsor, will help prepare you for the Division of Motor Vehicle's (DMV) written test.
Idaho's Driver's Manual serves as your best study-source for preparing for the written test. After studying the manual and, perhaps, completed a supplemental course, you'll want to take a few practice tests.
You'll need to visit your local driver's license office to take the written exam.
Bring with you:
- Proof of Idaho residency (any document that displays your name and address, such as a lease or rental agreement, utility bill or employment record).
- Proof of age and identity.
- Your Social Security card. If you're ineligible for a Social Security number, bring a confirmation letter from the Social Security Administration.
- Legal-presence documents if you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident.
- A parent or legal guardian if you're younger than 18.
- A driver's training program certificate if you are younger than 17.
- Proof of enrollment or graduation from a recognized high school or equivalent program.
- Cash or check to pay the $3 test fee and, provided you pass the test, the $11.50 instruction permit fee.
Keep in mind:
- You must be at least 15 years old to take the test.
- You must answer at least 34 out of the 40 questions correctly in order to pass.
- You must also pass a vision test by meeting the minimum requirement of at least 20/40 in one eye.
Somewhere down the line you'll need a car to take Idaho's road test. Having a car will allow you to practice on your own, outside of a driver training program.
Consider a car that meets your needs, rather than an image. Before deciding, be sure to get a vehicle history report on any used car you are interested in. This information may protect you from any hidden flaws that could drain your wallet down the road.
Car insurance, regardless if you only own a permit, is mandatory. You can compare rates at our Insurance Center.
You must take a driving test if:
- This is your first license.
- You have successfully completed driver's training and supervised instruction requirements.
- Your license has been expired for longer than one year.
- Your current license was issued in a foreign country.
- Your vision does not meet minimum standards.
You may be asked to take a driving test if:
- You have a mental or physical impairment that could hamper your ability to drive.
- A license examiner harbors suspicions about your ability to safely drive.
Scheduling a Driving Test
Contact your local driver's license office for a list of road testers in your area. Bring to the road test a receipt from your driver's licensing office proving that you paid a $3.50 road test fee to the county. When you arrive you must also pay the tester an additional $11.50 fee.
Be sure the car you're driving is registered and has valid insurance.
Once You Pass
Your tester will hand you a sealed envelope containing your test results. You must then take this to your local driver's licensing office. Do not open the envelope or your test results will not be accepted.
If You Fail
You must wait three days before re-testing. You will need to bring another $3.50 receipt and pay another $11.50 fee.
You must visit your local driver's license office with your test results, where an agent will then process and issue you a license while you wait.
- Idaho recognizes all foreign non-commercial licenses for up to one year. College students attending a university in the state are exempt as long as they are enrolled.
- Although not mandatory, carrying an International Driving Permit, in addition to your foreign license, is strongly suggested. You cannot drive in Idaho carrying only an International Driving Permit.
- If you become a resident of the state, you must apply for an Idaho driver's license within 30 days of your residency to retain your driving privileges.
Other Topics in This Section
Your Opinion Matters To Us!Send Feedback
- The REAL ID Act: Are You Ready for a National ID?
- New Study: Voice Texting and Traditional Texting Equally Distracting
- Bicycling While Boozing
- Federal Agency Stirring Around the Idea of Lowering BAC Limit to .05 Percent
- Pot Runs to Legalized Marijuana States Putting Cops on High Alert
- Behind the scenes: Iron Man & rental car insurance
We put a lot of effort into making our content helpful & accurate. Please let us know if you see something that isn't clear or correct; we are here to ease any frustrations you may have while navigating DMV topics. We are not a government agency, please reach out to your local DMV, insurance agent, or respective professional for further assistance on specific situations.