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  • Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) in Idaho

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    1) Choose Your License

    Whether you just established residency or are a first-time driver, you must hold a driver's license to legally drive in Idaho. Idaho offers several types of driver's licenses.

    If you are a teen looking to get your license, check out our applying for a new license for teens page.

    2) Take a Driver's Education Course

    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.

    3) Prepare for the 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.

    4) Locate a DMV Office

    You'll need to visit your local driver's license office to take the written exam.

    5) Make Test-Day Preparations

    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.
    • Cash or check to pay any applicable fees.

    6) Take the Written Test

    After you have studied the Idaho's Driver's Manual, possibly taken a supplemental driver education course, and collected all the above documents, visit your local driver's license office.

    7) Get a Car

    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.

    8) Get Car Insurance

    Car insurance, regardless if you only own a permit, is mandatory. You can compare rates at our Insurance Center.

    9) Take the Driving Test

    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 all fess.

    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.

    10) Receive Your License

    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 90 days of your residency to retain your driving privileges.