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

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    Applying for a Driver’s License in Montana

    To legally drive in Montana, you must hold a valid driver’s license.

    Whether you are a new resident, a first-time driver, or a non-U.S. citizen, the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) of the Montana Department of Justice (DOJ) requires you to complete several steps before obtaining your driver’s license.

    Continue reading this page to find information about how to transfer or apply for a new driver’s license in Montana.

    New to Montana?

    If you’re a new resident of Montana and have an out-of-state driver’s license, you must apply for a new Montana driver’s license within 60 days of moving.

    NOTE: Your out-of-state driver’s license must not have been suspended or revoked.

    To apply for a new driver's license, you must visit your local Montana MVD office and:

    • Surrender your out-of-state driver’s license, if you have it.
    • Show proof of your identity, residency, and legal U.S. presence.
    • Pass the written permit test and driving tests.
      • Your examiner may waive these tests if you have your valid out-of-state driver’s license with you.
    • Pass a vision test.
    • Have your photo taken.
    • Pay the new driver’s license fee. (Differs depending on your age.)

    Types of Montana Driver’s Licenses

    • Class D basic driver’s license (non-commercial driver’s license):
      • Valid for up to 8 years.
      • For non-commercial vehicles weighing less than 26,000 pounds.
    • Commercial driver’s license (CDL).
    • Motorcycle endorsement:
      • Allows you to operate a motorcycle or any vehicle with 2 wheels or 3 wheels.
      • An endorsement on your class D driver’s license.
    • Motorcycle learner’s license:
      • Valid for 1 year.
      • A licensed driver who has a motorcycle endorsement must supervise you.

    If you are under 18 years old, you must complete the Montana MVD’s graduated driver licensing (GDL) program in order to obtain your driver’s license. The process includes additional steps to help you become a safe and responsible driver.

    For specific details, visit our Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Montana page.

    For license types other than a Class D basic driver's license, visit the following guides:

    New Driver’s License Eligibility Requirements

    To apply for a new Class D non-commercial driver’s license in Montana, you must have not been deemed by a court to be:

    • Mentally incompetent.
    • An alcoholic.
    • A habitual user of illegal drugs.

    If you are younger than 18 years old, the MT DOJ requires you to fulfill every requirement of its GDL program. See Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Montana for more information.

    NOTE: The Montana Motor Vehicle Division will not issue you a Montana driver’s license if you have received a suspension or revocation in any other state.

    Getting Your Montana Learner’s License

    If you want to practice driving before you apply for your driver’s license, you must first obtain your learner’s license. Your learner’s license will allow you to drive as long as a licensed driver accompanies you.

    To apply, you must visit your local Montana MVD office and:

    Your learner’s license will be valid for 1 year.

    Apply for a MT Driver’s License

    To apply for your first driver’s license in Montana, visit your local MT driver exam station in person and:

    • Show proof of your legal U.S. presence, identity, and Montana residency.
    • Pass a written test.
    • Pass the driving test.
    • Pass a vision exam.
    • Have your photo taken.
    • Pay the driver’s license fee (varies depending on your age).

    The length of your driver’s license will vary depending on your age. For more information, see the Montana MVD website.

    For information on renewing your driver’s license, visit our Renewing Your License in Montana page.