Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) in Nebraska
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Whether you're a first time driver or a new Nebraska resident, it’s time to apply for a new driver’s license. Nebraska offers the following licenses:
- Class O Operator's License
- Commercial License
NOTE: Those under 18 must either take a driver’s ed course or certify that you’ve had 50 hours of experience. Before you’re allowed a regular license, you’ll first get either a School Permit (SCP) or a Provisional Operator’s License (POP).
Younger Than 18― Although it’s not required that you take a driver’s ed course, it makes sense. Taking a certified driver’s ed course lets you waive the written testing.
18 and Older― Even if you’ve just moved here from another state, it doesn’t hurt to take a brush-up supplemental course. That way, you can learn all the rules of the road in your new state before you get a ticket for not knowing what they are.
New residents must apply for a Nebraska license within 30 days of moving here. Call the DMV and ask if you need to take the test; testing can be at the discretion of the local offices.
Nebraska lists the failure rate at 60%, so you should study the material before you take the test. The most convenient way to do this is to study the Nebraska Driver’s Handbook. Nebraska offers it in audio form, too.
Then test your knowledge with some free practice tests. If you can pass those, you’ll probably pass the written test too.
Offices offer the test first-come, first-served. Try not to go at lunchtime or other usually busy hours of the day.
On the day of the test, be prepared to:
- Pay the fee in cash, which varies from $7.50 to $26.50, depending on how many years the license is good for.
- Be prepared to take a vision test. If you use glasses or contacts, wear them.
- Provide one acceptable proof of identity featuring your full name and date of birth, and two documents showing your principal residence. Those under 18 can provide proof of residence from a parent or guardian. In some instances, you may be asked to provide proof of your Social Security number; proof of exemption is always required.
Now that you’re going to be practicing for hours, you may want to consider buying yourself a car. Consider what kind of driving you’ll be doing and who you may need to transport.
Used cars are a great economic option. However, you’ll want to get a Vehicle History Report before you buy. If you pay one fee, you’ll get a month or more of reports on all the used cars you look at. The report tells you whether the car has a clean title and was ever in an accident, so it saves you a lot of headaches.
Once you have found the car you want, you’ll need to shop for car insurance. How much the insurance will be may determine whether or not you want to make the car purchase.
Call a few companies or use an online quote system to find the best deal. If you’re a good student (B average is usually the minimum) ask if the company has a good student discount.
Call the DMV near you and ask what the drive test hours are.
Bring a adequate car insurance and valid registration. The car will be safety inspected, too.
Also bring a friend with an unrestricted license. If you happen to fail, you’ll need to be driven home.
Once You Pass
Take the Issuance Certificate to a County Treasurer Office. They’ll take your picture and mail your license in about 5-7 days. If you need to pay more fees, do so with cash.
If You Fail
The tester will give you an Examiner Refusal Certificate telling you when you can take it again. You may not take it again the same day. Take the certificate with you when you try the test again.
With a valid foreign license from another country, you can drive for up to 30 days before you have to apply for a license. At that point, you will need to apply for a Nebraska license and have one primary form of identification, such as:
- A valid Resident Alien Card or Permanent Resident Card.
- A valid Temporary Resident Identification Card.
- A valid Employment Authorization Card.
- Naturalization papers, which show your name and date of birth.
- A Certificate of Citizenship.
The card must show your full name and date of birth. You must also provide two acceptable proofs of your primary address. Photocopied documents will not be accepted.
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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.