Did you know that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers? In fact, teens are involved in three times more fatal auto accidents than other drivers.
Like many other states, Nebraska uses a graduated licensing system to help keep young people safe.
To earn full driving privileges, you must complete a series of education and experience requirements.
Because much of Nebraska is rural, the DMV has two different courses of licensing for beginning drivers, depending on where they live.
If you live 1.5 miles or more from your high school AND live outside a city of 5,001 people or more (or attend a school outside a city of 5,001 people or more), you have the option of obtaining a school learner's permit, also known as an LPE, and then a school permit, or SCP.
School Learner's Permit (LPE)
The LPE is available for teen drivers who wish to practice driving for a school permit (see below). It entitles you to operate a motor vehicle when accompanied by a licensed driver over 21 years old.
Applicants must be at least 14 years old, but no older than 16 years old. Successful completion of a vision screening and a written knowledge test is required. There is an $8 application fee.
An LPE is valid for 3 months, but can be renewed if necessary.
School Permit (SCP)
The SCP allows you to drive unaccompanied to school and related extracurricular activities. Nebraska teens with a valid SCP may also drive at any time if they are accompanied by a licensed driver over 21 years old.
To receive an SCP, you must have first had an LPE for at least 2 months. You will be required to either complete an approved driver education course or submit a 50-hour certification form signed by a licensed driver over 21 years old. There is an $10.50 application fee.
An SCP expires when you turn 16 years and 3 months old. Once you turn 16 years, you can obtain your provisional operator's permit (see below).
The first permit you can get if you don't live in a rural area is the learner's permit, also known as an LPD. This entitles you to drive a motor vehicle when accompanied by a licensed driver over 21 years old.
To receive an LPD, you must be at least 15 years old. Successful completion of the vision screening and written test will be required. There is an $8 application fee.
The permit is valid for 1 year, but may be renewed if necessary.
Provisional Operator's Permit
Regardless of which learning permit you obtained (SCP or LPD), the next step is the provisional operator's permit, also known as a POP. This allows you to drive unsupervised between the hours of 6 a.m. and midnight. To drive unsupervised outside of this time period, you must be attending a work or school activity. A POP costs $17.50.
To receive a POP, you must complete an approved driver education course or present a 50-hour certification form signed by a licensed driver over 21 years old. (If you already submitted these forms when obtaining your SCP, they don't need to be submitted again.) A vision screening, written exam, or driving test may also be required.
A POP expires on your 18th birthday. You will be eligible for full driving privileges after you have maintained a clean driving record for at least 12 months. If you haven't accumulated more than 3 points on your record, the driving and written tests for your license will be waived.
Teens with 6 points or more on their driving record will be required to complete a driver improvement course before earning full driving privileges.