Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) in New Hampshire
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Whether you’re just becoming a new resident or you’re a teen ready to drive, you’ll need to apply for a new driver’s license. New Hampshire offers:
- Class D Operator: the regular driver’s license
- Commercial Driver Licenses
NOTE: If you’re younger than 18, you must successfully complete a driver’s ed class.
Younger Than 18― To apply for a driver’s license, you must get a Driver's Education Certificate, by taking a driver’s ed course. The teacher issues this to you after you successfully complete the course.
18 and Older― While you’re not obligated to take a driver’s ed class, it would be a smart idea. A class will help you pass the written and driving tests―and bring you up to speed on all the new laws.
To save time in line, make an appointment at your nearest DMV to take your written test. Each DMV has specific hours when it does testing and driver’s license issuing.
On the day of the test, be prepared to:
- Fill out the Driver’s License Application.
- Pay $50 (cash, check or credit).
- Show proof of identification. You’ll need one primary, one secondary and one residency document; or two primary documents and one residency document.
- Take the vision test. Wear your eyeglasses or contacts, if needed.
Younger Than 18
You’ll also need to bring:
- Your Driver’s Education Certificate from your driver’s ed teacher, and a Parent/Guardian Authorization Certificate.
- For the road test, you’ll need to turn in your Driver Education Log Sheet.
You must get a new driver’s license within 60 days of establishing state residency. If you have a valid driver’s license from another state, you usually won’t have to do anything except turn it in and get a new one. Bring proof of residency, such as a utility bill in your name.
New Hampshire reserves the right to administer the written or road tests, even if your old license is valid.
For those who can’t read English well, the DMV offers an oral test. You must ask for it.
It’ll be hard to do much practicing without your own wheels. It might be time to start looking for your own car.
Determine how much driving you’ll be doing and who you’ll need to take with you.
Used cars offer the best bang for the buck in many cases. If you go this route, be sure to get a Vehicle History Report before you buy. The report tells you if the title’s been salvaged or the car flooded, and might save you money in the long run.
Once you’ve decided on a possible car, shop for car insurance. This is the time to find the best deal. Sometimes your first choice for a car has too-high insurance, so this may factor into your purchasing choice.
Ask the insurance company if they offer any special deals for good drivers or good students, if either applies to you.
The car you bring must be safe, have proper car insurance, be the sort of vehicle you’re getting a license for, and be up-to-date on its registration.
Once You Pass
You’ll be issued a temporary license while your permanent one is prepared and processed.
If You Fail
You’ll have to make an appointment to come back and retake any part of the test (written, vision, or driving) that you failed.
Your temporary license is valid for 60 days. If you don’t get your permanent one after the first month, it wouldn’t hurt to call the DMV and make sure it’s on its way.
If you have a valid driver’s license from another country and have moved to this state, you may get a New Hampshire license. The DMV may ask you to take the written and road tests, though.
Requirements vary by situation. All requests for non-citizen licenses must be sent to:
- Driver Licensing - Non-Resident Desk
- Department of Safety
- 10 Hazen Drive
- Concord, NH 03305
The office will reply to you in writing.
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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.