Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in New Hampshire
Almost every teenager looks forward to getting a driver's license. The freedom associated with being able to drive is exhilarating and the responsibility that goes along with driving must be accepted solemnly. Getting a driver's license does not make you a good driver; it only proves you have passed the minimum requirements to get a New Hampshire driver's license.
Teen drivers, and most folks up to the age of 30, have some advantages on the road:
- Acute vision
- Accurate depth perception
- Quick reaction time
However, the State of New Hampshire has kept statistics on highway accidents that show disadvantages young drivers have outweigh the advantages. The main disadvantage common to young drivers can be summed up in one word: inexperience.
New Hampshire annual accident reports show over 40% of highway accidents and 35% of highway fatalities involve young drivers. The two main accident causes are alcohol and speeding. This is solemn news for teen drivers; four in ten drivers will be involved in an accident each year.
Paying careful attention to driver training and driver education will help keep you and your friends safe. Paying attention when you are behind the wheel is critical to your safety and the safety of other people sharing the road with you.
New Hampshire does not require a learner permit. However, you must be over 15 years and six months old and with a licensed adult 25 years or older in the front passenger seat. Typically, learners practice with only one parent in the car.
To qualify for a New Hampshire driver's license you must be 16 years old or older. If you are 16-18 years old you need to complete an approved driver education course.
The application process is the same as that for all first-time drivers, but with three additional requirements:
- Driver Education Completion Certificate―provided by your course instructor.
- A completed Driver's Out of Class Log Sheet, confirming you completed 40 hours of supervised driving (excluding drivers ed).
In addition, when you visit the DMV substation to apply for your driver's license you will need to bring:
- Birth certificate.
- Proof of identification―school ID, passport, Social Security Card.
Proof of age and residency are not required at the DMV substation because you have already proven it to the authorized driver education course instructor. Make sure to have your $50 fee ready.
There are three tests required when you apply for a new license:
- Vision test
- Written knowledge test
- Road skills test
Your driver's license will be mailed to you 45 days after you pass the vision, written, and road tests. In the meantime you will have a temporary license that is just as good as the original.
A youth driver is anyone under 18 years old and this means your driver's license comes with some special restrictions. Because New Hampshire believes young drivers are disadvantaged by inexperience, one restriction is that for the first six months you can only drive with one passenger younger than 25 unless a licensed adult 25 years old or older rides along.
Other restrictions exist to keep young drivers safe. These restrictions are in force until you reach 18 years old:
- No driving from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m.
- One rider per seat belt.
- Only one passenger under 25 can be in the car UNLESS there is another licensed driver over the age of 25 or the underage passengers are family members.
When you turn 18 the restrictions expire. Fortunately, your driver's license doesn't expire for another two years―there are four years between renewals―but the Youth Driver status runs out
As a teen driver you will find yourself driving to school, to work, out with friends, to events, and any number of social happenings. It is important to realize that you are sharing the road with thousands of other people and even a few animals.
Take notice of others using the roads in New Hampshire:
- Children playing
- Farm tractors
- Trucks, cars and slow vehicles
Paying attention and being a courteous driver is safe and smart―avoiding accidents and problems like road rage will keep you on schedule, out of trouble, and unharmed.
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