Vermont officials are well aware that even though teenagers only comprise 7% of all drivers, they account for 14% of all car fatalities. They also know that car accidents are the leading cause of death for young adults between the ages of 15 and 19. To help curb these numbers, the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) employs a stringent graduated driver licensing process for teenage drivers.
Applying for a Permit
To begin your licensing quest, you must first apply for a learner's permit. To do this, you must:
- Be at least 15 years old.
- Call Central Scheduling at (802) 828-2085 to schedule a learner's permit written test at one of the state's 11 testing locations.
- Fill out an application form. If you are under 18, a parent or legal guardian must sign your application granting you permission to take the test.
- Bring one form each of primary and secondary identification. Both the primary and secondary forms of ID must be originals or certified duplicates with a raised certification stamp.
- Pay a $45 fee ($18 for the permit plus $30 for the written test).
You must pass the DMV's multiple-choice test to be issued a learner's permit. Vermont's Driver's Manual rates as your best study source for the written exam. The test features 20 questions based on information gleaned directly from the manual. There are no trick questions.
If You Pass
You will be immediately issued a learner's permit following the exam if you pass. This will allow you to drive anywhere at any time within the state as long as you are accompanied in your vehicle's front seat by a licensed and unimpaired parent or guardian, driving instructor, or person older than 25 years old.
Junior Operator's License
Applying for a Junior License
Once you've had your learner's permit for one year, completed driver's education, and practiced driving for an additional 40 hours, you may take the driving test and get a junior operator's license. Before you can even consider applying for a junior operator's license, you must:
- Own a learner's permit for at least one year.
- Be at least 16 years old.
- Hold a driver education certificate that confirms you have completed at least 30 hours of classroom study and at least six hours of behind-the-wheel training with a state-approved driver education program.
- Possess a Driving Practice Log Sheet signed by a parent or guardian testifying that you have completed an additional 40 hours of practice driving time, with at least 10 of those hours at night.
If you meet all conditions, you are free to call Central Scheduling at (802) 828-2085 to schedule a test at one of the state's 11 testing locations. If you are under 18, a parent or legal guardian must sign your application form granting you permission to take the road test.
When you arrive for your on-road driving skills test, be sure to bring:
- One form each of primary and secondary identification. Both forms of proof must be originals or certified duplicates with a raised certification stamp.
- A car with a valid inspection sticker, a registration certificate, and an automobile insurance identification card.
The exam itself will test how you handle a car in real road conditions. Be sure to fasten your seatbelt and obey all speed limits.
If You Pass
You will be asked to first pay a $48 fee ($18 for the driving test and $30 for the license), and only then will you be issued a junior operator's license. Keep in mind that this is a provisional license; that means your parent or guardian can snatch it away if they think you are an unsafe driver.
Junior License Restrictions
You can't be employed to drive with only a provisional license (no delivering pizzas or being a courier) until, depending which comes first, you have owned the license for one year or turned 18.
During the first three months you hold this license, you must drive alone unless accompanied in the front seat by an unimpaired driver over 25 years old. In other words, if you want to drive your friends around, you'll have to bring an adult along too.
Between the third and and sixth months of holding this license, you will be allowed to transport family members, regardless of age. After six months, all restrictions are lifted.
Senior Operator's License
Applying for an Operator License
If you are 18 or older, you can apply for a plain old operator license by calling Central Scheduling at (802) 828-2085 to make an appointment at one of the state's 11 testing locations. This license is the real deal―it doesn't come with any restrictions, and since you're 18, you don't need a parent's signature on your application form.
If you already have a learner's permit and you turned 18 before getting a junior operator's license, you can just skip that and get the regular operator's license instead by taking the driving test.
Senior's License Test
When you arrive for the road exam, make sure:
- You are accompanied by another licensed driver.
- You bring one form each of primary and secondary identification.
- Your testing car has a valid inspection sticker, a registration certificate, and an automobile insurance identification card.
If you don't own a learner's permit, you will be required to take all three tests: eye, written, and road. The driving test alone costs $18; the written test costs an additional $30.
If You Pass
You will be given the option for getting either a two-year ($30) or four-year ($48) license. Those fees are in addition to the testing fees mentioned above.