Drivers Permits in Idaho

Idaho Learner's Permits

A supervised instruction permit (SIP) is the first step of Idaho's graduated driver's licensing (GDL) program.

If you're a teenager, you must complete the Idaho Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) GDL program, which has several steps to help you becoming a safer and more responsible driver.

This page gives you information about applying for your learner's permit, the driving restrictions you must follow, and how to graduate to your restricted driver's license.

REAL IDs in Idaho

The Idaho DMV now issues both federally-compliant REAL ID driver’s licenses—called Star Cards—as well as non-compliant licenses. A REAL ID license allows you to use your license as approved identification for activities such as boarding an airplane or entry into federal and military buildings.

Most licenses issued will be verified REAL IDs, but if you don't qualify, you'll receive a non-compliant license—details are outlined below.

New to Idaho?

Within 90 days of moving to Idaho, you have to apply for an Idaho learner's permit or license to replace your out-of state learner's permit. You must follow the GDL process if you are younger than 17 years old.

If you have already taken Driver's Ed in another state but don't have an out-of-state driver's license, you will need to:

  • Show your Driver's Ed certificate of completion.
  • Complete the supervised driving requirement. See “Behind-the-Wheel Requirements" below.

To apply for an ID learner's permit, see “ Idaho Learner's Permit Requirements" below.

If you already have a driver's license, you can simply transfer your out-of-state license to an Idaho driver's license. You will need to pass the written knowledge test.

See our page Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Idaho for more information.

Idaho Learner's Permit Requirements

If you're younger than 17 years old, you must first obtain your supervised learner's permit (SLP). You must be at least 14 1/2 years old to apply.

You need to have your SIP before you can begin Driver’s Ed. After completing a driver's education class, you can begin your supervised driving practice until you are eligible for an intermediate driver's license.

Applying for a Learner's Permit in Idaho

You must apply for your learner's permit in person at an ID driver's license office. You will need:

  • Proof of your:
    • Proof of your age and identity, such as your:
      • Certified original birth certificate.
      • U.S. passport.
    • Legal presence in the U.S.
    • Idaho residency (2 documents), such as your school enrollment records.
  • A secondary document to support your primary identity document.
  • Your Social Security card.
    • The agent may be able to verify your SSN electronically, but bring your documents just in case.
  • Proof of your high school enrollment. (Contact your school or the DMV for details.)
  • Your parent or legal guardian to sign a consent form.
    • They must bring a form of ID.
  • Payment for the $15 learner's permit fee AND $6.50 administrative fee.

The Idaho DMV offers a complete guide to REAL ID-compliant documents. If you're unable to provide the proofs specified, you'll receive a non-compliant license instead. You can also choose to apply for a non-compliant license—just remember, you'll need alternative identification in order to board an airplane and enter federal or military buildings.

NOTE: You do not need to pass a written test to obtain your SLP. You must pass both a written permit test and road test when you apply for your restricted driver's license.

Pass The Written Test On Your First Attempt

To help prepare your for the written test, the DMV offers a basic practice test. Our recommendation is to study with the assistance of an online practice test provided by our approved partner. These study helpers are designed to help you retain the information you learn.

Idaho Learner's Permit Driving Restrictions

When you first receive your learner's permit, you can drive ONLY with your Driver's Ed instructor.

After you complete driver's education, you will be allowed to drive as long as a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old is seated next to you.

All passengers must be wearing seat belts (or seated in child safety seats) and you must have your SLP with you.

NOTE: Your supervised Idaho learner's permit will be cancelled if you violate any traffic laws or these GDL restrictions. You will have to start the program again by applying for a new SLP.

Behind-the-Wheel Requirements

When you finish Driver's Ed, your next step is to start supervised driving practice. You must log 50 hours of driving experience, including 10 hours at night, before you can move on to the next stage of the GDL program.

For more information, see our Driver's Training in Idaho page.

Next Steps: ID Restricted Driver's License

You can apply for your underage driver's license when you:

  • Are at least 15 years old.
  • Have held your learner's permit for at least 6 months from the date you finished Driver's Ed OR when you turn 17 years old (whichever comes first).
  • Have completed 50 hours of supervised practice driving. See “Behind-the-Wheel Requirements" above).

To get your restricted driver's license, you will need to pass a written knowledge/permit test AND a driving skills test.

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