Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Montana
Teen Drivers in Montana
If you're a teenager applying for your first driver's license, you'll need to satisfy the graduated driver licensing (GDL) requirements of the Montana Department of Justice (DOJ) Motor Vehicle Division (MVD).
The Montana GDL program will help you to develop your skills as a new driver and eventually ace your DMV driving test.
On this page, you'll find information about the MT MVD GDL program and your next steps towards your new driver's license.
New to Montana?
If you've recently moved to Montana, you must transfer your out-of-state driver's license within 60 days.
You will need to visit your local MT MVD office and:
- Provide proof of your identity, MT residency, and U.S. legal presence. Visit the website for a full list of accepted documents.
- Pass the written knowledge and road test, if required.
- Pass the vision test.
Montana GDL Program Stages
If you're younger than 18 years old, you'll need to complete the following GDL phases:
- Traffic education learner's license (TELL) OR learner's permit.
- Restricted/provisional driver's license.
- Unrestricted driver's license.
Before applying for a Montana driver's license you should obtain a Montana Driver License Manual. This will provide you with every rule and regulation that you will need to know for passing your driving tests (written and skills exams).
The minimum ages to begin each step of the MT DMV GDL program are as follows:
- Traffic education learner's license (TELL): 14 1/2 years old.
- Learner's permit: 15 years old.
- Provisional license: After holding a learner's permit for at least 6 months.
- Full driver's license: After holding a provisional driver's license for 1 year or when you turn 18 years old, whichever comes first.
How to Get a Montana Learner's Permit
The Montana DMV allows you to begin the GDL program when you are at least 14 1/2 years old, if you are enrolled in an approved traffic education program. You will be eligible for a traffic education learner's license (TELL) or a traffic education permit (TEP).
For more information about the TELL/TEP and driver's education in Montana, please see our Driver's Ed page.
You are eligible for a regular learner's permit when you:
- Are at least 15 years old and have completed Driver's Ed.
- Are at least 16 years old.
To apply, visit your local Montana MVD office with your parent/legal guardian and:
- Pass the DMV written test.
- Meet the Montana DMV medical/vision requirements.
- Provide proof of your identity, residency and legal presence. Refer to the MT DMV website for details.
- Be prepared to pay the driver licensing fee of $5 per year.
Learner's Permit Restrictions and Next Steps
With your learner's permit, you can drive only when supervised by a licensed parent/legal guardian or a licensed adult who is at least 18 years old.
If you hold a TELL, you must be supervised by your parent or legal guardian.
Before moving on to the next steps of the Montana MVD GDL program, you'll need to:
- Complete at least 50 hours of supervised driving, with 10 hours completed at night.
- Have no traffic violations or alcohol/drug-related offenses for 6 months prior to applying for your provisional driver's license.
- Hold your learner's permit/TELL for at least 6 months.
How to Get a Provisional Driver's License
You are eligible for your first-year restricted license/provisional license after you:
- Have held your learner's permit/TELL for at least 6 months.
- Have had no traffic violations or alcohol/drug offenses in that past 6 months.
- Have completed at least 50 hours of supervised driving experience, with 10 hours completed at night.
To apply for your provisional driver's license, you'll need to visit the MT DMV office and:
- Have your parent/legal guardian complete a Graduated Driver Licensing Parent/Legal Guardian Certification (Form 21-1600).
- Pass the DMV road test. (You can schedule your driving test on the MT DMV website.)
- Provide proof of your identity and legal U.S. presence.
- Provide proof that you're a Montana resident.
- Pay the $5 per year driver's license fee.
Provisional License Restrictions and Next Steps
While you hold your provisional driver's license, you can:
- Drive unsupervised between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. only, unless for:
- Parent-authorized reasons.
- Have only 1 passenger (non-family member) younger than 18 years old for the first 6 months, unless you are supervised by a licensed driver who is at least 18 years old.
- Have up to 3 passengers (non-family member) younger than 18 years old for the second 6 months, unless you are supervised by a licensed adult who is at least 18 years old.
Your provisional driver's license will automatically convert to a full, unrestricted driver's license when you are at least 18 years old OR once you have held your provisional license for at least 1 year.
How to Get a Montana Unrestricted Driver's License
Your provisional driver's license restrictions will be lifted after:
- You have held your provisional driver's license for at least 1 year.
- You are at least 18 years old.
With your unrestricted driver's license, you'll be able to apply all of the safe and defensive driving habits you will have developed during each phase of the Montana DMV GDL program.
Our driver's license checklist allows you to keep track of your major steps towards your driver's license and share them with your friends.
Graduated Driver Licensing Parent/Legal Guardian Certification - 21-1600
The legal guardian of a minor applying for a MT driver's license must sign this form certifying the minor has completed the requirements necessary to upgrade their instruction permit, traffic education permit, or traffic education learner license