Apply for a License (Drivers 18+) in New Hampshire

SUMMARY: How to Apply for a New Hampshire Driver's License

You must apply for a NH driver's license in person at a DMV office. You will need to pass the written, driving, and vision exams. There are some documents you will need to provide to prove your identity and NH residency, and you're required to pay the driver's license fee.

This page will show you how to obtain your driver's license from the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

NOTE: If you're younger than 18 years old, please follow the instructions on our Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) page. If you need a commercial driver's license (CDL), please visit our Applying for a New CDL page.

New Hampshire REAL ID Driver's Licenses

The New Hampshire DMV has begun issuing federally-compliant REAL ID driver’s licenses. As of October 1, 2021, the REAL ID will function as federal identification for domestic travel and entry into federal and military buildings—a standard license will not after this date.

You have the option to apply for a REAL ID-compliant or non-compliant license in New Hampshire, though the DMV highly encourages you to obtain a REAL ID. Application info for both credentials is outlined below. For further details, visit the DMV's guide to NH REAL IDs.

New to New Hampshire?

Just Moved?

Find all the information you need to finish your moving requirements with the DMV.

You must relinquish your valid out-of-state driver's license and apply for a new NH driver's license within 60 days of moving to New Hampshire.

To transfer your out-of-state license:

  • Visit your nearest NH DMV.
  • Hand over your old driver's license.
  • Provide a secondary proof of identity.
    • Your valid out-of state license acts as the first proof. See below for a full list of acceptable documents.
  • Provide proof of New Hampshire residency (2 documents for a REAL ID-compliant license) no older than 60 days.
  • Submit proof of Social Security number, if you want a REAL ID license.
  • Pass the vision exam.
  • Be prepared to pass the knowledge test IF your out-of-state license is expired.
  • Submit the Application for Driver's License or Non-Driver ID Card (Form DSMV450).
  • Pay the new driver's license fee: $50 for a Standard License and $60 for a Real ID license.. The New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) accepts:
    • MasterCard, VISA, and American Express credit cards.
    • Personal checks, money orders, and traveler's checks made payable to the “State of NH DMV."

Your permanent license will arrive in the mail.

Drivers Under 21 Years

You'll receive a Youth Operator license if you're under 21 years old. This license will expire on your 21st birthday, at which point you'll renew for a full Class D license.

See below for details.

Types of New Hampshire Driver's Licenses

New Hampshire's Class D driver's license allows you to operate regular passenger cars and trucks. We've outlined the application process below.

Youth Operator licenses are issued to drivers younger than 21 years old. See below for details.

Visit the following pages if you need another type of license:

  • Teen Drivers:
  • Motorcycle Riders:
    • Learn how to get a NH motorcycle license, or a motorcycle endorsement on your current driver's license.
  • Commercial Drivers:
    • You must follow state and federal regulations to obtain a NH commercial driver's license (CDL).

Eligibility for a Driver's License

Each resident and non-citizen must hold a valid NH driver's license to legally drive on public roads.

The only exceptions are:

  • New residents who've been in the state for fewer than 60 days.
  • Non-residents with valid out-of-state driver's licenses.
    • You must drive only the vehicle class your license designates.
  • Out-of-state students enrolled in NH schools, colleges, or universities who hold valid licenses from their home states.
  • Military members and dependents with valid out-of-state licenses.
  • Foreign tourists with valid out-of-state licenses AND international licenses issued by their home countries.

If you're younger than 18 years old, you'll get a Class D license after working your way through the state's driver's education and driver permit requirements. Read more at our Teen Licensing section.

NOTE: Even if you have a valid out-of-state license, you cannot drive in this state if your NH driving privileges are suspended or revoked.

How to Apply for a NH Driver's License

To apply for your new NH driver's license, visit your nearest DMV office and:

  • Present the following items:
  • Pass the:
    • Vision exam.
      • If you fail, you must visit an optometrist and, with your doctor, complete the Eye Examination (Form DSMV 61).
    • Written permit test.
      • You will need to make an appointment.
      • You must pass with 80%.
      • If you fail, you must wait 10 calendar days before retesting.
  • Pay the new driver's license fee: $50 for a Standard License or $60 for a Real ID License. The New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) accepts:
    • MasterCard, VISA, and American Express credit cards.
    • Personal checks, money orders, and traveler's checks made payable to the “State of NH DMV."

Once you pass the written knowledge test, you can make an appointment for the driving testyou can make an appointment for the driving test; in most cases, you cannot take both tests on the same day.

Taking Your Driving Test

For the road test:

  • Bring a properly titled, registered, and inspected vehicle that falls under the same class of license for which you're applying.
  • Have a licensed driver bring you to and from the exam site.

If you pass the exam:

  • You'll receive a temporary paper license good for 60 days.
  • You'll receive your permanent Class D license by mail within that time period.

If you fail the exam:

  • You can retake it in 10 calendar days.
  • You must notify the DMV within 24 hours if you need to reschedule the re-examination.
    • You must wait 30 days if you fail to notify the DMV.

Youth Operator Licenses

Youth Operator licenses are for drivers younger than 21 years old. Since you aren't a minor applicant, you won't be subject to the same restrictions as drivers younger than 18 years old, but you will face license suspension for moving violations:

  • 1st offense: 20 days.
  • 2nd offense: 45 days.
  • 3rd offense and subsequent offenses: 90 days.

Also, you might be required to purchase SR-22 insurance if you get 2 speeding tickets or more within 2 years of getting your Youth Operator license. You'll keep this insurance for 3 years after the date of your 2nd hearing.

Your Youth Operator license expires when you turn 21 years old; when you apply for your license renewal, you'll receive a regular Class D driver's license.

Non-Citizens and NH Driver's Licenses

Your application process for a New Hampshire driver's license is the same as explained above; however, there are a few extra requirements.

Application Location

You must make your first application* at the main New Hampshire Department of Safety office if you:

  • Have a valid visa or permanent resident card.
  • Are a refugee or asylee.
  • Hold an employment authorization card (EAD).

The main office is located at:

NH Department of Safety
DMV - Driver Licensing
23 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03305

* Depending on your status, you may be able to make future applications and transactions at your local NH DMV.

Identification Documents

Required documentation to apply for a new NH driver's license will vary based on your status in the United States.

Permanent Resident, Asylee, or Refugee

Provide proof of:

  • Social Security number.
  • Immigration status (e.g., permanent resident card, I-95 resident departure card, or your employment authorization card).
  • Driver's license status.
    • Proof you've completed the vision, knowledge, and road tests OR an out-of-country license exempting you (see “New Hampshire Driver's License Testing" below).
  • Residency (e.g., vehicle title or registration, lease or rental agreement, payroll document, etc.).
    • Lutheran Services: You may bring residency documents from your assisting agency.

Non-Citizens Temporarily Residing in New Hampshire

Provide your valid:

  • Social Security information (if you're eligible to work) OR a letter of ineligibility from the SSA.
  • Passport.
  • Visa for:
    • Attending school.
    • Employment, with a letter from your employer on company letterhead dated within 60 days prior to license application.
    • Spouse or dependent of someone with a visa for the above.
  • I-94 with at least 2 months remaining.
  • I-20, if you're an F-1 visa holder or dependent.
  • 2019, if you're a J-1 holder or dependent.
    • Include a current employment letter on company letterhead, dated within 60 days of application, with your name and the names of any dependents.
  • Your out-of-country license, if applicable.
    • See “New Hampshire Driver's License Testing" below for possible testing exemptions or requirements.
  • Proof of residency (e.g., vehicle title or registration, lease or rental agreement, payroll document, etc.).

New Hampshire Driver's License Testing

You must pass the vision exam, written permit test, and driving tests when getting a new NH driver's license unless you meet certain Driver Licensing requirements:

  • Canada.
  • France.
  • Any U.S. territory.

You also may be required to provide a copy of your driving record.

Please call the New Hampshire DOS at (603) 227-4000 with any questions about getting a new New Hampshire driver's license as a non-citizen.


Application for Drivers License or Non-Driver ID Card
Apply for an original, renewal, OR duplicate NH driver's license, identification card, motorcycle endorsement, OR limited privilege license.
Eye Examamination
If required by the DMV, complete an eye examination and this form with the help of a professional opthamologist/optometrist as part of applying for a New Hampshire driver's license
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