Drivers Permits in New Hampshire
COVID-19 Effects on Licensing Services
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state DMVs nationwide have closed office locations, extended license and registration expiration dates, and/or limited the transactions they are processing. If possible, residents should use the DMV's online services to complete any relevant transactions. Follow the DMV's most recent updates for the latest information.
New Hampshire Driver's Permits
In New Hampshire, the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) does not issue learner's permits if you want to begin driving.
You will be allowed to practice driving as long as you follow certain restrictions and are old enough. Once you are ready to take your road test, you can apply for your driver's license.
This page gives you information about the driving restrictions you must follow before you get your driver's license, how to prepare for your driving test, and how to become a safe and responsible driver.
New Hampshire REAL ID Driver's Licenses
The New Hampshire DMV has begun issuing federally-compliant REAL ID driver’s licenses. As of May 3, 2023, 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. For further details, visit the DMV's guide to NH REAL IDs.
New to New Hampshire?
If you have recently moved to New Hampshire and have an out-of-state learner's permit or driver's license, you may be able to transfer it for a NH driver's license. You must:
- Be at least 16 years old.
- Have completed a Driver's Ed course, if you're younger than 18 years old.
You will need to transfer your out-of-state driver's education course to New Hampshire by calling (603) 227-4075.
You can practice driving in NH without a driver's license as long as your driving privileges haven't been revoked/suspended in another state.
Driving Restrictions in New Hampshire
New Hampshire DOES NOT issue instructional or learner's permits. You can practice driving without a permit or driver's license once you turn 15 1/2 years old.
Regardless of your age, if you don't have your driver's license, you must only drive:
- A non-commercial vehicle.
- While accompanied by:
- Your parent.
- Your legal guardian.
- A licensed driver who is at least 25 years old.
NOTE: You must carry proof of your age while you are driving.
The adult supervising you must be seated in the front seat and must have a valid driver's license. They will be liable for any motor vehicle violation committed by you.
Driver's Education Requirements
Driver's education is helpful at any age, but if you're younger than 18 years old, you MUST complete Driver's Ed before applying for your driver's license.
The Driver's Ed course must include at least:
- 30 hours of classroom instruction.
- 10 hours of practice driving.
- 6 hours of driving observation.
Once the class is completed, you'll receive a green Driver's Ed completion certificate, which you will need to submit to the NH DMV.
Driver's Ed is offered at all public high schools in New Hampshire and at commercial driving schools. For more information, please refer to our Driver's Ed in New Hampshire page.
If you're younger than 18 years old, in addition to driver's education, you must complete supervised driving practice before you will be eligible for a driver's license.
You must complete 40 hours of practice driving and keep track of your hours using a Driver's Out-of-Class Log Sheet (Form DSMV 509). 10 hours of the 40 hours must be at night.
You will need to present this log when you apply for your driver's license.
Next Step: New Hampshire Driver's License
Depending on your age, once you've done enough driving practice, you can apply for your:
- Full driver's license, if you're 21 years old or older.
- Youth operator's license, if you're younger than 21 years old.
- DSMV 509