Drivers Permits in Vermont
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.
Vermont Learner's Permits
In Vermont, if you're a teenager, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires that you obtain a learner's permit before you can apply for your driver's license.
This is a requirement of the graduated driver license (GDL) program, which is designed to help you become a safe and responsible driver.
Your Vermont learner's permit will allow you to practice driving while supervised and ensure you have the skills and knowledge necessary to pass your road test.
Vermont REAL ID Licenses
The Vermont DMV issues federally compliant REAL ID driver’s licenses in addition to standard driver’s licenses. Beginning May 3, 2023, the REAL ID will allow you to continue using your license for domestic travel and entry into federal and military buildings—a standard ID will no longer suffice for these activities. After that date, without a REAL ID license, you will need another form of federal identification (like a passport or birth certificate).
You can choose to receive a REAL ID upon application—details are outlined below. For more, visit the state's guide to REAL IDs.
New to Vermont?
If you have recently moved to Vermont and have an out-of-state learner's permit, contact the Vermont DMV directly to see if you're eligible to transfer it.
You can convert your out-of-state junior driver's license for a Vermont junior driver's license by visiting your local VT DMV office and:
- Pass the required exams, which may include a:
- Written permit test.
- Vision exam.
- Road test.
- Provide proof you have completed a Driver’s Ed course, that included:
- 30 hours of classroom study.
- 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training.
- 6 hours of in-car observation.
- Provide proof you have completed at least 40 hours of driving practice.
You must follow the rules and restrictions of the Vermont GDL program.
For information about transferring your regular out-of-state driver's license, see our Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) in Vermont page.
Vermont Learner's Permit Requirements
If you're under 18 years old and applying for your first driver's license, you will need to first obtain your learner's permit. You must be at least 15 years old to do so.
To apply, visit your local Vermont DMV office and:
- Complete the Application for License/Permit (Form VL-021).
- You parent or legal guardian must sign the form.
- Mark whether you want your permit to be REAL ID or Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) compliant. (See “Enhanced Driver’s License” below for details.)
- Provide proof of your identity, age, and lawful U.S. status (e.g. valid, unexpired U.S. passport, Certified copy of birth certificate).
- Provide proof of your Social Security number (e.g. Social Security card, W-2 form).
- The agent may be able to verify your SSN electronically, but bring your documents just in case.
- Submit 2 documents proving your Vermont residency and current residential address (e.g. utility bill, property tax bill).
- As a minor, it’s tough to prove residency. So, the VT DMV will accept the Vermont Residency Certification (Form VL-002) AND another proof of residency from your parent(s)/legal guardian(s) such as a utility bill, property tax bill, or homeowner or renter insurance policy.
- Show proof of any name changes, if applicable (e.g. marriage certificate, divorce decree, or other court document).
- Pass the written permit test.
- Pass a vision test.
- Pay the $20 learner's permit fee and $32 examination fee.
For a complete list of documents proving your identity, SSN, and residency, visit the VT Department of Motor Vehicles website.
Enhanced Driver's License
The VT DMV issues REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and permits to all eligible applicants (i.e. those who provide all required documents listed above).
However, Vermont residents who are also legal U.S. citizens can opt for an Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) instead. The EDL meets all REAL ID requirements, but it also acts like a passport for travel to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
The VT DMV recommends choosing the driver’s license that meets your travel document needs. If you decide the EDL is right for you:
- Review the Vermont REAL ID Checklist AND the Enhanced License/ID Information (Form VL-018) to make sure you have all required documents before you head to the DMV.
- Bring your parent(s)/legal guardian(s) to the DMV if you’re younger than 18 years old.
- Be prepared to pay both the $20 fee for your driver permit AND the additional $30 fee for your EDL.
After you apply—and are found eligible—you’ll receive a temporary EDL; you cannot use a temporary EDL to cross borders. You should receive your permanent EDL within 20 days.
Taking the Written Vermont Permit Test
Although making an appointment at the Vermont DMV is not required for your written permit tests, it is recommended.
To make an appointment, simply call (802) 828-2000.
The written permit will consist of 20 questions (multiple choice). You must answer 16 questions correctly to pass. If you fail, you must wait 1 day before you can take the test again.
Vermont Learner's Permit Restrictions
With your learner's permit in your possession you are allowed to practice driving as long as you are accompanied by your licensed, unimpaired parent or guardian who is at least 25 years old.
Your supervisor must be seated in the front passenger seat.
Before you can move on to the next step of the GDL process and obtain your junior operator's license, you must complete both Driver's Ed AND supervised driving practice.
Your supervised driving practice must total at least 40 hours, including 10 hours at night. Nighttime is classified as 30 minutes following sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise.
NOTE: Visit our Driver's Ed in Vermont page to learn more about the driver's education requirement.
Next Step: Junior Operator's License
You will be eligible for your junior driver's license once you have:
- Held your learner's permit for at least 1 year.
- Successfully completed a Driver's Ed course.
- Completed your required behind-the-wheel driving hours.
You must have had a clean driving record for the past 6 months.
For more information on applying for your first driver's license, see our Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Vermont page.