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Young Driver Information

The following information does not include every requirement for a driver's license. The Idaho Driver's Manual should be consulted for further information.

GRADUATED DRIVER'S LICENSE PROGRAM

Effective January 1, 2001, anyone under 17 years of age who has not been issued a driver's license in Idaho must successfully complete an approved driver training program and comply with the requirements of the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Program. Under the GDL Program, you will be required to complete a minimum six-month violation-free supervised instruction period, during which you must:

  • be accompanied by a supervising person at least 21 years old with a valid driver's license who is occupying the seat beside you (no other passengers are allowed in the front seat),
  • assure that all occupants are wearing seat belts or child restraints if required,
  • have the Supervised Instruction Permit (SIP) in your immediate possession while driving,
  • observe all laws regarding alcohol and other intoxicating substances, and
  • accumulate at least 50 hours of supervised driving time, ten hours of which must be at night

If you are convicted of violating any traffic laws (moving or non-moving), violate any restrictions, or have your driving privileges suspended by the department or the courts while you are operating under the Supervised Instruction Permit (SIP), the permit will be canceled and you must apply for a new SIP. Your minimum six months of supervised driving begins all over again with the issuance of a new permit. You may drive on your SIP for longer than six months if it has not expired.

Once you have successfully met the requirements of the GDL, and are at least 15 years of age, you will be required to take and pass the skills test and the knowledge test before receiving a driver's license. The skills test and the knowledge test may NOT be taken sooner than six (6) months from the date you complete the driver's training course or age 17, whichever comes first. If you fail the written and/or the skills test, you must wait three days before retesting for each failure.

 

GDL TRAFFIC VIOLATION PENALTIES

As part of the Graduated Driver's License Program all drivers under the age of 17 are subject to the following moving traffic violation penalties:

  • First violation - Warning letter
  • Second violation - Minimum 30-day suspension
  • Third violation - Minimum 60-day suspension

These penalties are in addition to the cancellation of a Supervised Instruction Permit (SIP) during the supervised instruction period, or any other suspensions that may be ordered by a court or the department because of a traffic violation. For further information regarding suspensions and Idaho's Point Violation System, refer to the Violation Points section.

NOTE: If your SIP or driver's license gets suspended, you must pay all applicable reinstatement fees before your driving privileges can be reinstated. If your SIP has been canceled, you will have to purchase a new SIP if you are under 17 years old.

 

ALCOHOL/DRUG VIOLATIONS

It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any other intoxicating substance, or any combination of alcohol, drugs and/or any other intoxicating substances to drive or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle.

In addition, drivers under the age of 21 who have a blood alcohol content of .02 or higher while operating a motor vehicle will be subject to suspension of driving privileges for up to one year and can fined up to $1,000.00. Penalties increase for subsequent violations and/or excessive blood alcohol concentrations.

Violation of Idaho's alcohol/age laws when you are NOT driving will also cause your SIP or driver's license to be canceled or suspended. Once the court-ordered suspension period has passed and all applicable fines and reinstatement fees have been paid, the driver's license will be reinstated. If a SIP was canceled, and you are still under the age of 17, you can purchase a new SIP after you have met all reinstatement requirements.

 

DRIVER TRAINING

Completing and passing a driver-training program is required for anyone under 17 years old who is applying for an Idaho driver's license. An approved Idaho driver training program consists of a required 30 hours (1,800 minutes) of classroom instruction, six hours (360 minutes) of in-car observation in a driver-training car, and six hours (360 minutes) of behind-the-wheel driving with a driver training instructor. The minimum training period for students attending driver education classes through a public school is 30 days. Commercial (private) schools are not restricted to a minimum training period.

Most Idaho school districts offer driver training programs in cooperation with the Department of Education. The public school courses are open to all Idaho residents between the ages of 14 1/2 and 21, even if they are not public school students. Commercial (private) driver training courses are available to anyone 14 1/2 years of age or older.

 

OUT-OF-STATE DRIVER TRAINING AND LICENSES

If you are under 17 years old and have completed driver training in another state (and have not been issued a license in that state), you will be required to provide acceptable proof of driver training completion. If you are not surrendering an out-of-state license, you will also be required to complete a supervised driving period prior to licensing.

If you are under 17 years old and have an out-of-state driver's license you will not be required to provide proof of driver training and the supervised driving period will not be required. An out-of-state driver's license may be used for 90 continuous days (from the time an Idaho domicile is established) before an Idaho driver's license is required.

There are no provisions for exceptions to these requirements.

DRIVER TRAINING / SUPERVISED INSTRUCTION PERMITS

If you are under 17 years old you must have a driver training instruction permit to attend any commercial or public school driver-training program. The permits expire at age 18 for people 14 1/2 to 17 1/2 years of age; permits expire 180 days from issuance for people 17 1/2 years of age or older. The fee is not refundable. The documents required to get a driver-training permit are the same as those required for a driver's license and are listed in Chapter One of the Idaho Driver's Manual. The certified original copy of the birth certificate you provide must show mother/father for liability signer purposes.

When you have successfully completed a driver-training program, you will be eligible to begin the supervised instruction period for drivers under the age of 17 as required by Idaho's Graduated Driver's License (GDL) program.

LIABILITY SIGNER

If you are under 18 years old, you need to have a birth parent or legal guardian with you at the county driver's license office to sign consent for you to be licensed. The signer assumes legal responsibility for your actions as a driver. If the liability signer is not the mother or father listed on your birth certificate, you must provide acceptable legal documents (adoption records or court guardianship documents). The identity of the liability signer will be verified. If the signer's name is different from the one appearing on your birth certificate, additional documents such as a marriage license or divorce decree may be required to verify relationship. If the liability signer cannot be present to sign the application at the county office, an acceptable power of attorney may be used. The power of attorney procedure requires additional time for mailing and processing documents.

If you are married, your spouse, who must be at least 18 years of age, may sign for you. Your spouse's age must be verified from an acceptable photo document, such as a driver's license. As long as you are under 18, the person who signs for you may withdraw consent at any time. Withdrawal of consent will cause the department to cancel your driver's license until you reach age 18 or have another acceptable liability signer.

 

SCHOOL ENROLLMENT OR COMPLETION

If you are under 18 years of age you will need to provide acceptable proof of enrollment and attendance in or graduation from a recognized high school or equivalent program before an instruction permit, driver-training permit or driver's license can be issued. This proof can be in the form of a verification of compliance (VOC) letter from an acceptable school or program you are attending, a high school diploma, or a general education certificate of completion. Students enrolled in a home-education program must have been enrolled in the program for at least one school year prior to the verification of attendance request unless documentation can be provided of meeting the attendance requirement for the school year immediately prior to the year in which you are enrolled in the home education program.

During the summer when schools are not in session, verification of compliance may be provided by submitting a copy of the last semester's report card. A formal verification of compliance from the school must then be provided before October 1 of the current year or the driver's training permit, SIP, or driver's license will be canceled. When your parents sign the liability statement, they must also sign a statement that you are in compliance with the school attendance provisions of Idaho Code.

 

UNDER-AGE DRIVER'S LICENSES

Drivers under the age of 16 who have a valid driver's license or regular instruction permit may drive only during daylight hours unless they are accompanied by a person 21 years of age or older who has a valid driver's license and is sitting in the front seat. No other passengers are allowed in the front section of the vehicle.

Licensees under the age of 17 are required - during the first six (6) months from the date the license was issued - to limit the number of passengers in the vehicle who are under the age of 17 to not more than one passenger, unless the passengers are related to the driver by blood, adoption, or marriage.

If you are:

  • 15 to 17 years of age, your driver's license will have a vertical format with a green border around the picture and show "Under 18 until month/day/year." It will expire five days after your 18th birthday. You should not renew your driver's license before your 18th birthday unless you will be temporarily living out of state at the time of your 18th birthday.
  • 18 to 20 years of age, your driver's license will have a vertical format with a red border around the picture and show "Under 21 until month/day/year." It will expire five days after your 21st birthday. You should not renew your driver's license before your 21st birthday unless you will be temporarily living out of state at the time of your 21st birthday.

 

YOUR LICENSE/ID CARD AND THE LAW

Whenever you drive, you must have your license with you. Any misuse or mutilation of your driver's license, permit, or ID card is a misdemeanor and you can be fined, sentenced to jail, and/or your license can be suspended. If your license gets worn or damaged, you need to purchase a duplicate.

For your own protection:

  • never lend anyone your driver's license, permit, or ID card,
  • never use anyone else's driver's license, permit, or ID card,
  • never display or possess a fraudulent/altered driver's license, permit, or ID card, and
  • never allow an unlicensed driver to drive your vehicle (in case of an accident, both the driver and the owner of the vehicle are responsible for damage, injury, or death when permission to drive the vehicle has been given).

 

SELECTIVE SERVICE REGISTRATION

Federal law requires all males who are 18 to 25 years of age to register with the Selective Service System. Eligible males will have the opportunity to register when they apply for a driver's license or ID card.

 

MOTORCYCLES

Any person who applies for a motorcycle endorsement must pass both a written knowledge and a road skills test. If you are under 21 years old you will also be required to successfully complete a motorcycle rider training course. Rider courses are available throughout Idaho. Call the Idaho Skills Training Advantage for Riders (STAR) toll free at (888) 280-STAR (7827).

Idaho law requires all persons under the age of 18 to wear a DOT-approved protective helmet while riding on or operating a motorcycle or ATV.

 

For additional DMV information, contact Driver Services via e-mail at: driverlicense@itd.idaho.gov

Page Last Modified: 4/1/2010 4:33:18 PM

Division of Motor Vehicles / Driver Services Section
(208) 334-8735


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