Licensing & State Laws
Idaho’s multi-stage licensing process allows teens to gradually gain exposure to complex driving situations, easing them into driving over an extended period of time. The instruction permit and intermediate stages are key steps.
Driver Training Instruction Permit/Supervised Instruction Permit
At age 14 ½, teens may apply for a driver training instruction permit, which is required for teens ages 14 ½ to 17 to take a state approved driver training program. To do so, both teen and parent must visit their local driver exam office and bring required documents. Upon completion of driver education, teens are eligible for a supervised instruction permit, which can also be obtained at the driver exam office.
With a supervised instruction permit, a teen may drive when accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age and supervising while seated next to the driver. No other front seat passengers are allowed and all occupants must be properly belted in the vehicle. During the supervised instruction period the teen must complete 50 hours of supervised driving, 10 hours of which must be at night. Any violation of the SIP requirements during the supervised instruction period will result in cancellation of the permit and requires the permit holder to reapply for a new permit. Upon reapplication, permit holders must start and complete a new six-month supervised instruction period.
When teens turn 15, have held a supervised instruction permit for at least 6 months and have completed 50 hours of practice driving, they can apply for an intermediate license. They must also pass a driving test, vision test and knowledge test. Legal guardians must accompany teens to the licensing exam office to consent to their teens’ licensure. If the applicant is 17 or older, driver education completion is not required. Drivers under age 18 must provide proof of school enrollment or school completion.
With an intermediate license, a 15-year old may drive alone in daylight only, unless accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age and sitting beside the driver, with no other passengers in the front seat.
At age 16 the driver is no longer restricted to daylight driving only. Licensees who are under age 17 and in their first 6 months with an intermediate license may not drive with more than one non-family passenger under age 17.
Full Unrestricted License
As young as age 16, teens can be eligible for full, unrestricted licensure, depending on whether and when they took driver education, when they took their required tests and how long it took to complete the Supervised Instruction Permit process. The state does not place passenger or night driving limits on these unrestricted licenses. However, AAA encourages parents to maintain their own rules.
A parent-teen driving agreement can help you enforce licensing rules that the state and your family set. An agreement helps you and your teen understand the rules of the road and sends a clear message that driving is an earned privilege that your family takes seriously.
The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) provides driver licensing services through county sheriffs at offices throughout the state. Third party skills testers act as agents of the department to conduct skills tests. ITD provides study materials to help your teen get ready for the exams.
Visit the Idaho Transportation Department.
Remind your teen that police can and will enforce all requirements on seat belt use, drinking and driving, and other laws. Breaking the law can lead to fines, license suspension and other penalties.
- If stopped by the police, teens should present a valid license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
- Whether stopped as a driver or passenger, teens should always cooperate and be respectful with law enforcement.
- If in any kind of situation involving law enforcement, teens should talk to their parents about it, because this can create a learning experience.
If your teen gets a ticket or is involved in a crash, it could lead to a court appearance. Judges deal seriously and directly with teen traffic violations. They can assess fines and suspend driving privileges for traffic offenses – even for a first offense, depending on the type of violation.