Licensing & State Laws
Even though your teen is now licensed and driving alone, Oregon's three-stage licensing process is still at work.
Provisional Instruction Permit
At age 15, teens can apply for a provisional instruction permit in the state of Oregon. To do so, both teen and parent must visit their local driver exam office with of full legal name, proof of legal presence in the U.S., identity and date of birth, proof of Social Security Number, and proof of Oregon residence. Teens must pass a written driver’s knowledge test and a vision test to receive a provisional instruction permit.
- DMV Practice Questions – Take this sample test to determine if you’re ready to take the state driving test.
With a provisional instruction permit, teens may only drive with a licensed driver age 21 or older supervising and sitting in the front seat. Teens are required to (1) practice driving for at least 50 hours and complete an ODOT-approved traffic safety education course, or (2) practice driving for at least 100 hours before they’re allowed a provisional license. Practice driving must occur with a supervising driver who has been licensed for at least 3 years.
When teens turn 16, have had a provisional instruction permit for at least 6 months and have completed the required hours of practice driving, they can apply for this provisional license. They also must pass a behind-the-wheel driving test; complete a vision test; provide proof of practice driving time and/or completion of an ODOT- approved traffic safety education course; and provide proof of high school enrollment, completion or exemption. Legal guardians must accompany their teens to the DMV to sign the application form.
A teen with a provisional license is allowed to drive alone, but must follow certain restrictions. They may not drive between midnight and 5 a.m. (Some exceptions are granted for school and work.) For the first 6 months of provisional licensure, they are also prohibited from driving with any non-family member passengers under age 20, unless a parent, stepparent, or legal guardian with a valid license is seated next to them in the vehicle. For the 2nd 6 months, they are prohibited from driving with more than 3 non-family member passengers under age 20. Teen drivers and all passengers are required to wear safety belts.
At age 17 teens are eligible for a full unrestricted license if they have held a provisional license for 1 year. The state does not place night or passenger limits on those with unrestricted licenses. However, AAA encourages parents to maintain their own rules.
The Oregon Department of Transportation, through its Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division, is in charge of licensing for all drivers in Oregon. The OR DOT conducts the written exam and road test needed to get a driver’s license. It also provides study materials to help your teen get ready for the exams.
A parent-teen driving agreement can help you enforce the 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.