Licensing & State Laws

To get your driver’s license in Nebraska, you’ll move through multiple licensing stages. As you progress, you’ll also need your parents’ permission at each step.

School Learner’s Permit

If you live in a qualified rural area and live more than one and one-half miles from school, you may apply for a special school-only permit:  When you turn 14, you’re eligible to apply for a school learner’s permit that allows you to practice driving for a school permit (SCP). Upon passing the required vision and written test, you may drive with a licensed parent or guardian for up to three months.

School Permit

When you turn 14 years 2 months and have driven under an LPE for at least two months, you may apply for a school permit. Before issuance, you must either successfully complete a DMV-approved driver safety course OR pass a written and driving test (waived under certain conditions), plus submit a DMV form certifying 50 hours of supervised practice driving, including 10 hours at night, signed by a licensed driver age 21 or older.

With a school permit, you may drive unsupervised to and from school. You may also drive immediate family members (residing in the same household) to and from their respective schools. Your SCP also entitles you to drive anywhere when accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or older.

Learner’s Permit

When you turn 15, you may obtain a learner’s permit. Upon passing a vision and written test (waived under certain conditions), you may enroll in a DMV-approved driver safety course and drive under the supervision of a certified driving instructor, licensed parent, guardian or other driver age 21 or older.

With your learner’s permit, you must log a minimum of 50 hours of supervised practice driving, including 10 hours at night. Keep track of your practice driving through AAA’s driving log.

Provisional License

When you turn 16 and have driven on a learner’s permit for at least six months without accumulating three or more driving record points, you can obtain a provisional license. Your parent or guardian must first certify that you’ve completed the minimum requirements for practice driving or you may present a waiver form certifying successful completion of a state-approved driver education course. You’ll be required to pass a vision test and may have to take a written and/or driving test depending on your level of training (call the DMV in advance for details). If you’re transitioning from a school permit to a provisional license, you may be exempt from a written and/or driving test.

With your provisional license, you’ll be allowed to drive alone; however, you must be accompanied by a parent or licensed adult age 21 or older when driving between midnight and 6 a.m. Exceptions apply when driving between home, work and school. For the first six months, you’re limited to no more than one passenger under age 19 (certain family members are exempt).

Full License

After 12 months on a provisional license or upon reaching age 18, you may apply for an unrestricted operator’s license as long as you’ve driven without accumulating three or more driving record points. Upon passing a written and driving test (waived under certain conditions), you’ll be issued your operator’s license.

Until you’re issued your full operator’s license, you and your passengers must wear safety belts. Additionally, Nebraska law bans teen drivers under the age of 18 from using cell phones or other wireless devices while driving — except for calling 911 or other emergency purposes.  Nebraska law also prohibits drivers of any age from reading, composing or sending electronic text messages while operating a vehicle.

Now is a good time to set up a parent-teen driving agreement to help you and your parents establish expectations related to both their rules and the laws in your state.

For more information on the licensing process, visit the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles 

The Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles is in charge of licensing for all drivers in Nebraska. All written exams and behind-the-wheel tests required for a driver’s license can be performed at most DMV offices. Please check in advance for locations, hours, fees, plus acceptable forms of identification your teen will need to present when applying for each stage of licensing. Study materials to help your teen get ready for the exams are also available.

Your parents will do most of the rule setting and enforcement as you learn to drive. But state and local police are involved, too.

Police enforce traffic laws and investigate crashes. By enforcing traffic laws and requirements on seat belt use, distracted driving, drinking and driving, and teen licensing laws, police keep everyone on the road safer. Breaking the law can lead to fines, license suspension and other penalties.

  • If pulled over by the police, expect to present your driver’s license, the vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
  • If stopped as a driver or passenger, always cooperate and be respectful with law enforcement.
  • If in any kind of situation involving law enforcement, talk to your parents about it immediately afterward.

If you get a ticket or are involved in a crash, you may need to appear in court, whether you believe you were at fault or not. This is serious stuff: Judges often assess fines and suspend driving privileges for traffic offenses.

Police and courts are there when things go wrong. You and your parents can help keep things right.

  • Use a parent-teen driving agreement.
  • Keep your parents in the know about who you ride with.
  • Let your parents know when and where you’re headed.