Licensing & State Laws
Even though your teen is now licensed and driving alone, New Hampshire’s licensing process is still at work.
At age 15 ½, teens may practice driving when accompanied by a licensed driver occupying the seat beside them who is a certified driving instructor, parent, legal guardian, or responsible adult age 25 years or older. There is no actual learner’s permit or DMV application required.
Youth Operator License
At age 16, application for a youth operator’s license may be made if the person has successfully completed the required driver education program and has completed 40 hours of practice driving, including 10 hours at night. (Keep track of your teen’s practice driving.) Teens must visit their local driver exam office with an application signed by a parent or guardian, an original birth certificate, one other form of legal identification, proof-of-residence and Social Security number. Teens must also pass a vision, written and road test.
Teens with a youth operator license may not drive between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. During the first 6 months of licensure, teens are prohibited from driving with more than one passenger under age 25 (family members exempt) unless accompanied by a licensed responsible adult who is at least 25 years old.
At age 18, teens are eligible for a full unrestricted license. The state does not place night or passenger limits on those with unrestricted licenses. However, AAA encourages parents to maintain their own rules.
Even after your teen is driving solo, 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.
The New Hampshire Department of Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles, is in charge of licensing for all drivers.
- Your teen should expect to present a valid license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
- Explain to your teen that it is important to always cooperate and be respectful when speaking with law enforcement.
- Make sure your teen understands the importance of talking to you about any encounters with law enforcement, because it can create a learning experience.
If your teen breaks a law, gets a ticket or is involved in a crash, it could lead to a court appearance and the following consequences.
- Suspended driving privileges
- Attorney’s fees
- Court costs
- Insurance premium increases