Licensing Process

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

Pre-Licensure Driving

At age 15 ½, you may practice driving when accompanied by a licensed driver who is seated in the front beside you. The licensed driver must be a certified driving instructor, parent, legal guardian, or – adult age 25 years or older. There is no actual learner’s permit or DMV application required.

Youth Operator’s License

At age 16, you can apply for a youth operator’s license if you have successfully completed the required driver education program and completed 40 hours of practice driving, including 10 hours at night. You must visit a 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. You must also pass a vision, written and road test.

With a youth operator’s license, you may not drive between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. During the first 6 months of licensure, you are prohibited from driving with more than one passenger under age 25 (family members exempt) unless accompanied by a licensed adult who is at least 25 years old.

Full License

At age 18, you are eligible for a full unrestricted license. The state does not place night or passenger limits on those with unrestricted licenses.

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 those of the state.

Licensing Authority

The New Hampshire Department of Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles (NH DMV) is in charge of licensing for all drivers in the state. The NH DMV conducts the written exam and road test needed to get a driver’s license and also provides study materials to help you get ready for the exams. The NH DMV also keeps track of your license status and can suspend your license if you get too many tickets, don’t keep insurance on your car or commit other violations.

  • Parent-Teen Driving Agreement – Signing a formal agreement with your parents helps in multiple ways.
  • Driver-ZED – Offered by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Driver-ZED is a computer-based program to help you practice driving on your PC.