Licensing & State Laws
To get your driver’s license in Oregon, you’ll move through mulitple licensing stages. As you progress, you’ll also need your parents’ permission at each step.
Provisional Instruction Permit
When you turn 15, you may apply for a provisional instruction permit. You and a parent or guardian need to visit your local driver exam office and bring proof 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. Once you pass the written driver’s knowledge test and a vision test, you’ll be given your provisional instruction permit.
A provisional instruction permit lets you drive only with a licensed driver age 21 or older supervising and sitting in the front seat. The provisional instruction permit lets you practice driving with an experienced adult driver. Once you have either: (1) practiced driving for at least 50 hours and completed an ODOT-approved traffic safety education course, or (2) practiced driving for at least 100 hours, you can get a provisional license. The practice driving must be done with a person who has been licensed for at least 3 years.
When you turn 16 and have had your provisional instruction permit for at least 6 months, you can go to your local DMV to take the driving test. You’ll also need to take a second vision test and provide proof that you completed the required hours of practice driving time and/or completed an ODOT- approved traffic safety education course, and provide proof of high school enrollment, completion or exemption. Once you complete these requirements, you can receive your provisional license. Make sure a parent comes with you to sign the application form.
- Keep track of your practice driving with the AAA Driving Log.
When you have a provisional license, you’re allowed to drive without a parent, but you must follow certain rules to help keep you safe. You are not allowed to drive between midnight and 5 a.m. — some of the riskiest driving hours for all drivers and especially teens. Exceptions are granted for travel to and from work and for school activities. For the first 6 months of provisional licensure, you also may not drive with any non-family passengers under age 20. For the 2nd 6 months, you are prohibited from driving with more than 3 non-family member passengers under age 20. These restrictions, however, do not apply if you are driving with a licensed parent, stepparent, or legal guardian passenger seated next to you.
You and all of your passengers must wear seat belts while you’re driving.
At age 17 you are eligible for a full unrestricted license if you have held the provisional license for 1 year.
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 Oregon Department of Transportation.
The Oregon Department of Transportation, through its Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division, is in charge of licensing for all drivers in the state.
- Conducts the written exam and road test for your learner’s License and intermediate license.
- Provides study materials to help you get ready for the exams.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- StartSmart: Practice Driving – AAA’s tips for parents and teens about practice driving.
- StartSmart: Always Use Seat Belts – 63 percent of 16- to 20-year-olds who die in car crashes aren’t buckled up.
- StartSmart: Distractions and Driving – Read about the most common distractions, and get helpful advice for teens and parents.