How to Get a Missouri Driver's Permit

In order to keep young drivers safe, Missouri uses a graduated driver’s license program called the “Ready Set Go!” program. All drivers between the ages of 15 and 18 must begin driving under supervision, in order to practice safe driving before getting their full driver’s license. In order to receive the initial learner’s permit, you must follow certain steps. Here is a simple guide to getting a Missouri learner’s permit:

Learner’s permit

In order to apply for a Missouri learner’s permit, residents must be at least 15 years old. With this permit, those who are under 16 years old must always have one of the following people with them when they drive:

  • A driving instructor

  • A licensed parent or guardian

  • A licensed driver, at least 25 years old, who has written permission from the parent or guardian, and who has had a license for at least three years

Learner’s permit drivers over the age of 16 may drive with any licensed person who is at least 21 years old.

Any driver with a learner’s permit must complete at least 40 hours of behind-the-wheel practice under the supervision of the required type of driver, ten of which must be at night. This permit must be held for at least 182 days before a 16-year-old driver may begin applying for the intermediate driver’s license.

How to apply

The first step in applying for a Missouri driver’s permit is to pass the written driving skills test. In order to take this test, drivers must submit the following documents to the local DMV office:

  • A signed permission statement from the parent or guardian

  • A Social Security card

  • Proof of date of birth, such as a birth certificate

  • Proof of identity, such as a passport or state-issued ID card

  • Proof of residence, such as a bank statement or a bill

Additionally, all drivers are required to pass a vision exam, a road sign recognition test, and pay a $3.50 fee.

Passing the written exam

The Missouri learner’s permit exam covers all state-specific traffic laws, road signs, and other driver’s safety information. The Missouri Driver’s Guide which can be viewed and downloaded online, has all the information necessary to pass the exam. In order to get extra practice and build confidence before taking the exam, Missouri provides a sample practice test online, which includes all of the information that will be necessary in order to pass. The road sign recognition test is given electronically, and requires that a student identify images of traffic signs without their labels.

After a student driver has held the permit for at least 182 days, has turned 16, and has completed all the required behind-the-wheel training hours, they may apply for an intermediate Missouri driver’s license, which allows them to drive without supervision within the curfew hours. No driver under the age of 18 may drive between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. unless they are supervised.

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