How to Get a Montana Driver's Permit

The Montana MVD requires that all teen drivers participate in a graduated driver’s license program. Anyone under the age of 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 Montana learner’s permit:

Learner’s permit

In order to apply for a Montana learner’s permit, residents must be at least 14 and a half years old and be enrolled in a driver’s education course, or be 15 years old and have completed a driver’s education course, or be 16 years old. At any of these stages, there are certain restrictions that apply when driving with the learner’s permit.

Those who are under 15 years of age may only drive with the supervision of their licensed parent. Those who are 15 years or older may drive under the supervision of any licensed adult that is at least 18 years of age.

Any driver with a learner’s permit must complete at least 50 hours of behind-the-wheel practice under the supervision of the required type of driver, ten hours of which must be at night. This permit must be held for at least six months before the driver may apply for the restricted driver’s license at the next level. The learner’s permit is valid for one full year from the date it was issued.

How to apply for a learner’s permit

The first step in applying for a Montana 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 MVD office:

  • Two documents that act as proof of identity, such as a passport or state-issued ID card

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

  • Proof of authorized presence in the U.S., such as a visa and an I-94

Additionally, all drivers are required to pass a vision exam, a road sign recognition test, and pay the learner’s permit fee.

Passing the written exam

The Montana learner’s permit exam covers all state-specific traffic laws, road signs, and other driver’s safety information. The Montana Driver’s Manual 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, Montana provides a mobile app with practice questions, which include all of the information that will be necessary in order to pass.

After a student driver has held the permit for at least six months, and has completed all the required behind-the-wheel training hours, they may apply for a restricted Montana 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 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless they are supervised or are driving from a school, work, or religion-related event.


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