How to Get a New Jersey Driver's Permit

New Jersey uses a graduated driver’s license program, like many other states. This program requires all new drivers under 18 years old to begin driving under supervision, in order to practice safe driving before getting their full driver’s license. To receive the initial learner’s permit, you must follow certain steps. Here is a simple guide to getting a New Jersey driver’s instruction permit:

Learner’s permit

There are two types of learner’s permits in New Jersey: The “Student Learner’s Permit” is for drivers who are 16 years old. The “Examination Permit” is for drivers who are 17 years old. Each permit is valid for two years, and includes its own set of restrictions.

The “Student Learner’s Permit” requires that drivers be accompanied at all times by a driver who is at least 21 years old, and have a minimum of three years of driving experience. With this permit, drivers may not drive after 11 p.m. or before 5 a.m. No more than one passenger may ride with the student driver, unless a parent or legal guardian is present. This permit must be held for a minimum of six months before the student may go on to the next level.

When the driver turns 17 years old, and has held the “Student Learner’s Permit” for at least six months, they may apply for the “Examination Learner’s Permit.” This permit may also be skipped if a 17-year-old did not pursue a “Student Learner’s Permit.” In order to apply for this permit, the driver must pass a written exam. This permit must be held for at least six months before applying for the next level, and is valid for two years. The same supervisory and curfew restrictions from the “Student Learner’s Permit” apply to the “Examination Learner’s Permit.”

Required documents

In order to apply for a “Student Learner’s Permit” or an “Examination Learner’s Permit,” a driver must bring the following documents to the MVC when they take their written exam:

  • A primary ID, such as a passport or a birth certificate

  • Proof of enrollment in a driver’s education course (only for the Student Learner’s Permit)

  • A signed consent form from a legal guardian (only for the Student Learner’s Permit)

They must also pay the $10 permit fee.

Passing the exam

The New Jersey learner’s permit exam can be taken at any New Jersey MVC driver testing center. It has 50 questions, and 80% must be answered correctly in order for the driver to pass. The exam covers all state-specific traffic laws, road signs, and other driver’s safety information. The New Jersey Driver’s Manual has all the information necessary to pass the exam. In order to get extra practice and build confidence before taking the exam, the state offers an online practice test.

In addition to paying the fee and passing the exam, all drivers will be required to pass a vision test before receiving their learner’s permit.


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