How to Get a Vermont Driver's Permit

The state of Vermont uses a graduated driver’s license program which requires all new drivers to begin driving with a learner’s permit, in order to practice safe driving under supervision 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 Vermont driver’s instruction permit:

Learner’s permit

Any driver who is between the ages of 15 and 18 in Vermont must start with a learner’s permit. This permit allows the driver to operate a vehicle while supervised by a licensed, sober, and alert parent or guardian who is a minimum of 25 years old.

During this time, the driver must log 40 hours of driving practice while under supervision, ten of which must take place at night. These hours must be logged by the supervising parents on a Driving Practice Log Sheet, available online and in a local DMV office.

Additionally, drivers with a learner’s permit must complete a driver’s education course before they can apply for the next step, which is a junior operator’s license. This driver’s education course must include at least 30 hours of classroom instruction, six hours of observation, and six hours of hands-on training.

How to apply

In order to apply for either learner’s permit in Vermont, a driver must bring the following documents to the DMV when they take their written exam:

  • A completed application (those under 18 must have this form signed by a parent or guardian)

  • Proof of identity, age, and lawful U.S. residency, such as a birth certificate or valid passport

  • Proof of social security number, such as a social security card or a W-2 form

  • Two documents that prove Vermont residency, such as a current bank statement or a mailed bill

They must also take a vision test, and pay the required fees. There is a $17 learner’s permit fee and a $30 exam fee.

Passing the exam

Those who apply for the learner’s permit must take a written exam, which covers all state-specific traffic laws, road signs, and other driver’s safety information. The test is made up of 20 multiple choice questions. Drivers must answer 16 questions in order to pass. Vermont offers two tools to help drivers prepare for the exam. The first is the Vermont Driver’s Manual, which includes all the information that student drivers need to pass the written exam. There second is an interactive online tutorial, which includes a practice exam that potential drivers can use as often as they need to gain the practice and confidence to ace the exam.

The learner’s permit must be held for at least 12 months before a 16-year-old driver who has completed both the driver’s education course and the required practice hours can apply for their junior operator’s license. With this license, drivers may operate vehicles unsupervised, provided they follow the restrictions regarding passengers. This license lasts until the driver turns 18 and is eligible for a full driver’s license.


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