How to Get an Oregon Driver's Permit

The state of Oregon requires all new drivers under 18 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 an Oregon driver’s instruction permit:

Learner’s permit

The learner’s permit in Oregon may only be issued to a driver who is at least 15 years old, and has passed the written exam.

The learner’s permit requires that drivers be accompanied at all times by a driver who is at least 21 years old, and has a valid driver’s license. With this permit, drivers may not drive with any passengers who are not immediate family members. During this time, the driver must log 50 hours of driving practice while under supervision, and in a state-approved driver’s education course. Alternatively, driver’s may choose to opt out of the driver’s education course if they log 100 hours of driving practice while under supervision.

This permit is valid for two years, but must only be held for six months before a driver who has completed the required hours may apply for a provisional license.

How to apply

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

  • A completed application that has been signed by a parent or guardian

  • Proof of enrollment in an Oregon high school, or proof of graduation

  • Proof of legal name, such a school ID card, or a military ID card

  • Proof of legal presence, such as a birth certificate

  • Proof of Social Security number, such as a Social Security card or a W-2 form

  • Proof of Oregon residency, such as a bank statement or a mailed bill

They must also take a vision test, and pay the $23.50 permit fee and $5 written exam fee.

Passing the exam

The Oregon learner’s permit exam, or Class C knowledge exam, covers all state-specific traffic laws, road signs, and other driver’s safety information. It consists of 35 questions, 28 of which must be answered correctly in order to pass. The Oregon DMV provides a driver’s manual which includes all the information that student drivers need to pass the written exam. The state also provides two practice exams, in both English and Spanish, which potential drivers can use to gain the confidence to pass the exam. There is a separate manual for Oregon drivers who wish to obtain a learner’s permit to drive a motorcycle or a moped.

After completing the required hours with a learner’s permit, and holding the permit for a minimum of six months, drivers may apply for a provisional driver’s license. With this license, drivers are able to drive during restricted hours without supervision until they can apply for their adult driver’s license.

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