This Step: Get a Learner Permit

Driver's License Checklist

Badges Earned:

    Get a Learner Permit in Montana

    A) Determine Which Instruction Permit To Apply For

    To legally begin practicing driving, you must obtain a Montana instruction permit. Depending on your age, you have a few options:

    • Traffic Education Permit (TEP)―You must be a student enrolled in a state-approved traffic education course; this permit is only valid when driving under the direct supervision of a traffic education instructor
    • Traffic Education Learner License (TELL)―You must be at least 14 1/2 years old and have started or successfully completed a traffic education course approved by the Department of Justice and the Superintendent of Public Instruction; this permit allows you to drive while accompanied by an approved supervising driver
    • Learner License―You must be at least 16 years old (without traffic education) or 15 years old with successful completion of an approved driver education course; this permit allows you to drive while accompanied by a licensed driver who is 18 years old or older

    For more on permit restrictions, see Step 4: Practice Driving. Otherwise, follow the steps below to get the permit that’s right for you.

    B) Ace a Few DMV Practice Permit Tests

    When applying for an instruction permit, you must pass a driver license knowledge test at a Montana driver exam station. Before you apply, prepare for the exam by taking multiple online practice permit tests. Sample test questions cover topics you’ll find on the actual Montana road sign and written tests.

    In addition to passing some practice tests, thoroughly study the Montana Driver License Manual until you feel prepared enough to breeze through the actual Montana permit test.

    C) Make a Knowledge Test Appointment at the MT MVD

    Some Montana Motor Vehicle Division driver exam stations require an appointment for certain driver licensing services. Check online and schedule your knowledge test appointment once you feel fully prepared to pass. Otherwise you’ll take your knowledge test and apply for an instruction permit on a first-come, first-served basis.

    D) Gather Required Documents and Permit Fees

    Make sure you have the following before heading to a nearby Montana driver exam station to take your driver license knowledge test.

    • Proof of identity, Montana residency and authorized U.S. presence (see the state site for full details on required requirements)
    • Parental consent, if necessary
    • Proper fees.The state only accepts cash and checks (no credit cards accepted)

    E) Take the Montana Knowledge Test

    With the above requirements in hand, go to the exam station to take your required test. You must also pass a vision test and the required medical requirements before obtaining an learner license which is valid for 1 year.

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