How to Get an Idaho Learners Permit

You’re eligible for an Idaho Supervised Instruction Permit once you turn 14½ but you’ll need to arrive at the DMV with the required documentation and payment.
Written by Mary Cahill
Reviewed by Pat Roache
Idaho residents between the ages of 14½ and 17 are eligible to apply for the Supervised Instruction Permit (SIP). This is the first step to getting your
Idaho driver’s license
through the state’s Graduated Driver’s Licensing Program (GDL). Before you arrive at the DMV to take the vision test and obtain the SIP, make sure you have all the documentation and payment required.
  • Among the documents you’ll need to bring to the DMV are proof of identity and proof of school enrollment.
  • An Idaho learner’s permit costs $15 plus an administrative fee.
  • After you receive the SIP you’ll need to enroll in a driver’s education course to advance in the GDL program.
  • The earliest age you can receive a driver’s license in Idaho is 15 years old.

How to get an Idaho learner’s permit

The Idaho GDL program allows young drivers to gradually ease into becoming licensed drivers. Once you turn 14½ you can visit your local
driver’s licensing office
and apply in person for an SIP. Note that you must enroll in a six-month driver education program after receiving an SIP to advance in the program.
If you’re 17 years old, you aren’t required to hold an SIP or complete mandatory driver training, but you will need a Class D Instruction Permit. Idaho residents who are over 18 years old and getting their driver’s license for the first time do not need to hold a learner’s permit prior to taking the driver’s license test.
Getting an SIP doesn’t require you to pass a knowledge test, but getting a Class D Instruction Permit does. A Class D Instruction Permit allows you to practice driving for 180 days prior to taking your driver’s license test, but you must be accompanied in the vehicle by someone who is at least 18 years old and holds a valid driver’s license.
SIP holders can enroll in either a commercial driving school or a private driving school to complete their
driver education class
. Commercial driving schools are offered in Idaho through the Department of Education. The driver education class will consist of the following:
  • 30 hours of classroom instruction
  • 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training
  • 6 hours of in-car driver observation
If you received your SIP right when you turned 14½ you will be 15 years old by the time your six-month driver education class is finished. 15-year-olds who complete the driver education class are ready for the next GDL phase which is the supervised driving period.
During the supervised driving period you will be expected to complete a minimum of six months of supervised driving for a total of 60 hours—or until you turn 17. Your supervised driving needs to include at least 50 hours of daytime driving and 10 hours of night driving.
The person that supervises your driving during this period must be:
  • At least 21 years old 
  • Hold a valid driver’s license
  • Be seated in the front passenger’s seat while you drive
Remember, both you and your driving supervisor must wear seatbelts whenever the vehicle is in motion according to
Idaho seat belt laws
After you’ve completed your six-month supervised driving period, you are eligible for your intermediate Idaho driver’s license—a restricted license reserved for 15 and 16-year-old drivers in Idaho.
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What to bring to the DMV

All learner’s permits in Idaho must be applied for in person at one of the state’s driver’s licensing offices. The application paperwork is not available online—you’ll complete the form when you arrive.
The best way to ensure your trip to the DMV goes smoothly, make sure you come prepared. You should arrive with a parent or legal guardian—they’ll need to verify their identity and sign a consent form.
You’ll be asked to submit the following documents:
  • Proof of Idaho residency (such as a school enrolment form or transcript with your home address on it)
  • Certified Original Birth Certificate
  • Photo identification (such as a US passport or a school photo ID card)
  • Social Security Card
  • School enrollment verification
  • $15 permit fee and $6.50 administration fee
  • $3 knowledge test fee (if applying for a Class D Instructional Permit)
While you’re at the DMV you’ll be given a vision test. To pass the vision test you must have 20/40 vision in at least one eye. You are permitted to wear corrective lenses to take the vision test.

Idaho learner’s permit regulations

Idaho learner’s permit fees are nonrefundable. Teen drivers who hold an SIP or Class D Instructional Permit are also subject to certain restrictions that are designed to keep them, and others on the road as safe as possible.
Idaho permit holders must abide by the following regulations:
  • No other passengers may sit in the front passenger’s seat except for an authorized driving supervisor.
  • The permit holder and driving supervisor must wear seat belts. A child in the back seat must be properly restrained according to
    Idaho’s car seat laws
  • The permit holder must have their learner’s permit in the vehicle while driving.
  • The use of alcohol or other intoxicating substances prior to or during supervised driving is strictly forbidden.
  • The permit holder must follow all traffic laws.
Violation of any of the above regulations may result in the suspension or cancellation of your Idaho learner’s permit. If your SIP is canceled, you will need to reapply for it and start your six-month supervised driving period over.
The state may also suspend or cancel your SIP for non-vehicular offenses such as nonpayment of a traffic ticket or truancy from school. Getting your driver’s license as a teen is a big responsibility and lawmakers in Idaho want to make sure you take it seriously.
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