What Is the Driving Age in New Hampshire?

You must be 15 ½ or older to learn to drive in New Hampshire and 16 to obtain your Youth Operator’s License.
Written by Melanie Johnson
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
New Hampshire drivers must be at least 15 ½ to start learning to drive. For those under the age of 18, driver education classes are required in order to apply for a Youth Operator License at 16.
Getting your driver’s license can feel like the ultimate freedom—now you can go anywhere anytime, right? Not so fast! If you’re under the age of 21, there are some important restrictions you should know about. 
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What is the driving age in New Hampshire?

In New Hampshire, you must be at least 15 ½ to start learning to drive. New Hampshire does not issue learner’s permits. You can apply for your Youth Operator’s License at 16 after completing at least 40 hours of supervised driving with a licensed driver over the age of 25.

How to get your Youth Operator’s License in New Hampshire

If you’re under the age of 18, you will apply for your Youth Operator’s License.
In order to apply for this license:
  • You must be at least 16 years old.
  • You must have taken an approved driver education program, many of which are offered at local high schools or
    commercial driver schools
  • You must have logged at least 40 hours of supervised driving—10 of which must be logged at night. Use this driving
    to certify your practice.
If you meet the above requirements, you may apply in person at any
New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles (NH DMV) office
. You can make an appointment
Bring the following required documentation to your DMV appointment:
Approved identity, Social Security number, and residency documents are available
At your appointment, be prepared to:
  • Pass the vision test
  • Pass the knowledge test
  • Schedule and pass the road test
  • Pay the $50 license fee (additional fees may apply)
  • Have your picture taken
Once you pass all of the tests and pay the applicable fees, you will receive your temporary license. You should receive your permanent license within 45 days.
Key Takeaway You may apply for your license at 16 after completing 40 hours of supervised driving, completing a driver education program, and passing a vision, knowledge, and road test.

Youth Operator’s License restrictions

Yippee! Now you’ve got your Youth Operator’s License and you’re ready to hit the road parent/guardian-free, right? Take it easy! There are some restrictions you should know about.
The holder of a Youth Operator License cannot:
  • Drive between the hours of 1 am and 4 am
  • Drive with more than one passenger under the age of 25 who is not a family member unless supervised by a licensed adult who is 25 or older during the first six months of holding the license
  • Drive with more passengers than seat belts
Failing to observe the above restrictions may result in fines, as well as the suspension or revocation of your license for up to 90 days.
Once you turn 21, your Youth Operator’s License will be upgraded to an unrestricted Operator’s License.


Some states offer hardship license exceptions for teens under the age of 16 with extenuating circumstances. New Hampshire is not one of these states. In order to begin driving in New Hampshire, you must be at least 15 ½—no exceptions. 

How to save on car insurance in New Hampshire

Congratulations on getting a New Hampshire driver’s license! Now that you’re officially road-bound, there’s only one thing left to do: make sure you’re covered with the right car insurance protection!
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Yes! You may apply for your New Hampshire driver’s license at 16. Make an appointment to take the vision, knowledge, and road test, and be prepared to show the
required documentation.
No. You may begin driving at 15 ½ in New Hampshire as long as you carry proof of age with you in the vehicle and are supervised by a licensed driver 25 years old or older.
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