How to Get a New Hampshire Learners Permit

New Hampshire doesn’t issue learner’s permits, but new drivers are allowed on the roads if they meet specific regulations. Learn more here!
Written by Jessica Gibson
Reviewed by Amy Bobinger
If you’re hoping to get a learner’s permit in New Hampshire, you may be surprised to learn that the state doesn’t require a specialized learning permit. Instead, you’re eligible to begin driving with adult supervision as soon as you turn 15 ½ years old. There are additional requirements, so keep reading.
  • New Hampshire doesn’t require new drivers to get a learner’s permit to practice driving.
  • Complete a state-approved driver’s education course and put in 40 hours of driving time to apply for a New Hampshire driver’s license.
  • Follow the state’s driving restrictions for drivers under 18 years old.

How to qualify for an under-18 New Hampshire driver’s license

First things first: New Hampshire does not offer a learner’s permit to new drivers. Instead, you can start practicing as soon as you turn 15 ½ years old as long as an adult over 25 years old who is licensed in New Hampshire is seated next to you.
Essentially, you’re practicing using the adult’s license, so they’re legally responsible for you while you’re on the road. Accordingly, they should check that you’re covered through their
car insurance
policy. 
Since the licensed driver is legally responsible for you, you’re not allowed to practice driving outside of New Hampshire. You’ll also need to stick a copy of your birth certificate in the car in case you get pulled over by law enforcement—this proves you’re a New Hampshire resident who is old enough to practice driving.
As you practice, you’re required to fill out a DMV Practice Log, which you can pick up from the local DMV. You’re aiming for 40 driving hours logged with an adult, and ten of the hours have to be driven in complete darkness. Get your adult to initial the log every time you get behind the wheel.
You’ll also need to take a
driver education program
if you’re under 18 years old. Many New Hampshire high schools offer driver's ed, or you can sign up for a program at a
licensed commercial driver education school
The program must include 30 hours of classroom instruction, 10 hours of driving practice, and six hours of driving observation. Just be aware that a certified driver education instructor has to be present for all of these components.
Once you’ve completed driver’s ed and driven the additional 40 hours, you’ll get the all-important green slip—proof that you successfully finished the course! Now, you can apply for your Youth Operator Driver License, which expires when you turn 21 years old.
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What to bring to the DMV

You’ve put in the work, and you’re ready to apply for your NH Driver's License! Save time by
scheduling an appointment
at your local DMV office, and have all of your required forms ready to go. Here’s what you’ll need to bring if you’re under 18 years old:
Next, you’ll pay a $10 fee (you’ll pay this same fee every year until you turn 21) and get your picture taken. To get your license, pass a simple vision test, a multiple-choice computer-based knowledge test, and a road test. Don’t forget to schedule an appointment to do these since they’re not available on a walk-in basis.
You’re almost done! Once you successfully pass all the tests, the DMV will give you a 60-day, temporary paper license that allows you to drive. They’ll mail a permanent driver’s license to your address within 60 days. 

New Hampshire youth operator license restrictions

Congratulations on getting your New Hampshire license! Once you learn the restrictions that come with it, you’re all set to drive. New Hampshire state law places these limits on new drivers under 18 years old:
  • You cannot drive between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m.
  • You can’t drive with more than one passenger who is under 25 years old (who isn’t a member of your family) unless you’re accompanied by a licensed adult who is at least 25 years old.
  • There must be a seatbelt or safety restraint for every passenger who rides in your vehicle.
Continue to pay your annual fee to the DMV, and your restrictions will drop when you turn 18!
If you get a violation while you’re under 21 years old, your license will be suspended for 20 days for your first offense, 45 days for the second offense, or 90 days for subsequent offenses. Whatever you do, don’t speed! You’ll be required to get a pricey
SR-22 insurance policy
if you get two or more speeding tickets within the first two years of having your license.
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