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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Continue to pay your annual fee to the DMV, and your restrictions will drop when you turn 18!