Montana Driver’s License Requirements

To get a Montana driver’s license, you’ll need to provide a valid ID, proof of residency, and proof of authorized presence.
Written by Samuel Todd
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
If you’re under 18 and want to get a
driver’s license, you’ll need to pass the graduated driver licensing process and provide several documents, like a valid ID and proof of Montana residency. The licensing process includes a written test, a vision exam, and a driving test.
Most people can’t wait to have their own driver’s license and all of the freedoms that come with it. If you’re itching to get on the road, you should understand the requirements for getting your Montana driver’s license. Here to walk you through each step is the
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What are the requirements for a driver’s license in Montana?

Teenagers who are under 18 need to complete the graduated licensing process before they can get their full-privilege driver’s license. Basically, this is a three-step process that slowly introduces you to the roads:
  • First, you’ll need to get your permit.
  • Then, you’ll get a first-year restricted license.
  • Lastly, after holding your restricted license for a year (or turning 18), you’ll get your fully-fledged driver’s license.
Before you head to the Montana Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), you’ll also want to have the following documents handy:
  • Proof of identity: A US birth certificate or a US passport
  • Proof of Montana residency: A car or life insurance policy statement, a rental agreement, or school records
  • Proof of authorized presence: A US birth certificate or passport
  • Drive test documentation: Registration, insurance, and a valid learner’s license
  • Vehicle registration: For the car being used for your drive test
  • Proof of insurance: Either physical or digital
Though you won’t need proof of your Social Security number, you should have it memorized for your appointment. For more info, and a complete list of your options, check out
Montana’s DOJ website

What are the requirements for out-of-state drivers?

If you’re moving (or just moved) to Montana, you’ll need to apply for a Montana driver’s license within 60 days. The good news is if you already have an out-of-state license, you won’t need to pass any written or road tests.
You will still have to provide the necessary documents, including proof of identity, proof of Montana residency, and proof of authorized presence.
Finally, military personnel who are on active duty don’t need to apply for a Montana driver’s license.

What are the requirements for young drivers?

Young drivers will need parental consent and will have to work their way through the graduated licensing process. Though it may sound like a daunting process, have no fear—we’ll break it down for you step-by-step in the next section.
MORE: How to get cheap insurance for young drivers

How to get a driver’s license in Montana

Before we get into the three-step process for getting your Montana driver’s license, we’ll take a look at the three tests you’ll need to pass first.

Vision test

As long as your vision is 20/40 or better and you don’t have any medical problems that prevent you from seeing well, you’re all good for the vision exam.

Knowledge exam

Montana’s written exam is 33 questions long, and you’ll need to get 27 answers right (82%) to pass. Be sure to brush up on the
Montana Driver’s Manual
before you take the exam! If the 96-page PDF is a bit overwhelming for you, you can find plenty of
free practice tests

Road test

Before you take the driving test, double-check that your car is in ship shape—tires properly inflated, more than a half-tank of gas, working doors and lights—and be sure to have your registration and insurance handy!
These are the main maneuvers we recommend practicing before your test:
  • Reverse two-point parking
  • Observing right of way
  • Stopping quickly
  • Backing up
  • Signaling and tuning
  • Passing
  • Following at a safe distance
Here’s a
full breakdown
of the Montana road test scoring system. Remember, just relax and do your best—if you’ve prepared for the test, you’ll be fine!
Finally, it’s time to give a quick overview of the three-step process:

Learner’s permit

If you’re 15 or older (14 and a half if you’ve passed a state-approved traffic education program), you can get your permit by passing the required tests and meeting the medical requirements.
During your permit period, you must:
  • Get 50 hours of driving experience, including 10 hours at night
  • Be supervised by a parent or guardian (or an adult driver who’s approved by the parent or guardian)
  • Wear seatbelts
  • Not commit any traffic violations or drug violations
Once you’ve had your permit for six months and have met these conditions, you’re all set for step two!

First-year restricted license

First, you’ll need to pay fees and bring the required documents (listed above), then you can get your restricted license. You’ll have this license for one year, subject to these rules:
  • Everyone in the vehicle has to wear a seatbelt
  • You can’t drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless it’s for work, church, emergencies, or special circumstances authorized by your parents
  • For the first six months, you can have one passenger who is younger than 18 (unless you’re driving with an adult)
  • For the last six months, you can have three passengers who are younger than 18 (unless you’re driving with an adult)
Be sure to follow these rules—you’ll have 20 to 60 hours of community service if you break them and your license will be suspended if you break them more than once!

Full-privilege driver’s license

Once you’ve followed steps one and two, congratulations! You’ll get your license on the date listed on the back of your restricted license or when you turn 18 (whichever comes first). 
Check out
Montana’s driver licensing website
for a detailed walkthrough of every step. 
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How to save money on car insurance in Montana

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To get a driver’s license in Montana, you’ll need the following documents: proof of identity, proof of Montana residency, proof of authorized presence, drive test documentation, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance.
A 12-year standard driver’s license will cost $62.32 and an 8-year license with REAL ID will set you back $67.47.
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