New Hampshire Learner's Permit and Driver’s License

GDL requirements

Full Privilege Minimum Age
Learner Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)
15, 6 months
Learner Stage: Minimum Duration (Months)
Intermediate Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)
Intermediate Stage: Nighttime Driving Restriction
1 AM to 4 AM
Intermediate Stage: Passenger Restrictions (Except Family, Unless Noted)
No more than 1 passenger younger than 25

How to Get a New Hampshire Driver’s License

Unlike most states, New Hampshire does not require a learner’s permit. If you’re a minor looking to get your driver’s license, however, the State wants to give you time to learn how to drive in a controlled way.

Getting your New Hampshire driver’s license takes about a year. First you’ll complete a New Hampshire DMV approved driver training course and complete 40 hours of supervised driving. At this point, you can take the written test and road test and receive your New Hampshire Youth Operator License, which will be valid until you turn 21.

The steps below have the details you’ll need to know in order to get your full, unrestricted license.

Practice and Driver’s Education 

You can start the process to get your license at 15 and 6 months. To get ready for driving, you can download the State of New Hampshire Driver Manual and start reading through it.

If you’re a minor applying for a driver’s license, you will need to complete a New Hampshire approved Driver’s education course. You will also need to complete 40 hours of supervised driving time, 10 of which must be at night. You may be supervised by a parent, guardian, certified driving instructor, or a

responsible adult 25 or over, that is a license driver. Time spent driving as part of a New Hampshire driving school does not count toward this total.

You will need to complete your driver’s education course. This consists of 30 hours of classroom instruction and 10 hours behind the wheel. For more information go to NHDMV Driver Education Information.

Once you’re 16 and have completed driver’s education and your required driving time, you’re ready to apply for your New Hampshire youth operator license.

Get Your New Hampshire Youth Operator License

You will need to pass 3 tests to qualify. Find a Department of Motor Vehicles branch near you to make any needed appointments. It’s possible to complete these all on the same day. Make sure to bring all the appropriate documentation:

  • Your application
  • Two forms of identification
  • Parent or guardian authorization
  • Complete driving hours log signed by a parent or guardian
  • Your driver’s education completion certificate

The 3 tests to qualify are:

Vision Test: You will need to take a vision test. If you require vision correction, make sure you’ve brought it with you and are using it for the test.

Written Knowledge Test: A 40 question, multiple choice exam. You will have 40 minutes to complete it and must score at least 80% to pass.

Driving Skills Test: You will be required to pass a driving test with an NH DMV evaluator who will make sure you can perform basic driving tasks safely. You are responsible for bringing a full registered vehicle in safe and drivable condition to your road test.

Before you take it, you should check out The Top 10 Automatic Fails on Driver Tests, so you’ll know what not to do on test day.

The application fee for your license is $50 in addition to testing and processing fees.

Once you have passed all of your tests, your New Hampshire youth operator license will be mailed to you and will have your photograph on it. They take your picture the day you pass your driving skills test. You will be issued a temporary driver’s license before yours arrives, by mail, within the next two months. If you’re a minor, you’ll receive a Youth Operator License, which expires on your 21st birthday.

However, honing your S.P.I.D.E.R.Senses™ defensive driving skills is a lifetime experience. Download the DriverZ Virtual Coach to keep practicing. It will also help you keep track of your practice hours when earning your New Hampshire youth operator license.