Idaho

Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
Idaho Transportation Department
3311 W. State Street
P.O. Box 7129
Boise, ID 83707-1129
(208) 334-4443 | www.itd.idaho.gov/dmv

Idaho State Police (ISP)
700 S. Stratford Dr.
Meridian, ID 83642
(208) 884-7000 | www.isp.idaho.gov

Idaho Transportation Department (ITD)
3311 W. State Street
P.O. Box 7129
Boise, ID 83707-1129
(208) 334-8000 | www.itd.idaho.gov

Title Application

All applications must be made to the county assessor or Division of Motor Vehicles and contain a full description of the vehicle including make, identification number, odometer reading at the time of sale or transfer, and whether the vehicle is new or used, together with a title or other evidence of ownership. Applications must also include the owner’s Idaho driver’s license number, Idaho identification card number, social security number, or individual taxpayer identification number.  Business entities must provide their Federal Employer Identification Number.

If this is the 1st certificate of title in Idaho, the application must be accompanied by a certificate of title, and the bill of sale or evidence of ownership from the state in which the vehicle was originally owned. A vehicle identification number inspection must also be completed and submitted.

If the vehicle is being purchased new, the application must be accompanied by a manufacturer’s certificate of origin or manufacturer’s statement of origin. The certificate or statement of origin must contain the year of manufacture or model year, manufacturer’s vehicle identification number, name of the manufacturer, number of cylinders, general description, and type or model.

Additionally, all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles, snowmobiles, manufactured homes, utility type vehicles, motorbikes, campers, and some boats are required to be titled.


Title Transfer of Ownership

A vehicle may not be sold or disposed of without the seller providing the title to the buyer.

In all cases of vehicle transfer, applications for certificate of title must be filed within 30 calendar days after delivery of the vehicle.


Titles for Mobile Homes

Contact county assessor for information on mobile home titling and registration.

Registration Application

All applications for registration of motor vehicles (or motor homes) should be made to a county assessor of Division of Motor Vehicles or to the county assessor.

All applications for registration must be signed by the owner and contain an address of residence and a brief description of the vehicle that includes make, model year, and identification number. Applications must also include the owner’s Idaho driver’s license number, identification card number, FEIN, or social security number.

Utility trailers that weigh less than 2,000 lbs. when empty must be registered but are not required to be titled.

There is no period of grace for late registration.


Registration for Non-Residents

Military personnel stationed in state may maintain out-of-state registration. Students attending college in Idaho may maintain out-of-state registration.


Registration Type

Vehicle registration renewal is to be done annually or in the same registration period manner as the original registration and with payment of the required fee.

There is an option for biennial registration for certain vehicles with a fee that is double the current annual registration fee.


Emissions Inspection

Emissions inspections are determined by state and local ordinance. Required in Ada County and Canyon County.

OBD is utilized as part of the state emissions inspection process.

Visit here for more information on Idaho’s Vehicle Inspection Program.


Safety Inspection

There is no periodic statewide safety inspection requirement.


Title and Registration Fees

AUTOMOBILE

Title Fee: $14.00

Registration Fee: $45 – $69; plus additional fees depending on county of residence

MOTORCYCLE

Title Fee: $14.00

Registration Fee: $19.00

DUPLICATES

Plate Fee: $3.00 per plate

Registration Fee: $5.00 plus $2.00 each for stickers

Driver’s License Fee: $15.00

Title Fee: $14.00

Special Plates: $25.00 – $60.00 initial fee; $15.00 – $40.00 renewal

Plate Disbursement

Two reflectorized license plates are issued except in the case of a motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle, or vehicles displaying year of manufacture, old timer, classic car, or street rod license plates. License plates are to be displayed on both the front and rear or rear only if given 1 plate. License plates are to be displayed for the current registration year with an annual registration sticker on each license plate.

The color scheme for most license plates is black on red, white and blue.

Personalized license plates are available and must have numbers, letters, or any combination thereof with no more than 7 characters.

Special license plates may be issued but must utilize the same red, white, and blue background as the standard issue of license plates. The word Idaho must be on every plate but identification of county and inscription of “Scenic Idaho” may be omitted. No slogans infringing on trademarks of the state are permitted, unless otherwise provided, subject to approval by the Idaho Legislature.

Disability license plates and placards are issued for persons with disabilities. The license plate is the same size and color as other license plates and displays the international accessible symbol. The license plate must also display the registration number of the vehicle. An application for special license plates or cards must be made to the DMV and include written certification by a licensed physician verifying the applicant’s impairment qualifies as a disability.

Transfer of Plates

License plates remain the property of the original owner and may be placed on another vehicle upon registration of that vehicle. They do not remain with the vehicle, with the exception of the restricted vehicle plate for off road vehicles and certain trailer plates.

Driver's License Examination

Every person applying for an instruction permit, seasonal driver’s license, driver’s license, or motorcycle endorsement must have an examination consisting of an eyesight test and a driving knowledge test.

Drivers not previously licensed are also required to take a driving skills test.

A minimum of 20/40 visual acuity in at least 1 eye, with or without corrective glasses, is required.

A driving knowledge or skills test can also be administered to any licensed driver or applicant at the discretion of the examiner.

An applicant for a motorcycle endorsement may also be tested on safe motorcycle operating practices and traffic laws relating to motorcycles.


Graduated Driver's Licensing

Idaho has a system of graduated licensing for novice drivers.

At age 14 and 6 months, individuals are eligible for a driver’s training instruction permit. The driver’s training instruction permit is held by the driver training instructor and the individual may only drive with the training instructor until the driver training course has been successfully completed. After successful completion of driver training, the permit is given to the individuals, which is then used as a supervised instruction permit.

  • During the supervised permit phase, individuals may only drive when supervised by a person who holds a valid driver’s license and is at least 21 years of age.
  • The supervising driver must be the only passenger in the front seat. Drivers must accumulate at least 50 hours (10 at night) of supervised driving over a minimum 6-month period.

At 15 years of age, individuals are eligible for a driver’s license if they have successfully completed an approved driver education course and have completed at least 50 hours of supervised driving over a minimum period of 6 months.

  • Drivers under 16 are restricted to daylight driving only, unless accompanied by a supervising person who holds a valid driver’s license and is at least 21 years of age. Daylight hours are considered as 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset. There are no exceptions to this restriction.
  • Drivers under 17 are restricted to carrying no more than 1 passenger who is under 17 years of age during the first 6 months of licensure, unless the passenger is related by blood, marriage or adoption.

At age 17, or after the first 6 months of licensure, supervised driving is no longer required and drivers are eligible for an unrestricted license. Any violation, including an alcohol violation, during the supervised permit period, will result in cancellation of the permit. The individual must purchase a new permit and start the 6-month supervised driving period over again.

Driver education is required for all license applicants under age 17.


Driver's License Issuance/Application

A driver’s license is required prior to driving in the state.  Idaho has reciprocity with other states for driver’s licenses and permits, provided that all conditions of the licenses or permits are followed.

Licenses shall not be issued to persons under 18 years of age not enrolled in school, in vocational school, or in a job training program or not having satisfactorily completed school.

Driver’s licenses will contain a distinguishing number (not social security number), full name, date of birth, Idaho residence address, sex, weight, height, eye color, hair color, color photograph, dates of issuance and expiration, license class, endorsements, restrictions, and the applicant’s signature.

New residents who will be operating motor vehicles must obtain an Idaho license after establishing residency even if they hold a valid unexpired driver’s license from another state. This can occur before 90 days but residency is considered established after living 90 continuous days in Idaho (30 days for Commercial Driver’s licenses). Foreign visitors on a limited-time visa (90 days or less) are not considered Idaho residents and are not eligible for licensure in Idaho.


Driver's License Renewal

All driver’s licenses for persons 21 years of age and over are renewable on or before expiration with application, payment of fee, and satisfactory completion of the required vision screening.

For persons 21 and over, the license shall expire on the licensee’s birthday 4 years after issuance. A person between the ages of 21 and 62 may opt to have their license expire on their birthday 4 or 8 years after issuance.

For persons under 18 years of age, the license shall expire 5 days after the licensee’s 18th birthday.

For persons between the ages of 18 and 21 years, the license shall expire 5 days after the licensee’s 21st birthday.

Vision will be checked at each renewal in person, and if the examiner thinks it is necessary, a skills test, visual examination and/or medical examination may be requested.

Drivers age 63 and older will have licenses expire on their birthday every 4 years.

Drivers age 70 and older must renew their license in person.

For foreign nationals without permanent resident status, licenses expire at the end of legal stay in the U.S.

Active duty or a dependent of military personnel in the U.S. Armed Forces may apply for a license extension of up to 4 years. The extension will expire 60 days from the date of discharge from active military duty or the expiration date on the extension card, whichever comes first.

After this time, military personnel or their accompanying dependents are not required to take the written examination and skills tests for renewal of an Idaho driver’s license if the Idaho driver’s license has expired while on active duty.


Types of Driver's Licenses

Class A: Combination vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more, provided the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the vehicle(s) being towed is greater than 10,000 lbs. A driver with a Class A license may, with the proper endorsements, operate vehicles requiring a Class B, C, or D license.

Class B: Single vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or more, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle 10,000 lbs. GVWR or less. A driver with a Class B license may, with the proper endorsements, operate vehicles requiring a Class C or D license.

Class C: Vehicles with a GVWR or GCWR less than 26,001 lbs. Class C is strictly for vehicles designed to carry 16 or more people (including the driver), or carry hazardous materials requiring the vehicle to display placards. A driver with a Class C license may also operate vehicles requiring a Class D license.

Class D: Allows the holder to drive motor vehicles on Idaho roads. Class D vehicles include vehicles 26,000 lbs. GVWR or less and not placarded for hazardous materials nor designed to carry 16 or more people, including the driver; taxis; limousines; military vehicles; recreational vehicles; farm vehicles not used for hire and if driven within 150 miles of the farm; and fire fighting and emergency equipment.

M: Motorcycle endorsement.

Seasonal Class B or C: Commercial license not to exceed 180 days in a 12-month period, valid within a 150-mile radius of the place of business or farm being serviced. Valid only in conjunction with a current Idaho Class D driver’s license.

Distracted Driving

Texting while driving is prohibited statewide.  Handheld cell phone use is prohibited in Twin Falls and Sandpoint.


Emergency Radio/Cellular

Emergency phone number is 911 or * 477 from a cellular phone. Traveler Services number is 511. Use for information pertaining to weather related road conditions, traffic incidents and delays, emergency road closures, highway roadwork projects, and general tourism information.


Headsets

No prohibition on wearing of headsets while driving.


Impaired Driving

All 50 states and the District of Columbia prohibit the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating beverages, with the illegal per se limit set at 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (.08 BAC). All 50 states and the District of Columbia set the legal drinking age at 21.

Every state’s chemical test law has ‘‘an implied consent’’ provision providing that any person operating a motor vehicle on a public highway, who is suspected of driving while intoxicated, consents to a chemical test to determine if he or she is inebriated. Failure to submit or pass such a test may cause the driver’s license to be suspended or revoked regardless of any court action finding the person innocent of the charge.

The most comprehensive resource on U.S. impaired driving laws is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Digest of Impaired Driving and Selected Beverage Control Laws.  NHTSA’s Digest is updated annually.

Idaho requires the use of ignition interlocks for all impaired driving repeat offenders only.


Move Over Law

State law requires drivers traveling in the same direction to slow down and vacate the lane closest to a stationary emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights if safe to do so. This includes tow trucks, wreckers, and other recovery vehicles.


Seat Belts

Seat belts are required for the driver and all passengers age 7 and older when a vehicle is in motion.

Violation of the seat belt law is a secondary offense.


Child Passenger Safety

Children under age 7 are required to be in a child safety restraint.

Violation of the child restraint law is a standard offense.


Railroad Crossing

Whenever a person driving a vehicle approaches a railroad crossing and there is a signal indicating an approaching train, the driver must stop within 50 feet, but not less than 15 feet, from the nearest rail of the railroad and must not proceed until he or she can do so safely. It is unlawful to drive through, around, or under any crossing gate or barrier while the gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed.

A school bus must come to a complete stop before crossing any railroad track.


School Buses

Upon meeting or overtaking a school bus in either direction, a driver must stop and not proceed until the bus resumes movement or visual signals are no longer functioning. Oncoming traffic is not required to stop on a highway of more than 3 lanes even if visual signals are functioning.

Bumper Height

Maximum bumper heights are determined by vehicle class and the GVWR. As such, the maximum heights are:

  • Passenger cars, front: 22 inches; rear: 22 inches.
  • Trucks and multipurpose vehicles, front: 24 inches; rear: 26 inches.
  • Vehicles from 4,501 to 7,500 lbs. GVWR, front: 27 inches; rear: 29 inches.
  • Vehicles from 7,501 to 10,000 lbs. GVWR, front: 28 inches; rear: 30 inches.
  • 4-wheel drive or dual-wheel vehicles with a 10,000 lbs. or less GVWR, front: 30 inches; rear: 31 inches.

Headlight Use

Headlights are required to be on from sunset to sunrise and when visibility is less than 500 feet.


Hazard Light Use

Hazard light use is not permitted while driving except to indicate the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring unusual care in approaching, overtaking or passing.


Tire Chains

Tire chain usage is permitted for hazardous weather or other related incidents only, but may not damage the highway surface.


Studded Tires

Studded tires are permitted October 1 to April 30. Fire departments and firefighting agencies are exempt. Other exemptions may be granted by the Idaho Transportation Board.


Glass/Window Tinting

The front windshield can have tinting applied, but only on the top 6 inches of the window.

The front side vents, front side windows to the immediate left and right of the driver, and rear window may have a light transmission not less than 35%.

The side windows to the rear of the driver may have a light transmission of not less than 20%.


Telematics

No statewide telematics restriction.


Radar Detectors

Radar detectors are permitted for passenger vehicles but prohibited for use by commercial vehicles.


Windshield Stickers

Signs, posters, or other non-transparent materials that could obstruct the Driver’s view are illegal.


Other Equipment Rules

N/A.

Motorcycle Equipment

A helmet of a type and quality equal to or better than the standards established for helmets by the director of the ITD must be worn by operators or passengers under 18 years of age.

Motorcycles are required to have at least 1 and not more than 2 headlamps.

A motorcycle may be equipped with either single-beam or multiple-beam lighting, provided that it be of sufficient intensity to reveal a person or vehicle not less than 100 feet away when the motorcycle is traveling at a speed less than 25 mph, or at a distance of not less than 200 feet when the motorcycle is traveling at a speed of 25 mph or more, or at a distance of 300 feet when the motorcycle is traveling at a speed of 35 mph or more.

Every motorcycle must have 1 red reflector on the rear. The reflector must be visible at night from all distances within 350 feet to 100 feet from the vehicle when seen by the upper beams of another vehicle’s headlamps.

Every motorcycle must be equipped with at least 1 stop lamp but is not required to have mechanical or electrical turn signals.

To lawfully carry a passenger, a motorcycle must be equipped with footrests specifically designed for said passenger.


Motorcycle Licenses

No person under 21 years of age may apply for or obtain a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license without successful completion of an approved motorcycle rider training course.

Any person who applies for a motorcycle endorsement may be required to pass the motorcycle skills test.

Motorcycle endorsements are not required for operation of an autocycle.


Motorcycle Noise Limits

Modification of an exhaust system to increase the noise of the vehicle is prohibited.


Mopeds & Other

Moped operation requires a driver’s license, but a motorcycle endorsement is not required.

Internal combustion engine shall not exceed 50 cc.

Trailer Dimensions

Total length: 75 feet (excluding carry devices necessary for safe and efficient operation); trailer length: 48 feet (excluding carry devices necessary for safe and efficient operation); motor home length: 45 feet; width: 8 feet 6 inches; height: 14 feet.


Trailer Brakes

Trailers with an unladen weight of 1,500 lbs. must have an independent braking system, and a breakaway system capable of applying the brakes in the event of a separation from the towing vehicle is required.


Trailer Hitch/Signals

Hitch must be secured to frame; no safety chain required.


Trailer Lighting

Every trailer, semitrailer, pole trailer, or any other drawn vehicle at the end of a train of vehicles must have 1 rear tail lamp, which when lit will emit a red light plainly visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear.

Every trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer weighing 3,000 lbs. gross or less must have 2 reflectors on the rear, 1 on each side, and 2 reflectors on the front, 1 on each side.

Any trailer that blocks the stoplight of the towing vehicle, whether loaded or unloaded, must also have 1 stoplight.


Trailer Mirrors

Left- and right-side mirrors are required if a Driver’s view straight to the rear is obstructed.


Trailer Speed Limits

Same as passenger cars.


Trailer Towing

Passenger or pleasure vehicles may tow 2 units behind them.


Trailer Other Provisions

Riding in towed trailers is permitted.

Accident Reporting

Crashes resulting in death, injury, or property damage in excess of $1,500.00 are required to be immediately reported.


Bail Bonds

Mandatory recognition of AAA arrest bond certificate up to $500, with specified exceptions.


Liability Laws

State has security-type law applicable in event of accident causing property damage in excess of $500 or personal injury or death; no judgment minimum. Applicant must certify that vehicle is covered by automobile liability insurance at the time of registration. Certificate of liability insurance must be carried in vehicle or on person.

State has non-resident service of process law. Guest suit law has been declared unconstitutional. Release of liability statements must be completed by the owner of a motor vehicle upon sale of the vehicle to another party. The statements are to be mailed to the Department of Transportation along with a $3.50 filing fee.

Minimum required coverage is $25,000 for bodily injury or death of 1 person in 1 accident; $50,000 for 2 or more persons in 1 accident; $15,000 for injury or destruction of property in 1 accident.

A motor vehicle owner may choose to post an indemnity bond in lieu of a liability insurance policy. The bond must guarantee payment of no less than $50,000 for any 1 accident, of which $15,000 is for property damage, for each vehicle registered, up to a maximum of $120,000 for 5 or more registered vehicles.


Weigh Stations

10 fixed ports of entry, 10 roving units.


Bicycles

Bicycle helmets are not required.

Drivers passing a bicycle rider traveling in the same direction must pass at a distance of at least 3 feet.


Other

Idaho is party to the Non-Resident Violator Compact.