Driver's License Examination
The DMV administers three tests for Driver Licensing: a vision, a knowledge and a road test. The vision and knowledge tests are given on a first-come, first served walk-in basis only. Appointments are not made for knowledge tests but applicants must arrive at the DMV office no later than 3:30 p.m. for an operator or motorcycle test or 3:00 p.m. for a commercial test. Appointments are required for road tests; however, are only scheduled once all required knowledge tests have been passed. Scheduling of road exams is based on the availability of appointments at each driver licensing location. All road test vehicles must be fully registered and in safe operating condition. If the road test vehicle is required to have an inspection sticker, it must be up to date.
The DMV shall issue driver’s licenses only to applicants whose visual acuity is between 20/40 and 20/70. No license may be issued to an applicant whose visual acuity is worse than 20/40 in both eyes, or worse than 20/30 if there is vision only in 1 eye, unless special consideration is granted by the DMV.
Graduated Driver's Licensing
New Hampshire has a system of graduated licensing for novice drivers.
At age 15 ½, individuals may practice driving if accompanied in the front seat by a parent, legal guardian, or other licensed adult who is 25 years of age or older.
At age 16, individuals who have successfully completed driver education are eligible for a Youth Operator’s License, which expires on the holder’s 21st birthday.
- For the first 6 months, the youth operator may have no more than 1 passenger (other than family members) under 25 in the vehicle.
- The driver shall not operate a motor vehicle between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m.
- No holder shall operate a motor vehicle when the number of occupants exceeds the number of passenger restraints in the vehicle.
- Youth operator must accumulate 40 hours of supervised driving with 10 hours at night.
At age 18, drivers are eligible for an unrestricted license.
Driver education is required for all license applicants under age 18.
Driver’s License Issuance/Application
Applicants for a driver’s license must provide the following on a form provided by the DMV: (1) legal name; (2) residence address; (3) mailing address; (4) social security number, unless a waiver is requested and granted; (5) date of birth; (6) sex, height, weight, color of eyes, color of hair; (7) class(es) of driver’s license(s) desired; (8) where last driver’s license, if any, was held; and (9) proof of completion of an approved driver education course as a prerequisite of a non-resident. Licenses may be available for applicants without a permanent street address in certain circumstances.
The following certified statements are also required: the applicant has paid all resident taxes for which he is liable; the applicant, if required, has filed with the DMV an insurance certificate; the applicant has no physical or mental handicap that would be detrimental or incapacitate the applicant from holding a license; the applicant does not hold a license in any other jurisdiction; and the applicant’s driving privileges are not subject to or under disqualification, suspension, or revocation by any jurisdiction. The signature of the applicant is also required.
No person shall drive any motor vehicle unless such person has a valid driver’s license.
Every person driving a motor vehicle shall have their driver’s license on their person or in the vehicle in some easily accessible place.
License normally includes a digital image. License does not include social security number.
Driver's License Renewal
All licenses shall expire on the 5th anniversary of the license holder’s date of birth following the date of issuance.
The DMV shall notify each holder of a license by mail addressed to the holder’s last known address, 30 days prior to the expiration date of a place and time where he or she shall appear for the issuance of a new license.
An applicant for a renewal driver’s license shall complete the vision screening examination. The DMV may require applicants for a license renewal to complete a road performance evaluation.
Any person who is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and who, at the time of induction, call to active duty, or enlistment into the U.S. Armed Forces for 2 or more years, was a resident of New Hampshire and was a holder of a valid New Hampshire license to drive a motor vehicle in New Hampshire, is entitled to renewal of such license without cost. The spouse of any resident of New Hampshire on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces is able to renew his or her driver’s license through the mail; however, the fee is not waived.
Types of Driver's Licenses
Class D: Non-Commercial Operator’s License. May also be “moped only,” “motorcycle only,” or “motorcycle also.”
Class A Commercial: Authorizes holder to drive a combination of vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of over 26,000 lbs. while towing over 10,000 lbs.
Class B Commercial: Authorizes holder to drive a single vehicle or a combination of vehicles with a GVWR over 26,000 lbs. while towing under 10,000 lbs.
Class C Commercial: Authorizes holder to drive a vehicle with a GVWR under 26,000 lbs. while transporting hazardous wastes or 16 or more passengers.