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.