Idaho DMV Handbook and Regulations FAQ

If you’re thinking about starting the application process in regards to your Idaho driver’s license, then it’s important that you obtain and review a full copy of the official Idaho state DMV handbook first. However, you may find parts of the following FAQ helpful as well. You can drastically increase your chances of passing your Idaho written test on the first try when you practice ahead of time with a sample test designed to closely mirror the actually test-taking process.
What is Idaho’s “graduated driver’s licensing program” (GDL)?
These days, most U.S. states have some sort of graduated licensing program in place and Idaho is no different. The program is designed to make sure that all teen drivers younger than 17 years of age are equipped with the knowledge, training, and preparedness necessary to become solid adult drivers in the future. It consists of several stages that go as follows:
  • Learner’s permit (also sometimes known as a supervised instruction permit or SIP)
  • State-approved driver’s education course
  • Junior (underage) driver’s license
  • Standard driver’s license with full rights
What ages do I need to be in order to advance through each stage of the Idaho GDL?
You are eligible for both driver’s education and application for your supervised instruction permit at 14 ½ years of age in the state of Idaho. You are old enough for your underage driver’s license at 15 years old and your unrestricted adult driver’s license at 18 years old.
What documents and information do I need to bring with me when applying for an Idaho driver’s license?
Of course, no one wants to show up at the DMV and wait in line only to find out they don’t have all the proper documents with them. If you’re applying for a first-time Idaho driver’s license, make sure that you bring all of the following with you:
  • Proof of your official residency in the state of Idaho
  • Proof of your legal residency in the United States
  • Proof of your age and identity (acceptable documents include a certified copy of your birth certificate or a valid United States passport)
  • Secondary form of ID that supports your primary form of ID (such as a student ID card or military ID)
  • Your social security card
  • If you’re 17 years of age or younger, proof of your enrollment in school
  • Payment for both the $15 permit fee and the $6.50 administrative fee
Is it possible to apply for an underage driver’s license in the state of Idaho?
Yes. Idaho does allow for underage residents to apply for an underage driver’s license providing they meet certain criteria. You must:
  • Be 15 years of age
  • Have completed a minimum of 50 hours of supervised behind-the-wheel driver’s training (with 10 of these hours being night hours)
  • Have held your state SIP for a minimum of 6 months from the date you officially completed driver’s education
  • Have consent from a parent or other legal guardian
I’m new to the state of Idaho. How long do I have to transfer my out-of-state license?
If you have recently moved to Idaho from out of state (or are planning on doing so in the near future), you will need to transfer your state ID or driver’s license within 90 days of becoming an Idaho resident. You might have to surrender your existing driver’s license depending on where you’re coming from. You will also need to be prepared to pay any applicable fees and present the same proof of identification, date of birth, and state residency that you’d need to present if you were applying for a license for the first time.
How do I prove residency in Idaho?
If you’re underage, documentation of your enrolment in an Idaho school will be proof enough. Most adults choose to present a rental agreement, bank statement, utility bill, or similar document instead. If you’re unsure about any option in particular, you can always contact your nearest DMV field office and ask.
How many questions are there on the Idaho DMV written test?
In Idaho, the written driver’s test consists of 40 questions, 34 of which you will need to answer correctly in order to receive a passing grade. Material included on the test will consist of various pieces of information found in the Idaho state DMV handbook on the topics of safe driving practices, traffic laws, and so forth.
What happens if I don’t pass the exam? How long do I have to wait to take it again?
If you do happen to fail your written test, you need to wait a minimum of 3 days before you can take it again. You will also need to pay the $3 testing fee again. Consider making a good practice test a part of your study routine to enhance your chances of passing sooner rather than later. Make sure the test you use was designed to mimic the Idaho written test taking experience in particular.
Do I need to provide my own vehicle for the behind-the-wheel portion of the driver’s test?
Yes. In Idaho, you need to provide the vehicle for your driver’s test. The vehicle must be completely adherent to Idaho state safety laws and considered safe to drive in every way. (It will be inspected in order to ensure this.) You should also be prepared to provide proof that the vehicle is registered and insured as well. Be sure that you make an appointment to take your behind-the-wheel test, as walk-ins are not allowed.
What are some possible reasons why I might fail my behind-the-wheel test?
Your Idaho behind-the-wheel test will test you on your ability in regards to common driving skills like changing lanes, starting and stopping the vehicle, parking, and driving on a freeway. You will receive a failing grade if you make more than 15 errors. You will also fail if you’re involved in a collision (or nearly so), break any traffic laws, or are perceived to drive recklessly in any way. Should you fail, you will need to wait at least 3 days before retaking the test, as well as pay applicable testing fees each time you retest.
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