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Getting a Driver License - Under 18
   
General Information

While driving a motor vehicle on highways or premises open to the public in Oregon, you must have either a valid driver license or instruction permit in your possession. If you are a resident of another state, click here for information.

DMV issues a provisional driver license to drivers 16-17 years of age. A provisional driver license allows operation of the same vehicles as a non-commercial Class C driver license. Provisional drivers are subject to the Provisional Driver Improvement Program, which is designed to have an immediate impact on young drivers who are convicted of traffic offenses or involved in preventable accidents. Provisional drivers are also subject to driving restrictions.

How to Apply
  • Visit a DMV office;
  • Be a resident of or domiciled in Oregon;
  • Be 16 to 17 years of age (click here if 18 or older);
  • Have had a valid instruction permit from Oregon, another state or the District of Columbia for at least six months. The instruction permit must have been valid for at least six months. This requirement does not apply if you submit a valid license from another state;
  • Complete the required minimum hours of supervised driving experience. This driving must be done with a driver at least 21 years of age who has had a valid license for at least three years. You must certify your driving experience when you apply. This requirement does not apply if you submit a valid driver license from another state.  Minimum driving experience required is:
    • 50 hours and an ODOT-approved traffic safety education course. You must present the original Driver Education Certificate of Completion card issued by the State of Oregon, Transportation Safety Division, when you apply; OR
    • 100 hours;
  • Submit a completed Driver License Application (Form 735-173). The application must include your parent or legal guardian's signature unless you are married or an emancipated minor
  • Include a parent or legal guardian's certification of compliance with school enrollment or exemption requirements on the application, or provide proof of graduation or a GED certificate if you are applying for an Oregon driving privilege for the first time;
  • Present proof of your full legal name,legal presence in the U.S., identity and date of birth; and residence address;
  • Provide your Social Security Number (SSN)on the application;
  • Pass a vision screening test;
  • Pass the Class C knowledge test if you do not have an Oregon Instruction Permit that is valid or expired less than one year; 
  • Pass a Safe Driving Practices knowledge test. The information you need to pass the test is in the Oregon Driver Manual. You are allowed to take the test 30 days prior to your 16th birthday;
  • Make an appointment for a drive test unless you have a hard plastic Driver Education Certificate of Completion card issued by the State of Oregon, Transportation Safety Division - which is valid for waiver of the drive test. If you have a valid driver license issued by another state, you may not be required to take the drive test; 
  • Pass the drive test OR present a hard plastic Driver Education Certificate of Completion card issued by the State of Oregon, Transportation Safety Division when you apply for your license - which is valid for waiver of the drive test. If you do not have proof of insurance for the vehicle, you will have to reschedule the drive test; 
  • Surrender any valid Oregon ID Card or a driver license or permit issued by Oregon or another state or U.S. Territory. It will be invalidated and returned to you; and
  • Pay the applicable testing and licensing fees. You must pay test fees prior to taking any test. Be prepared to make separate payments for your testing and licensing fees. 

After you meet the requirements, you are issued an interim card to use until you receive your license in the mail.

Driving Restrictions

After you get your provisional driver license, your driving is restricted as follows:

Until 18 Years of Age:
You cannot operate a motor vehicle while using a mobile communication device, including talking on a cell phone and texting. Hands-free accessories are not allowed. Once you turn 18, different restrictions may apply.

First Six Months:

  • You cannot drive with a passenger under age 20 who is not a member of your immediate family*; and
  • You cannot drive between midnight and 5:00 AM unless you are:
    • Driving between home and work
    • Driving between home and a school event for which there is no other transportation available
    • Driving for employment purposes; or
    • Accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 25 years old.

Second Six Months:

  • You cannot drive with more than three (3) passengers who are under age 20 who are not members of your immediate family*; and
  • You cannot drive between midnight and 5:00 AM unless you are:
    • Driving between home and work
    • Driving between home and a school event for which there is no other transportation available
    • Driving for employment purposes; or
    • Accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 25 years old.

    *Passenger restrictions do not apply while driving with an instructor as part of a certified traffic safety education course or with a parent, stepparent, or legal guardian who has valid driving privileges.

    Note: The passenger and night driving restrictions only apply until you are 18 or you have had your provisional license for one year, whichever comes first.

    Things to Take With You

    Below is a list of the most commonly used documents that teens can provide to meet the requirements to get a driver license in Oregon.  The items on this list may not apply if you are not a U.S. Citizen or for other reasons.  Click on the requirement itself for a more complete list of documents that can be used to provide adequate proof.

    Requirement​
    Most Commonly Used Proof for Teens
    Proof of Full Legal Name U.S. issued birth certificate or U.S. Passport/Card​
    Proof of Legal Presence in the U.S., Identity and Date of Birth U.S. issued birth certificate or U.S. Passport/Card
    Proof of Social Security Number Social Security Card​
    Proof of Residence Address

    A verbal statement from your parent or legal guardian, e.g., they must accompany you to the DMV office, and provide proof of their residence address (Driver License/ID Card).​
    Parental Consent Parent or legal guardian's signature on the application form.​
    School Attendance Certification, Completion or Exemption (the first time you apply for a driving privilege)​ Include a parent or legal guardian's certification of compliance with school attendance or exemption requirements on the application, or provide proof of graduation or a GED certification.
       
    Driving Privileges

    With a Class C driver license you may operate:

    • Any car or single vehicle (moped, passenger car, van, or pickup) for which a CDL or motorcycle endorsement in not required;
    • Any emergency fire vehicle, regardless of the weight of the vehicle or combination of vehicles. The driver must be a firefighter as defined in ORS 652.050;
    • Any emergency vehicle when the vehicle is operated by an emergency service volunteer as defined in ORS 401.358; and
    • Any motor home for personal use, regardless of the weight of the vehicle or combination of vehicles. Motor homes for personal use have not been included in the definition of commercial motor vehicles in ORS 801.208 and, therefore, operators are not required to possess a commercial driver license.
    Drive Test

    Prior to the drive test the examiner will inspect your vehicle to ensure it can be safely and legally operated. If equipment is not working properly, the examiner may be unable to give the drive test. Your vehicle must be equipped with safety belts and have valid license plates or a temporary permit. Refer to the Oregon Driver Manual (English or Spanish) for more information regarding the vehicle inspection. If the vehicle does not pass the inspection you will have to re-schedule the drive test.

    During the behind-the-wheel drive test, you show your driving skills and how you obey traffic rules, highway signs and signals. The test includes turning, signaling, backing, changing lanes, controlling speed, road courtesy and general driving ability.

    Only you and the examiner are allowed in the vehicle during a driving test; the only exception is that a supervisor may go on a drive test to observe the examiner. Interpreters, children or pets cannot be in the vehicle during a test.

    Private Party Drive Tests

    In some areas, Drive tests are also available from a private party tester. Refer to the list of Certified Private Party Drive Test Examiners to locate a tester.

    Failing the Test

    If you fail this test and you are under 18 years of age, you must wait at least 28 days after each failure before retaking the test. You must also have had a valid Oregon Instruction Permit for at least one month before your next test. If you fail a fifth test, you must wait at least one year before taking another test. 

    Parent Guide to Teen Driving

    The Oregon Department of Transportation provides a hardcopy version of The Oregon Parent Guide to Teen Driving (Form 735-7190) in English only. It contains information to support the important partnerships between state driver licensing, driver education, teen drivers and their parents.