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Getting a Driver License - Under 18
Overview

This page provides information on obtaining an Oregon Driver License (provisional) if you are under the age of 18. Other requirements apply if you are 18 years of age or older.

Use the links below to go directly to any section:

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.

To Qualify/Apply

You must apply in person at a DMV office, and you must:

  • Be a resident of or domiciled in Oregon;
  • Be 16 to 17 years of age (click here if 18 or older);
  • Have no suspended, canceled, revoked or otherwise withdrawn driving privileges in Oregon or any other state;
  • 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 in the issuing state or District of Columbia. 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:
  • Provide proof of school enrollment, completion or exemption if you are applying for an Oregon driving privilege for the first time;
  • 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. If you answer "yes" to any of the medical questions on the application, as outlined in OAR 735-062-0007 (2)(a)(b)(c), DMV will not issue you driving privileges until you have established that your condition does not affect your ability to drive safely.  DMV may ask you to provide additional medical information and/or require that you pass additional DMV tests;
  • Present proof of your full legal name;
  • Present proof of your legal presence in the U.S., identity and date of birth;
  • Provide your Social Security Number (SSN) on the application;
  • Present proof of your residence address
  • 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 course completion card from an ODOT-approved traffic safety education course - 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 course completion card from an ODOT-approved traffic safety education course 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; 
  • Pass a vision screening test as defined in OAR 735-062-0050;
  • Surrender any valid Oregon ID Card;
  • Surrender any valid driver license or permit issued by another jurisdiction (state, territory...);
  • 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; and
  • Have your photograph taken.

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

If you surrender a previous driver license, instruction permit or Oregon ID Card, it is hole-punched and returned to you. The hole-punched card is not valid by itself, but may be used as additional proof of identity with the interim card.

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 can not drive with a passenger under age 20 who is not a member of your immediate family*; and
  • You can not 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 can not drive with more than three (3) passengers who are under age 20 who are not members of your immediate family*; and
  • You can not 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.

    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.
    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.

    Related Information

    Additional information that may be relevant includes: