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How to Get A Montana Driver’s License (A Complete 2022 Guide)

How to Get A Montana Driver’s License (A Complete Guide)

Calling everyone in Montana planning to get a driver’s license…

Are you looking for a complete guide that has all the requirements and details?

Welcome!

Here, we’re going to walk you through the steps on how to get a Montana driver’s license. With this, you won’t be left with any questions. 

And, for even more information, we’re also going to answer some of the most frequently asked questions. 

So are you ready?

Let’s dive right in!

Montana Driver’s License Requirements

In Montana, teens as young as 15 years old can start working towards their driver’s license.  

However, they will need to complete the Student Driver Relief program, which comes in 3 stages: 

  • Learner license
  • First-year restricted license
  • Full privilege driver’s license

This program will gradually ease you into driving. By the time you have full driving privileges, you’re sure to be a better, safer, and more responsible driver. 

To help you, let’s go through the steps of each stage. 

How to Get a Learner License in Montana

Here are the steps to getting a learner license in Montana.

Step 1: Complete an approved traffic education course (only if you are below 16 years old)

You can start the education course at the age of 14½. However, you can only move to the next step once you complete the course and turn 15 years old.  

Step 2: Schedule a regular written exam appointment through the DOJ’s online portal or call (866) 450-8034.

There are two kinds of driver license stations in Montana — full-service and rural locations. The former is a safer choice because you know they provide testing services.

If you choose the latter, remember two things:

  • Ensure that they offer driver exam services. Here is a list of offices that don’t offer this – Carter, Garfield, Golden Valley, Jefferson, Judith Basin, Madison, Petroleum, Prairie, Treasure, and Wibaux.
  • You must pay for the service at the county treasurer’s office before you visit the rural office.

Step 3: While waiting for your schedule, prepare the following documents:

  • (1) Proof of authorized presence
  • (1) Proof of identity
  • (2) Proof of your residence in Montana
  • Social Security Number (you do not need to provide proof, just know your number)

Click here to see a complete list of acceptable primary and secondary documents.

Step 4: On your visit, let a parent or legal guardian accompany you.

Your parent or legal guardian has to: 

  • Consent to you receiving your learner license. 
  • Assume financial responsibility

Step 5: Pay the learner license fee of $5.50

Step 6: Take and pass the vision screening.

Step 7: Take and pass the regular written exam. 

You can prepare for this test by either completing a driver’s education program or studying the Montana Driver’s Manual. 

Step 8: Receive your temporary learner license.

Congratulations! You passed the first stage.

Now, with your learner license, you can practice how to drive on the road. Keep in mind, though, that you should always be supervised by a parent, legal guardian, or a licensed and authorized driver at least 18 years old.  

NOTE: Your learner license is valid for 1 year. 

How to Get a First-Year Restricted License in Montana

After 6 months of holding your learner license, you can move on to stage 2 — your first-year restricted license. 

But hold up…

During those 6 months, you also need to:

  • Complete 50 hours of supervised driving, with 10 hours done at night
  • Have no traffic violations or DUI offenses for the past 6 months

If so, then here are the steps to getting your first-year restricted license in Montana:

Step 1: Schedule your regular driving test. 

The most convenient way is to use the DOJ’s online appointment system. However, you can also call (866) 450-8034 during regular workdays to make a schedule.

NOTE: If you choose to go to a rural driver license station, you must pay the service fee at a county treasurer’s office before your appointment.

Step 2: On your visit, bring the following documents:

Not sure what documents to bring? Click here to see a complete list.

Step 3: Bring a parent or legal guardian with you. 

They need to confirm that they permit you to receive your license and take financial responsibility if you cause an accident.

Step 4: Take and pass the regular driving test.

Step 5: Pay the licensing fee.

The licensing fee amount is $5 per year (until you turn 21 years old). You’ll also have to pay an additional $0.50 for the administration fee. 

Step 6. Receive your first-year restricted license. 

You’re almost there!

Although you can already drive unsupervised with this license, you still have a few restrictions, such as: 

  • You must ensure everyone in the vehicle wears a seatbelt.
  • You cannot have more than one passenger under 18 (except for family members) for the first 6 months of getting your license.
  • You cannot have more than three non-family passengers under 18 for the next 6 months.
  • You can only drive between 5:00 am and 11:00 pm, except for in the following situations:
    • If you are supervised by a parent, legal guardian, or authorized and licensed person 
    • During emergencies
    • For farm-related activities
    • You are traveling to or from school, work, or church

NOTE: If you’re driving beyond 11:00 pm and a law enforcement officer pulls you over, he might call your parents or guardian to confirm why you’re out that late.

Violating any of these may result in the following penalties:

  • First offense: 20 to 60 hours of community service
  • Second offense: 6-month license suspension

How to Get a Full Privilege Driver’s License in Montana

Once you have a first-year restricted license, it’s now super easy to upgrade to a full privilege driver’s license. 

All you need to do is wait for the restrictions to be lifted. This happens when the date indicated on your credential arrives OR when you turn 18 years old (whichever comes first). 

As easy as that!

But what if you are getting your license for the first time and you’re already 18+ years old?

You no longer have to go through the Student Driver Relief program. You just need to follow these steps: 

Step 1: Make an appointment for your regular written exam. 

You can do this either online or by calling (866) 450-8034. 

Again, it’s important to note that, if you want to go to a rural office, you must pay the service fee at the county treasurer’s office. 

Step 2: Gather the documents to prove the following:

  • (1) Proof of identity 
  • (1) Proof of authorized presence 
  • (2) Proof of residence in Montana 

Click here to check which documents you can use.

Step 3: Complete the following when you go on your scheduled visit:

  • Submit the required documents mentioned above
  • Pay the licensing fee, which varies depending on your age:
    • Under 21 years old – $5 per year + $0.50
    • 21 to 67 years old – $40.50
    • 68 to 74 years old – $5 per year + $0.50
    • 75 years old and older – $20.50
  • Take and pass the vision test
  • Take and pass the regular written exam

Step 4: Schedule your regular driving test online or by calling (866) 450-8034. 

Step 5: Complete the following on your scheduled visit:

  • Bring these items:
    • A vehicle with proof of registration and insurance
    • One proof of identify
    • One proof of authorized presence
    • Two proofs of Montana residence
  • Take and pass the regular driving test
  • Get your driver’s license

And just like that, you have a full privilege driver’s license in Montana!

FAQs

As promised, we’re going to go over some FAQs to give you even more information. 

So let’s go!

Can a 14-year-old drive in Montana?

Generally, you must be at least 15 years old to apply for a learner license in Montana. However, if you’re 14½, you can already enroll in a state-approved traffic education course and get a Traffic Education Learner License (TELL) to complete your behind-the-wheel training. 

How many questions are on the Montana driver’s license test?

There are 33 questions in the regular written exam. You need to get 27 correctly to pass. 

To prepare, you can study the traffic education course, the Montana Driver’s Manual, or download the Practice Driver Test app from Google Play.

How much does driver’s ed cost in Montana?

The rates for traffic education programs vary between providers. You will have to spend anywhere between $50 to $500. 

What happens if you fail the driver’s test in Montana?

If you fail the driving test, don’t worry. You can retake it the following business day. However, you will have to reschedule and wait if there is already a waiting line. 

Does the Montana DMV take walk-ins?

Most DMVs in Montana require an appointment. Also, you must make separate appointments for your written and driving tests. 

Thankfully, it’s so easy to schedule an appointment. You can either do it online through the DOJ’s scheduling system or by phone at (866) 450-8034.

Do you have to retake a driving test when moving to Montana?

New residents of Montana don’t have to take the written and driving test to get a driver’s license. However, they must have a valid out-of-license to waive these tests. 

The Wrap Up

And that was your complete guide on how to get a Montana driver’s license. 

Sure, the process can be long, especially if you start really young. But, with this guide, you can take the steps one at a time. 

Before you know it, you’ll be a fully licensed driver in Montana. 

Good luck!

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