Idaho Teen Driving Laws, Insurance Requirements, and Driver’s Licenses

Information on Idaho Teen Driving Rules, Insurance Requirements, and Driver’s Licenses

Before drivers who are younger than 17 can obtain a full, unrestricted driver's license, Idaho requires them to hold a supervised instruction permit (sometimes called a "learner's permit").

What Is Idaho's Graduated License Program?

Teen drivers who are between the ages of 14 years, 6 months, and 16 are eligible to participate in the Idaho graduated driver's license program. This program is similar to other graduated license programs across the United States and helps limit high-risk driving situations for the teen driver while increasing parental involvement and supervision.

Idaho's graduated driver's license program has three steps:

  • Step one: Supervised instruction permit.
  • Step two: Driver's license with restrictions—for drivers younger than 17.
  • Step three: Full driver's license.

Idaho also has a restricted school attendance driving permit for teens who live in small school districts and need to drive to and from school. (Idaho Code § 49-307A (2024).)

Supervised Instruction Permits in Idaho

A supervised instruction permit allows teenagers to drive with adult supervision to gain experience before obtaining a full driver's license.

How Do You Get a Supervised Instruction Permit in Idaho?

Teenagers who are 17 or younger can apply for a supervised instruction permit. The general requirements for obtaining a permit are:

  • completion of a state-approved driver education class (see below), and
  • a knowledge test.

(Idaho Code § 49-305 (2024).)

As early as 14 years, 6 months, a teen can obtain a student driver training permit to drive with an instructor only during class. An applicant must:

  • have a parent or guardian sign the application
  • furnish proof of enrollment in—or completion of—high school, home school, a GED program, a college, a university, trade school, or other job training program—or obtain a waiver of these education requirements, and
  • provide proof of identity, age, and Idaho residency.

(Idaho Code §§ 49-303a, 305, 306, 310 (2024).)

The driver education class requirements are:

  • 30 hours of classroom instruction
  • 6 hours of driving with an instructor, and
  • 6 hours of observing another driver as a passenger.

After completing the above requirements, the instructor will give the permit to the teen's parent or guardian. At that point, the permit will become a supervised instruction permit. (Beginning July 1, 2024, teenagers living in some rural areas may receive driving instruction—including 92 hours of instruction—from a licensed parent or legal guardian instead of taking a driver education class.) (Idaho Code §§ 33-1702, 49-307 (2024).)

What Are the Driving Restrictions for a Supervised Instruction Permit?

The supervised instruction permit holder must drive for a minimum of 6 months without a traffic violation. If the permit holder is convicted of a traffic violation, the state will cancel the permit and the driver must apply for another one and begin the process again. (Idaho Code § 49-307 (2024).)

While the supervised instruction permit holder is driving a motor vehicle, a licensed driver who is 21 or older must occupy the front seat next to the permit holder. No other passengers are allowed in the front seat, and all passengers must wear safety belts or use a child safety seat. The teen driver must carry the supervised instruction permit at all times while driving. (Idaho Code § 49-307 (2024).)

A teen driver with a supervised instruction permit must accrue a minimum of 50 hours of driving time. The 50 hours must include 10 hours of nighttime driving. The permit holder will become eligible for a driver's license after completing the required hours and driving for 6 months without a traffic violation. Before receiving a license, the applicant must pass a driving skills and written knowledge test. (Idaho Code § 49-307 (2024).)

Driver's License With Restrictions

After completing all of the supervised instruction permit requirements, drivers who are younger than 17 first must obtain a driver's license with restrictions. Specifically, they won't be able to have more than one passenger younger than 17 who isn't related to the driver by blood, adoption, or marriage. This passenger restriction only applies to the first six months that the driver is licensed. Additionally, 15-year-old drivers are allowed to drive only during daylight hours—unless a licensed driver who is at least 21 is sitting in the front passenger seat. (Idaho Code § 49-307 (2024).)

How Do You Get a Full Driver's License in Idaho?

After completing each step of Idaho's graduated driver's license program, a teen will have a full license with no restrictions.

A teenager who hasn't completed the graduated license program and who is 17 or older can apply for a full driver's license. To get a license, a 17-year-old must:

  • Be enrolled in high school, home school, a GED program, a college, a university, trade school, or other job training program,
  • have completed high school or obtained a GED, or
  • have obtained a waiver of the above requirements.

Applicants who are 18 or older don't have to comply with the above education requirements to obtain a driver's license. (Idaho Code §§ 49-303, 49-303a (2024).)

Do Permit Drivers Need Insurance in Idaho?

It's illegal to drive a vehicle on the roadways of Idaho without minimum liability insurance. The amounts listed below are the minimum coverage amounts allowed by law.

  • $25,000 for injury or death of one person
  • $50,000 for injury or death of two or more people
  • $15,000 for property damage

(Idaho Code § 49-117(20) (2024).)

During vehicle registration, you must sign a document certifying that your vehicle meets these minimum liability requirements. Drivers must carry proof of insurance with them in their vehicles. If you are a parent or guardian of a teen driver, you might want to contact your insurance provider about their insurance requirements.

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