Montana's graduated driving law is designed to progressively move teen drivers through different license phases as they gain driving experience and education. The graduated system helps to reduce high-risk driving situations through restrictions, education and parental or adult supervision.
Teen drivers qualify for a Traffic Education Learner's License (TELL) if they are 14½ years of age and they are currently enrolled in a State of Montana Approved traffic education program. All teen drivers applying for a State of Montana permit must have the consent of a parent or legal guardian. The applicant is required to pass a vision screening and a written test. Applicants must also provide proof of identity and residency in the State of Montana. If the permit applicant has held a license in another jurisdiction, they must turn the license during the application process.
To qualify, previous license holder must not have had their license suspended, revoked or denied in any other state or jurisdiction. Teen drivers must be able to pass the medical requirements for the type of driver license that they are applying for. In addition, a court of law must not have found the applicant to be mentally incompetent, or a habitual user of illegal drugs or alcohol.
Once the permit is issued, it is valid for one year; however the teen driver must wait a period of 6 months prior to applying for the 1st year restricted license. The permit holder must complete a minimum of 50 hours of supervised driving with 10 out of the 50 hours being nighttime driving. Teen drivers with a TELL permit must be supervised by a parent or legal guardian. All passengers and the permit holder must wear safety belts. Teen drivers with a Learner's License must be supervised by a licensed driver that is a minimum of 18 years of age that is authorized by a parent or guardian or the supervision may be done by a licensed parent or guardian.
In order for the teen driver to advance to the 1st year restricted license, they must not have received traffic convictions for drug or alcohol offenses for 6 months prior to application.
After all of the permit requirements have been met the learner permit holder may apply for the first year restricted license. Applicants must bring in all applicable documents during the application process including the completed Graduated Driver Licensing Parent Certification Form. All passengers and the restricted license holder must wear safety belts while the vehicle is in motion. Teen drivers may not drive between the hours of 11:00 PM and 5:00 AM. The exceptions for this rule are listed below:
During the first 6 months that the teen driver holds the restricted license, they must be supervised by a licensed driver that is a minimum of 18 years of age. Teen drivers may not drive with more than 1 passenger under the age of 18 during the first 6 months that they hold the 1st year restricted license. During the second 6 months that the teen driver holds the restricted license, they may carry up to 3 passengers under the age of 18 without the supervision of a licensed driver that is a minimum of 18 years of age.
The first year restricted license will automatically expire on the date indicated on the back of the driver license or when the teen driver turns the age of 18.
Full driver license status is the final step in the graduated system. Once the teen driver has reached this point, they will be able to drive unrestricted with full privileges.
It is against the law to drive in the State of Montana without liability insurance.
Proof of liability insurance must be carried at all times while driving. If you are found driving without liability insurance, your vehicle license plates may be suspended for 90 days for a second offense and up to 180 days on a third offense.
The amounts below reflect the minimum amount of liability insurance required in Montana.
You must carry and show your insurance card to a law enforcement officer on request. Operating a vehicle on the road without the listed minimum liability insurance is a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine up to $500 and up to 10 days in jail.