Oregon’s Teen Driving Laws and Insurance Requirements

Information on permits, provisional licenses, and insurance requirements in Oregon for drivers who are under 18 years of age.

In Oregon, drivers under 18 years of age are subject to certain restrictions. Before obtaining a full, unrestricted driver’s license, Oregon requires teen drivers to hold an instruction or learner’s permit and then a provisional license for a period of time.

For all motorists under 18 years old, it’s unlawful to use a mobile communication device, including hands-free accessories, while driving a motor vehicle.

Eligibility Basics

To apply for either a learner’s permit or a provisional driver’s license, a person under 18 years of age must submit an application to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) signed by a parent or legal guardian (unless the minor is emancipated or married). The applicant must be a resident of Oregon. Along with the application, the underage driver must provide proof of identity, physical address, social security number, legal presence in the country, and school enrollment, completion, or exemption.

A person is not eligible for a permit or provisional driver’s license if he or she:

  • has a “problem condition” involving drugs or alcohol
  • has a mental or physical condition that affects the person’s ability to drive safely
  • is unable to understand highway signs
  • has a current suspension or revocation of driving privileges in Oregon or any other state
  • has been declared a “habitual offender”
  • holds a current out-of-state license or permit or a valid Oregon driver’s license or permit
  • has not complied with the requirements of a traffic citation in another jurisdiction, or
  • has not shown proof of completion of a treatment program after a conviction for a DUII offense.

Learner’s (Instruction) Permits

A learner’s permit (also called an “instruction permit”) grants the same privileges as a Class C driver’s license, subject to certain restrictions. A learner’s permit is valid for two years after issuance. However, if a driver satisfies all the requirements, holding a permit is required for only six months or until the driver turns 16 years old, whichever comes later.

Learner’s Permit Requirements

To apply for a learner’s permit, a driver must be at least 15 and under 18 years of age. Before the DMV will issue the permit, the driver must pass a vision and a driver’s knowledge test. The fee for issuance of a learner’s permit is $23.50 and the fee to take the knowledge test is $5.

Permit Restrictions

A holder of a learner’s permit must be accompanied by a person who has a valid driver’s license and is at least 21 years old. The accompanying person must be in the front seat next to the holder of the learner’s permit. The learner’s permit must be in the driver’s immediate possession while operating a vehicle.

Provisional Driver’s Licenses

A provisional driver’s license allows a teen to drive alone with certain restrictions. The restrictions apply for the first year or until the driver turns 18 years old, whichever comes first.

Provisional License Requirements

To apply for a provisional driver’s license, a driver must be at least 16 and under 18 years old. The person must have held a learner’s permit for at least six months prior to applying for a provisional driver’s license. The driver also must have at least 100 hours of driving experience supervised by a person at least 21 years of age who has had a valid driver’s license for at least three years. Alternatively, the driver can complete a traffic safety education course and at least 50 hours of supervised driving experience.

Before a provisional license will be granted, the applicant must pass knowledge, driving, and vision tests. A person who fails the driving test won’t be allowed to retake the test for a least one month. The fee for issuance of a provisional driver’s license is $54. The fee to take the knowledge test is $5 and the fee to take the driving test is $9.

Provisional License Restrictions

For the first six months after a provisional license is issued, the motorist can’t drive with a passenger under 20 years of age (unless the passenger is an immediate family member). For the second six months, the underage motorist can’t drive with more than three non-immediate-family-member passengers who are under 20 years of age. The family-member restriction doesn’t apply when a provisional licensee is transporting passengers under 20 years of age for employment purposes.

During the first year after issuance of a provisional license, the minor can’t drive between midnight and 5:00 a.m. except:

  • between home and work
  • between home and a school event and there is no other transportation available
  • for purposes of employment, or
  • while accompanied by a person who is at least 25 years old and has a valid driver’s license.

Insurance Requirements for Drivers with a Learner’s Permit or Provisional Driver’s License

Oregon law requires all drivers to carry liability, personal injury protection, and uninsured motorist insurance coverage. Even drivers holding a learner’s permit or a provisional driver’s license must carry proof of minimum insurance requirements. Failure to provide proof of minimum insurance requirements can result in a fine and suspension of driving privileges.

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