In Wyoming, teens must hold an instruction permit and probationary permit prior to obtaining a driver’s license. This article explains the process, requirements, and restrictions of Wyoming’s graduated license system.
The first step for a teen who wants to obtain a driver’s license in Wyoming is to apply for an instruction permit at age 15. The application must be signed by a parent or guardian and include proof of identification (birth certificate), proof of residency, and a social security card. The applicant can then take the vision test and a written exam covering traffic control devices, Wyoming traffic laws, and safe driving practices.
The instruction permit is valid for one year and may be used to operate a vehicle only under the direct front-seat supervision of a licensed adult.
At 16 years old, an instruction permit holder (after holding the permit for a minimum of ten days) can apply for an intermediate permit. The parent or guardian must sign the application as well as a driving log certifying the teen has completed 50 hours of supervised driving time (including ten nighttime hours). The teen may then take the driving test at the local DMV or driver’s education center to obtain an intermediate permit.
The intermediate permit authorizes the teen to operate a vehicle between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. and outside of these hours when:
The teen is also restricted to only one passenger under 18 years old. This does not apply to family members or if supervised by a licensed adult. All passengers must wear seat belts.
Violations of these restrictions won’t be recorded on the Department of Transportation’s public record but will result in a 30-day permit suspension.
The intermediate permit expires 30 days after the holder’s 17th birthday.
An unrestricted license is available to all 17-year-olds. However, teens who have completed driver’s education and held an intermediate license for six months can receive an unrestricted license at 16 and a half years old. In either case, the curfew and passenger restrictions of the intermediate license will no longer apply.
Wyoming has a restricted license for 14- and 15-year-olds who can show “extreme inconvenience.” This requirement is typically met by teens who must drive more than five miles for school, work at least ten hours per week over five miles away, or need a license to help with the family business. The teen must submit an application and affidavit to the Wyoming highway patrol to make a determination if a need exists. If the highway patrol finds extreme inconvenience exists, the teen will be permitted to apply for a restricted instruction permit.
The restricted permit holds all the same requirements and restrictions as the instruction permit but is available to 14-year-olds. After holding the restricted permit for ten days, the teen can take a driving test to obtain a hardship license—a 50-hour driving log isn’t required. This license allows the holder to drive between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m. within 50 miles of the holder’s residence.
At age 15, the holder can drive outside of curfew if supervised by a licensed adult. The hardship license expires 30 days after the holder’s 16th birthday if the holder has not already obtained an intermediate license.
Any restriction violation is a misdemeanor, carrying up to six months in jail, a maximum $750 fine, and possible license cancellation. Violations also result in a 90-day hardship license suspension. A second violation results in a one-year suspension.
Before any driver can operate a vehicle in Wyoming, the vehicle must be properly insured. In Wyoming, liability insurance must include at least $25,000 bodily injury per person, $50,000 bodily injury per accident, and $20,000 property damage per accident.
Driving without proper insurance is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and/or $500 to $1,500 in fines. A second offense results in seizure of the vehicle registration and plates until the judge finds the drive has met the insurance requirements. After a conviction, the driver must obtain and maintain valid insurance for three years. Failure to do so will result in suspension of the driver’s license and registration until valid proof is obtained.