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Montana Driver’s License: How to Get One!

  • Auto Insurance
  • Gerard Stevens
  • 9 minutes

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Are you a Montana resident who needs a Montana driver’s license? Most people eagerly anticipate obtaining their driver’s license and all the freedoms accompanying it. So, how can you obtain one in The Treasure State? Is it hard to get one? 

No! In Montana, obtaining a driver’s license can be a simple procedure if you know how to do it. You require a valid ID and documentation of Montana residency if you are under 18 and wish to obtain a driver’s license in Montana. You must also complete the graduated driver licensing process. After all, driving without a valid driver’s license can earn you jail time and a hefty penalty.  

So, how can you get a Montana driver’s license? What are the requirements? How much does it cost? Keep reading to know more! 

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Who can apply for a driver’s license in Montana? 

Teens under 18 must complete the graduated license processing before obtaining a full driver’s license with all privileges. You can start the application process for your license if you meet these minimum requirements. 

15–18 years  

  • You must successfully finish a state-approved driver’s education course and be at least 15 OR 14 ½  years old.  
  • You will require the signature of a parent or guardian proving the consent to drive and accepting the financial responsibility.  
  • Can provide documents proving identity, address, and lawful presence. These are the documents that the state accepts. 

18 or above 

  • Can provide documents proving identity, address, and lawful presence. These are the documents that the state accepts. 
  • Pass all the necessary tests, 
  • Turn in any additional licenses or permits you own, even those from neighboring states. 
  • You haven’t been found mentally incompetent, an alcoholic, or a regular user of illicit drugs by the court.  

What do I need to get a Montana driver’s license? 

Before visiting the Montana Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) to apply for a Montana driver’s license, you should also have the following documents. 

  • Identity proof: It can include a US passport or birth certificate. 
  • Proof of residency: It can be a statement from a rental agreement, an auto or life insurance policy, or a school record. 
  • Proof of lawful presence: You can produce a US passport or birth certificate. 
  • Drive test certification: It can be a legal learner’s license, insurance, or registration. 
  • Registration of vehicle: Produce the registration document of the vehicle you use for the test.  
  • Proof of insurance: It can be either digital or physical.  

Although you won’t require it as proof, you should know your Social Security Number (SSN) before your visit. Visit the DOJ website for more details and a complete list of documents you can produce.  

How to get a Montana driver’s license 

In Montana, obtaining a driver’s license involves a three-step process that introduces you gradually onto the roads.  

  • Firstly, you must first obtain your Instruction Permit 
  • Then, you’ll get the First-Year Restricted license 
  • Finally, you’ll receive your Full Montana driver’s license after having your limited license for a year (or turning 18). 

How to get an Instruction Permit 

You should meet these requirements if you want to apply for a permit. 

  • You have reached the age of at least 14 ½  and completed driver’s education. You can avoid taking driver’s education if you are at least 15. 
  • Completed the 33-question written test and passed it. To pass, you must answer 28 questions (82%) correctly. 
  • Surrender other licenses you possess, pass a medical test, and not be found incompetent or otherwise disabled by a court. 

What to be careful of 

  • While holding a permit, you must be careful about these! 
  • You must have 50 hours of driving practice, 10 of which should be at night. 
  • Driving must be under the supervision of a parent or guardian (or an adult driver approved by your parent/guardian) 
  • Always use seatbelts while driving. 
  • Never engage in traffic or drug violations.   

How to get a First-Year Restricted license 

You will be eligible to move on to step two once you hold your permit for six months. First, you must visit a nearby driver’s exam station to obtain your first-year Montana driver’s license. Depending on the location, you might need to schedule an appointment ahead of time. 

What to do 

  • Bring the necessary documents to confirm your identity, residency, and lawful presence. 
  • Bring your parent or guardian to sign your application and parental consent form. 
  • Take the driving test. You should bring your safe car for the behind-the-wheel test. Additionally, it should have proper registration and insurance. The test will evaluate your driving proficiency and understanding of Montana laws and safe driving practices. 
  • Surrender other licenses you possess, pass a medical test, and not be found incompetent or otherwise disabled by a court. 
  • Pay the fee for the license. 
  • Get your photo taken. 


Always expect these restrictions while driving with a First-Year Restricted license. 
  • Everyone in the car must use a seatbelt. 
  • Except for work, church, emergencies, or other special circumstances approved by your parents, you can’t drive between 11 pm and 5 am. 
  • You can only drive with one passenger under 18 for the first six months (unless you are driving with an adult). 
  • You’ve been allowed to carry three passengers under 18 for the last six months unless you’re driving with an adult. 

You may need to perform 20-60 hours of community service if you violate these. Violating these restrictions more than once will lead to the suspension of your license.  

How to get a Full Montana drivers license 

driver's license in Montana
Image courtesy: https://www.tsa.gov/

Suppose you already hold a First-Year Restricted license. In that case, you can avoid the tests and surrender them for an unrestricted adult license. However, you still need to pass the road exam to get a license, even with a permit. Depending on which comes first, the licensing restrictions expire either on the day specified on your license or when you become 18 years old. After that, except for driving regulations, all restrictions will get waived.  

You must prove your residency, identity, and legal presence in the US before applying for an unrestricted license. Additionally, you must do the following.  

  • Pass the vision, written, and driving tests.  
  • Pay the required fees. 

What happens when you turn 21? 

When you turn 21, you should switch out your current license with one that does not state ‘Under 21.’ Also, you must do the following steps.  

  • Produce the documents to confirm your identity, residency, and lawful presence in the US.  
  • Attend the written or driving test if you haven’t already taken them.  
  • Surrender other licenses you possess, pass a medical test, and not be found incompetent or otherwise disabled by a court. 
  • Pay the required fees. 
  • Get your photo taken. 

How do I transfer my driver’s license to Montana? 

You must apply for a Montana driver’s license within 60 days if you’re relocating to (or have recently moved to) Montana. You won’t have to take any written or driving tests if you already hold a license from another state. But you will still need to present the required documents, proving your identity, Montana residency, and proof of lawful presence.  

And lastly, Montana does not require active-duty military personnel to submit a driver’s license application. 

How much does it cost to get a driver’s license in Montana? 

A 12-year standard license will cost you $62.32, while an eight-year license with REAL-ID would cost you $67.47. You can make the payment by cash, check, or credit card.  

How long do you have to live in Montana to get a driver’s license? 

If applying for a standard Montana driver’s license, you must apply within 60 days of relocating there. If you need a commercial license, you must apply within 30 days. 

Is a Montana driver’s license REAL-ID compliant? 

You don’t need a license or identification card that complies with Montana REAL-ID. But by May 3, 2023, you will need one of these documents to board domestic flights and enter federal buildings. 

How many numbers does a Montana driver’s license have? 

A driver’s license in Montana comprises nine numbers.  

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

The written test consists of 33 questions. You must answer 28 of them correctly to pass the test. 

Can a 15-year-old get a driver’s license in Montana? 

According to the new rules, students can initiate the license application procedure at 15 by self-study and practicing driving with a parent or other responsible adult. 

Can I fly with a Montana driver’s license? 

Starting from May 3, 2023, you must possess a REAL ID to fly domestically.  

Can I renew my Montana driver’s license online? 

No. You can renew the license by mail or in person. Know more about the license renewal process in Montana! 

Also read: Getting auto insurance in Montana 

Buying a new car involves getting car insurance. Generally, the car insurance rates in Montana are higher than the national average rate. So, a driver will be looking to buy an affordable car insurance policy in the state. But how can it be possible? 

That’s where Way.com becomes your best friend! Use our app or website to find auto insurance quotes from all insurers in the state. Then you can compare these quotes and buy the one with the cheapest quote. So you can save almost around $971 on your auto insurance policy while buying via Way.com! 

So, use Way now to find a cheap insurance quote in Montana! 

Save hundreds per year on your Montana car insurance policy

Here’s more info on top-rated airport parkingthe best parking spots in your city, affordable auto insurance, easy auto refinance, and high-quality car washes near you.


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