Missouri is one of many states that has implemented a graduated driver’s licensing (GDL) program, which outlines a process of steps teens need to complete and rules that must be followed receive full driving privileges. On its face, this program might make getting a license seem intimidating or a hassle, but it is designed to foster safe, responsible decisions
To eliminate the headache of getting your teen properly licensed, here’s an easy-to-follow guide outlining Missouri Driver’s License Laws.
Applying for a Missouri Teen Driver’s License (Teens qualify at 15 years of age):
- Teens (under the age of 18) must first obtain a Missouri Learner’s Permit (also called an “Instruction Permit”)
- Teens must then obtain an Intermediate Driver’s License
- After completion of Steps 1 and 2, your Teen can obtain a Missouri Under-21 Full Driver’s License
Is My Teen Eligible for a Missouri Learner’s Permit?
All teens who are at least 15 years old are eligible for an instruction permit.
What Step(s) Need to be Taken for My Teen to Obtain a Missouri Learner’s Permit?
Visit a Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) Examination Station and pass the following:
- A Vision Test.
- A Road Signs Exam.
- A Written Knowledge Test.
- NOTE: A parent or legal guardian must accompany the teen to the license office to sign a permission statement.
After your teen passes their Missouri permit exams, they will receive a Driver Examination Record (Form DOR-100) indicating that they successfully passed all required tests. With this form, your teen needs to visit a local Missouri license office (DMV) with a parent/or guardian where they will be issued a temporary Teen Permit until the Permanent Teen Permit comes in the mail.
My Teen Just Got Their Missouri Learner’s Permit, What Laws Do I Need to Know?
– Under age 16, your teen may drive only when accompanied in the front seat by a licensed driver who is:
- a parent;
- a legal guardian;
- a grandparent;
- a qualified driving instructor;
- a qualified driver at least 25 years of age who has been licensed for a minimum of 3 years and has received written permission from the parent or legal guardian; or
- a qualified driver designated by the disabled parent or guardian of the permit holder.
– At age 16 or older, your teen may drive when accompanied in the front seat by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and has a valid driver license.
– State law requires seat belts to be worn by the driver and all passengers.
– Your teen’s test paper alone is not legal for driving. Be sure to carry your permit with you.
– Your teen’s instruction permit is valid for 1 year and may be renewed.
My Teen Has a Missouri Learner’s Permit, When Will My Teen Be Eligible for an Intermediate Driver’s License?
- Under Missouri Driver’s License Laws, teens between the ages of 16 and 18 years old who have had an Instructional Permit for at least 6 months are eligible for an Intermediate Driver’s License.
What Step(s) Need to be Taken for My Teen to Obtain an Intermediate Driver’s License?
Step One: Your teen must hold a valid, unexpired instruction permit for at least 182 days (beginning the day after issuance).
Step Two: Your teen may not have any alcohol-related offenses in the last 12 months and no traffic convictions in the last 6 months.
Step Three: A parent, legal guardian or grandparent must accompany your teen to the license office to verify they have received 40 hours of driving instruction, including a minimum of 10 hours of nighttime driving instruction between sunset and sunrise.
Step Four: Your teen must pass the vision, road sign recognition, and written tests at a Missouri State Highway Patrol driver examination station if previous results are more than one year old
Step Five: Your teen must pass the driving test at a local Missouri Driver License Office or a Missouri State Highway Patrol driver examination station.
NOTE: Your teen will need to provide Proof of Insurance and Missouri Vehicle Registration for the vehicle they will be taking their road test in.
My Teen Just Got Their Intermediate Driver’s License, What Laws and Rules Do I Need to Know?
- During the first 6 months, your teen may not operate a motor vehicle with more than one passenger who is under 19 years old and who is not a member of their immediate family.
- After the first 6 months, your teen may not operate a motor vehicle with more than three passengers who are under 19 years old and who are not members of their immediate family.
- Your teen may not drive alone from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. except to and from a school activity, job, or for an emergency, unless accompanied by a licensed driver 21 years old or older.
My Teen Has an Intermediate Driver’s License, When Will My Teen Be Eligible for a Missouri Under-21 Full Driver’s License
- Under state law, all teens age 18 years old are eligible for a Missouri Under-21 Full Driver’s License.
What Step(s) Need to be Taken for My Teen to Obtain a Missouri Under-21 Full Driver’s License?
Step One: Your teen must satisfy the requirements for an Intermediate License, including having no alcohol-related offenses or traffic convictions in the last 12 months.
Step Two: Your teen must have a valid intermediate license. Their driving privilege cannot be suspended, revoked, or denied when they apply for a full license.
Gonzalo Fernandez is a personal injury attorney based in St. Louis. He regularly uses his legal expertise to offer insight on events impacting Missourians. Recent media appearances include the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, CBS St. Louis, Fox 2, and KPLR 11. To speak to Gonzalo, call (314) 433-9131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Guides to Missouri Laws: