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So you've taken your first step towards becoming a new driver in Montana? Congratulations!
As you probably already know, driving is a valuable skill, but can also be extremely dangerous. Therefore, to help new teen drivers develop safe driving habits during their first few years behind the wheel, the State of Montana has implemented a graduated driver license program for Iowa drivers who are under the age of 18.
We’ve summarized a few things you’ll need to know as you begin the process of becoming a licensed driver in Montana.
When you are 14 years and 6 months old, you are eligible to apply for a Montana T.E.L.L. so long as you are enrolled in a state-approved drivers education program. The T.E.L.L. fee is $35.50. This special license allows you to drive so long as you have your parent/guardian (who must be licensed to drive) sitting next to you in the front passenger seat, actively supervising your driving.
You will be eligible to apply for an instruction permit when you turn 15, provided you meet the following requirements:
When you are ready to get your instruction permit, head down to the local driver's license office with the following:
For a complete list of paperwork/documents you are required to bring, please visit the Montana Dept. of Transportation (DOT) website.
After you receive your instruction permit, you may begin to practice driving but there are some restrictions you will have to follow:
To become eligible for a first-year restricted license, you must meet the following requirements:
When you're ready to "go for it", head back down to the local driver's license office with your instruction permit along with the same documents you took when you applied for your instruction permit, including a completed Graduated Driver Licensing Parent/Legal Guardian Certification from (a copy is available on the Montana DOT website), plus some money for the license processing fee.
In order to receive your first-year restricted license, you will need to pass a road test. After you receive your first-year restricted license, a few restrictions will still apply:
Please adhere to these restrictions! Failure to do so will result in 20-60 hours of community service upon the 1st violation and a 6-month license suspension upon your 2nd violation.
Once the date on the back of your first-year restricted license has passed, you will earn your full, unrestricted driver's license (provided you have kept a clean driving record).
State law requires that you have at least a certain amount of auto insurance/liability coverage on any vehicle you drive. The minimum amount of liability coverage required in Montana is as follows:
Driving without auto insurance/liability coverage is a crime. If you are found to be driving while uninsured, you risk losing your license and paying a hefty fine. Upon the 2nd offense, you may spend time in jail.
Driving under the influence of alcohol is strictly prohibited in Montana--and this law is strictly enforced.
Upon your FIRST conviction of a Montana DUI, you will face the following penalties:
Further DUI violations will result in even more severe penalties, including extended time in prison, fines, and the revocation of your driver's license.
There are currently no laws in Montana which prohibit the use of cell phones while driving.
Teen-aged drivers in Montana are required to complete a state-approved drivers education program. You can get more information including a list of approved drivers ed programs by visiting the Montana DOT website.
Different states require different documents from learner's permit applicants, although you most likely will be asked to show your completion certificate from a Montana driver education online or classroom course. Many states require applicants to present additional paperwork including, but not limited to, a birth certificate, parental consent forms, or proof school enrollment forms. To find out exactly what documents you should have with you when you go to take your Montana learner's permit test, CyberEdDriverEd.com recommends that you visit the Montana DMV website or call one of their local offices in your area.
Generally, you’re allowed to take the Montana learners permit test as soon as you have the following documents: the Montana driver education certificate of completion and the Montana driver training certificate of enrollment. Once you have these documents, you’re eligible to begin learning to drive and can go to the Montana licensing office in your area to take the Montana learners permit test. Again, this is a general rule and may not apply in Montana.