As of January 1, 2001 Idaho approved a Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program that enforces a minimum set of requirements for drivers under the age of 21 to get an unrestricted full license. There are three distinct phases to the Idaho GDL program, as is the case for most GDL programs. One that is instructional, a practice or training phase and the last phase that is a full unrestricted license.
Supervised Instruction Permit
The learner’s permit in Idaho is officially named the Supervised Instruction Permit (SIP) and is available to any resident that is at least 14 ½ years old and has enrolled in a state approved Driver’s Education course. These courses are offered by most public school institutions but there is also private Driver’s Ed courses offered by businesses as well. Both programs are open to any applicant.
The SIP is available to legal residents of Idaho and is available from your local driver’s license office. If you are a minor you will need a legal parent or guardian as signatory on the consent form. You will also need documents to support your identity, age, residency and enrollment in school. Before moving to the next licensing stage, under the SIP you must complete the driver’s education course.
This course requires 30 hours of in-classroom training, 6 hours of behind the wheel practice and 6 hours of observing another driver. After finishing this course and the required behind the wheel drive training time you will be eligible to apply for the Underage Driver’s License.
The SIP license is only to be used with a licensed instructor until you have completed the driver’s education course. Afterwards, the SIP license restricts driving to only driving while under supervision of a licensed driver that is seated next to you who is 21 years or older. All passengers must be wearing seat belts or be in child restraints and you must carry your SIP with you at all times.
The next stage, an Underage License is available to drivers 15 years or older, have held an SIP 6 months or more, and also completed at least 50 hours of behind the wheel practice including 10 hours of night driving, on top of completing the mandatory SIP driver’s education course.
Besides the documents needed for your SIP and a parent or guardian signatory for your consent form, you will also be required to pass a written Idaho Transportation Department exam and a driving test.
Restrictions on the Underage License are specific to your age. Under 17 year old drivers must only have 1 passenger in the vehicle under the age of 17 for at least six months from obtaining the Underage License. Under 16 year old drivers can only drive during the day and have no passengers in the front seat other than a supervising driver over 21 years old. Under 16 year olds may only drive at night with a supervising driver in the front passenger seat. This license is in effect until you reach 18 years old.
Full Unrestricted License
At 18 years old you will need to renew your driver’s license for a full unrestricted driver’s license. To receive your full license you must have no violations within the previous six months.
Out of State Transfer
An Out of State transfer to an Idaho driver’s license is required after 90 days of residency within the state. For those under 17 years old, if you have a driver’s license from out of state will be accepted as proof towards your Underage driver’s license in Idaho. If you never received your license, but completed driver training, proof will need to be provided in order to receive an Idaho Underage license.
DUIs in Idaho
Underage driver’s in Idaho, 21 and under, a Blood Alcohol Level of 0.02% is the maximum allowable limit. Underage driver’s are subject to license suspension up to one year under a DUI conviction and a fine up to $1000. Subsequent offences increase penalties.
The GDL in Idaho is meant to decrease the number of young person car accidents through mandatory driver training and a graduated system of licenses that increase driving responsibility.