To obtain a driver’s license in Missouri, like almost every other state there are Graduated licensing rules. Standard definitions within these regulations apply. Such as a parent refers to biological parents as well as adoptive, stepparent or foster parent and family refers to grandparents, adoptive or step grandparents, siblings, stepsiblings, adoptive and foster siblings living within the same household. The process starts at age 15 and a full unrestricted license can be achieved at age 18.
Instruction Permit, 15 years
This instructional permit is the first phase in the state’s driving program. In order to obtain this permit you must be at least 15 years old. You must go to the Missouri State Highway Patrol office that provides exams and pass mandatory testing in vision, road sign recognition and writing. A qualified person must also accompany the underage applicant to the examination station at the time of application in person.
In Missouri this instructional permit allows a driver under 16 to drive only with a qualified driver. A qualified driver is defined as a qualified driving instructor, a driver that is at least 25 years old with a minimum of 3 years driving experience and has received written permission from the parent or guardian of the driver or a grandparent. At the age of 16, with an instruction permit the definition of a qualified person includes any person over the age of 21 that holds a valid driver’s license.
The instruction permit restricts the holder to only driving with a qualified person in the front passenger seat. The permit holder must also have their instruction permit with them at all times when driving. .
Intermediate License, 16 years
To be able to get an Intermediate License in Missouri you must have a permit of instruction for a minimum of 182 days, be 16 years old, have one year without any alcohol involved convictions, the last 6 months with no traffic violations and have received at least 40 hours of driving instruction with a minimum of 10 of those hours being at night from a qualified person as defined above.
You must also pass a road skills driving test at a driver examination station and complete the tests of the instruction permit if your prior results are more than a year old.
The holder of this license during the first 6 months of having the license must not carry more than 1 passenger less than 19 years of age who is not a family member. For the next 6 months you are then limited to a maximum of 3 passengers less than 19 years of age who are not a family member. You are also restricted from driving from 1am to 5am except on route to or from home to a sanctioned school activity or a job or in an emergency. Driving during this time can be done with a qualified driver.
Full License, 18 years
At the age of 18 as long as you have no alcohol related offenses or traffic violations within the last 12 months and you must not have a suspended, revoked or denied license when applying for a full license. You will need to apply in person at an examination station and pay the fee. This license is valid for 3 years or until you reach 21 years of age.
Adult Drivers & Out of State
If you are over 18 years old without a license you can apply in person at a State Patrol examination center and receive a Driver Examination Record if you pass the sign recognition, written and the vision tests. This Record is then submitted to the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) to obtain your first license. This license is then used at a local driver’s license office to submit to a driving skills test. If you pass the skills test you will be required to pay a fee and then receive a full unrestricted license.
If you are a new resident to Missouri you must transfer your license once you establish residency in the state. As long as your previous state’s license has not expired more than 184 days you will only be required to pass a vision test and must be able to recognize signs as a part of testing in order to receive a full license. A license fee is assessed as well.