Only 1 permit separates teen drivers from their full license in the state of Nevada, making it one of the lowest full license states for teens in the US. However, curfews placed on young drivers may mitigate this early full license privilege.
18 & Younger Permits
Classroom Driver Education, 15 years old
Although not considered a driver “license” and not required to get your Instruction permit, driver education is required in order to receive your full license in Nevada. The approved driver’s education course in Nevada requires 30 hours of in-classroom or online instruction and 50 hours of behind the wheel experience. If an approved driver school is not within a 30 mile radius of your home, you would be required to have 100 hours of behind the wheel experience before applying for a full license.
Some private schools offer15 hours of classroom teaching with only 5 hours behind the wheel instruction, but these schools must be approved by the DMV in order to qualify for your full license. A Certificate of Completion from an approved school must be presented upon applying for your full driver’s license.
Instruction Permit, 15 years, 6 months old
The first permit that Nevada drivers can legally get is the Instruction permit that can be obtained at 15 years and 6 months old. Not allowing students to obtain their beginners until 18 months after the earliest possible date compared to other states in the US may help their overall young driver’s fatality statistics.
Teen drivers now also need to meet mandatory school enrollment and attendance in order to qualify for this first permit. This Certification of Attendance, DMV 301 must be available at the time of registering for the Instruction Permit. When applying for the Instruction Permit, you must pass a vision and written test and have a parent or guardian sign the financial responsibility portion of the application.
Driving Restrictions, 18 years and younger
The state takes a novel approach to driving restrictions. Any driver under 18 years old essentially has a restricted license. This is why the state only has truly 1 stage to its graduated license program, since even if you have a full license under the age of 18 there are still driving restrictions.
There is a state-wide driving curfew for all underage drivers from 10pm to 5am, although there are also local underage curfews that may increase this curfew time. Scheduled events for work or school are exceptions to this rule, but evidence must be available to officers if pulled over. There are also passenger restrictions for all underage drivers; for the first six months of the license they may not carry any passengers that are not immediate family. Underage BAC limits are set at 0.2%.
Interestingly as well, parents or guardians can at any time fill out a DMV form to have the license cancelled at any time prior to the underage driver’s 18th birthday. Since the parent is responsible financially, the state feels it is their right to allow their teenage the privilege of driving.
Full License, 16 years
The surprise of this system gives 16 year olds the ability to get a ‘full license’ although it is restricted like many other states until 18 years old. So although it seems like the licensing system allows younger drivers a full license, in fact it is limited potentially more than other states that allow a full license at 17 without the same restrictions.
In order to qualify for the full license, a driving skills test, a driver’s education course and the required 50 hours of driving certificate must be passed or completed.
Adult Drivers & Out of State
Underage drivers under 21 that have received a full license in another state are eligible for a full license in Nevada without driver’s education. Written and vision tests however are still required. If you have not received a full privilege license from your home state after moving to Nevada, you will be required to follow the graduated licensing as described above.
Adults over 21 need to change over to a Nevada license within 30 days of becoming a resident of the state.