Come on down to the Gem State! In this article, you will discover the steps needed to get your Idaho driver’s license, commercial driver’s license, and motorcycle license. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know!

Types of Idaho Driver’s Licenses

There are different types of driver’s licenses in Idaho. Here’s what you need to know about the types of IDs that are offered in the Gem state.

  • Class D – the standard driver’s license in Idaho. Allows the operation of non-commercial vehicles
  • Class M – the standard license in Idaho that allows individuals to operate a motorcycle (mopeds and tractors are NOT included)
  • CDL – allows the operation of vehicles that require a commercial driver’s license (CDL). There are 3 different CDL classes:
    • Class A – allows individuals with this license to operate combination vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) that exceeds 26,001 lbs.
    • Class B – allows individuals to operate single or combination vehicles that have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 20,001 lbs.
    • Class C – allows individuals to operate commercial vehicles that don’t fall into the Class A or Class B descriptions.

Idaho Driver’s License Requirements

You are required to get an Idaho driver’s license if:

  • You are a current resident of Idaho who has never been licensed
  • You are a new resident of Idaho and want to apply for an Idaho driver’s license or transfer your out-of-state driver’s license
  • You plan on operating any non-commercial vehicle listed above
  • You have legal presence in the state of Idaho and the U.S. (You are not required to obtain an Idaho driver’s license if you have a diplomatic driver’s license that has been issued by the U.S. Department of State)

You are not required to have an Idaho driver’s license if:

  • You’re at least 18 years old and visiting Idaho with a valid out-of-state driver’s license
  • You’re an active military member or dependent who is stationed in Idaho, as long as you have a valid out-of-state driver’s license, and haven’t established residency in ID
  • You operate farm vehicles (off public highways)
  • You ONLY operate registered off-highway vehicles and snowmobiles without accessing public roads (other than crossing the roads)

Applying for Your Idaho Driver’s License

To apply for an Idaho driver’s license, you must visit your local ID DMV office in person and present:

  • Proof of your:
    • Social security number
    • Idaho residency (2 documents)
    • Age and identity
    • Lawful presence in the U.S.
    • Name change (if applicable)
  • Payment for all applicable ID driver’s license fees

You must also:

  • Pass the vision screening
  • Pass the written knowledge test
  • Pass the road skills test
  • Have your photo taken

Fees for an Idaho Driver’s License

The fee for an ID driver’s license and the validity of your ID driver’s license depends on your age:

  • 18 to 21 years old: $30 (valid for 3 years)
  • 20 years old: $15 (valid for 1 year)
  • At least 21 years old: $35 (valid for 4 years)
  • 21 to 62 years old: $60 (valid for 8 years)

Keep in mind that you must also pay the following fees to take the ID DMV tests:

  • Written knowledge test: $5
  • Driving test: $28.50 (paid to the tester, and $6.50 paid to the county)

Idaho DMV Driver’s License Tests

You must pass both the written knowledge and driving tests before you will be issued your driver’s license by the Idaho DMV.

The Written Knowledge Test

The Idaho written knowledge test consists of 40 questions that pertain to traffic laws, safe driving practices, and related driving information found in the Idaho Driver’s manual. Click here to download the ID Driver’s Manual. You must answer 34 of the 40 questions correctly to pass the ID written test with a minimum passing score of 85%. The minimum age to take this written exam is 14 ½. If you fail the ID written exam, you must wait 3 days before you will be eligible to retest, and you are required to pay the $5 testing fee again.

Idaho Driving Test

Before you can complete the Idaho driving test, also referred to as the in-car or road test, you need to schedule an appointment. When you apply to receive your official ID driver’s license, check with the ID DMV office to receive a list of certified driving testers in your area.

You must bring the following with you to the exam:

  • A fully functional registered vehicle
  • Proof of a valid auto insurance policy

During your road test, you will be required to demonstrate that you can safely operate a motor vehicle and obey Idaho traffic laws. You will also be tested on your knowledge of the vehicle’s equipment. Different maneuvers you may be asked to perform include:

  • Starting and stopping
  • Driving on the freeway (highway)
  • Changing lanes

You will fail your Idaho driving test if you:

  • Are involved in a collision (or near collision)
  • Drive dangerously (reckless driving)
  • Make too many driving errors
  • Violate any Idaho traffic laws

If you fail the Idaho driving test, you are required to wait at least 3 days before attempting to retake the test. You will also be responsible for paying the $28.50 and the $6.50 fee each time you apply to retake the driving test.

Acceptable Identification Documents in Idaho

In Idaho, you can use different types of acceptable identification documents when applying for your ID driver’s license. These identification documents include:

  • U.S. photo driver’s license or ID card (with photo)
  • Birth certificate
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Armed forces ID cards

Examples of true full-name verification documentation include:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Adoption documents that contain your legal name as a result of the adoption
  • Certificate of registration documentation that verifies the formation of a domestic partnership
  • A dissolution of marriage document that contains your legal name as a result of the court order

Examples of acceptable residency documentation include:

  • A record of a financial institution (bank statement)
  • Resident utility bills (cell phone, electricity, etc.)
  • Insurance policy documents

Obtaining an Idaho Driver’s License Under the Age of 18

Receiving a Supervised Instruction Permit (SIP) is the initial step of Idaho’s Graduated Driver’s Licensing (GDL) program. If you are a teenager, you are required to complete the Idaho Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) GDL program. This program has different steps that help you become a safe and responsible driver.

Are You New to Idaho?

You have 90 days after you establish residency in the state of Idaho to apply for an ID learner’s permit or driver’s license to replace your out-of-state learner’s permit. If you are younger than 17 years old, you are required to follow the ID GDL process.

If you have already completed the Driver’s Ed course in a different state, but don’t have an out-of-state driver’s license, you are required to show your Driver’s Ed certification of completion and complete the supervised driving requirements.

If you currently have a driver’s license, you are eligible to transfer your out-of-state license to an ID driver’s license. You must pass the ID written knowledge test.

Idaho Learner’s Permit Restrictions

If you are younger than 17 years old, you are required to first receive your supervised learner’s permit (SLP) and be at least 14 ½ years old. You must obtain your SIP before you can start Driver’s Ed courses. Once you complete Driver’s Education classes, you are eligible to begin your supervised driving practice until you are eligible for an intermediate driver’s license.

Applying for Your Idaho Learner’s Permit

You must apply to receive your learner’s permit in person at an Idaho driver’s license office. You must provide the following:

  • Proof of your:
    • Age and identity (U.S. passport or certified original birth certificate)
    • Legal presence in the U.S.
    • Idaho residency (2 documents are required), such as your school enrollment records
  • A secondary document that supports your primary identity document
  • Your social security card
  • Proof of your high school enrollment (you can contact your school or local ID DMV for more information)
  • Your parent or legal guardian (they must sign a consent form and have proper ID)
  • Payment for the $14 Idaho learner’s permit fee AND $6.50 for the administrative fee

You are not required to complete and pass a written test to obtain your SLP. However, you are required to complete and pass both the Idaho written permit and road tests when you apply to receive your Idaho-restricted driver’s license.

Idaho Learner’s Permit Driving Restrictions

When you initially receive your ID learner’s permit, you are ONLY allowed to operate a motor vehicle with your Driver’s Ed instructor. Once you complete the Idaho Driver’s Education course, you will be allowed to operate a motor vehicle as long as a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old is in the front passenger seat.

All passengers in the vehicle must be wearing seat belts or seated in child safety seats, and you must have your SLP with you. If you violate any traffic laws or Idaho GDL restrictions, your ID learner’s permit will be canceled. You will be required to re-enroll in the program and apply for a new Idaho SLP.

Behind-the-Wheel Requirements

After you finish the ID Driver’s Ed course, your next step is to begin supervised driving practice. You are required to log 50 hours of driving experience, which includes 10 hours of night driving before you are eligible to proceed to the next stage of the ID GDL program.

Idaho Restricted Driver’s License

You are eligible to apply for an Idaho underage driver’s license when you:

  • Are at least 15 years old
  • Have attained your ID learner’s permit for at least 6 months from the date you completed the Driver’s Ed course or when you turn 17 years old (whichever comes first).
  • Have completed 50 hours of supervised practice driving

To receive your Idaho-restricted driver’s license, you must pass the written knowledge/permit test and the driving skills test.

Married, Divorced, or Name Change?

You may be required to provide name change documentation in the state of Idaho if you’re applying for a new ID driver’s license or identification card. Keep in mind that you may be required to submit name change documentation, such as a marriage license, to be issued a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or ID card in your true full name.

If the name that is present on your identification document(s) is different from the name you provide on your application, you must submit a document that establishes your true full name. Examples of documents that establish your true full name can include the following:

  • A marriage certificate
  • Adoption documents that contain the legal names as a result of the adoption
  • A name change document that contains the legal name of both before and after the name change
  • A certificate, declaration, or registration document that verifies the formation of a domestic partnership
  • A dissolution of marriage or domestic partnership that contains the legal name as a result of the court action

Does the REAL ID Act Impact Residents of Idaho?

Starting October 1, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will require REAL ID-compliant credentials that include a Star Card (REAL ID) driver’s license, identification card, passport, or military ID, to name a few.

Idaho residents will be required to obtain a REAL ID or passport to:

  • Board flights (including domestic flights)
  • Access nuclear facilities
  • Enter certain federal facilities

Is Obtaining a REAL ID Mandatory in Idaho?

No. You are not required to obtain a REAL ID in the state of Idaho. However, other REAL ID-compliant credentials will be required to pass through airport security and the security at courthouses and military bases.

If you do not plan on boarding a domestic flight or visiting a military base or federal facility, you will not be required to get a REAL ID-compliant Idaho driver’s license or identification card.

You are not required to attain an Idaho REAL ID – compliant driver’s license or identification card to perform any of the following:

  • Drive
  • Vote
  • Enter a federal facility that does not require an ID (ex. post office)
  • Visit a hospital or receive life-saving services
  • Apply for or receive federal benefits (such as Social Security Administration (SSA), Veterans Affairs, etc.)

How Do You Prepare to Apply for a REAL ID Card in Idaho?

There are different steps you need to take to apply for an Idaho REAL ID card. Although REAL ID cards are not required in the state of Idaho, they’re good to have in a variety of situations.

To apply for an Idaho REAL ID card, you must visit your local ID DMV branch and provide:

  • Proof of your identity, which can include your:
    • U.S. birth certificate
    • Passport
    • Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship
    • Permanent Resident Card
  • Proof of Social Security, which may include your:
    • Social security card
    • Paycheck (must include your full name and social security number (SSN)
    • 1099 or W-2 tax forms that include your social security number
  • Proof of Idaho residency (2 documents are required), which may include your:
    • Lease, mortgage, or rental agreement
    • Medical insurance statement
    • Account statement from a bank or financial institution
  • Payment for all applicable Idaho license or ID fees

REAL ID Fees in Idaho

Currently, there are no additional fees that are associated with obtaining a REAL ID compared to a standard ID or license in the state of Idaho.

  • 1-year standard license: $15
  • 3-year standard license: $25
  • 4-year standard license: $30
  • 8-year standard license: $55
  • 1-year commercial driver’s license (CDL): $15
  • 3-year CDL: $30
  • 4-year CDL: $40
  • Non-driver ID (under 18 years old to 21 years old): $10
  • 4-year non-driver ID: $10
  • 8-year non-driver ID: $20

Applying for a Commercial Driver’s License in Idaho

To get a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Idaho, you must follow all national regulations that are set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You will obtain your CDL through the Idaho Division of Motor Vehicles (ID DMV), which is a sub-department of the Idaho Transportation Department.

Important Federal Training Requirements Update

Per the new federal entry-level drivers training requirements that became effective February 7, 2022, the Idaho Division of Motor Vehicles now mandates new CDL applicants to complete an entry-level training course through an authorized provider.

You are required to complete this entry-level training before you can apply for your initial commercial driver’s license (CDL), upgrade your existing CDL class, or apply for a HAZMAT, school bus, or passenger endorsement.

Who Can Apply for an Idaho CDL?

To be eligible for an Idaho CDL, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
    • Federal guidelines require drivers who are under 21 years of age to operate commercial vehicles ONLY within the state of Idaho – also known as intrastate driving.
  • Attain a valid, non-CDL Idaho driver’s license
  • Have at least 1 year of driving experience
  • Provide proof of your lawful permanent residency IF you are not a U.S. citizen. To provide proof of your lawful permanent residency, you can present either a:
    • Certificate of Naturalization
    • Valid, unexpired Permanent Residency Card

Commercial Learner’s Permits in Idaho

You must obtain an Idaho commercial learner’s permit (CLP) before you can receive your commercial driver’s license. The process for obtaining your CLP can be complicated, but completing a CDL education course before receiving your CLP will help. However, completing the CDL education course is not required in the state of Idaho, the FMCSA, or the ID DMV.

When you’re ready, you can schedule an appointment with your local ID DMV office, and:

  • Bring the required medical paperwork with you
  • Bring your standard Idaho driver’s license
  • Provide proof of Idaho residency
    • Your address can’t be:
      • Your place of employment
      • A vacation or part-time residency
      • A P.O. box, mail drop, or general delivery
    • Acceptable forms of proof include:
      • Lease or mortgage agreements
      • Utility bills
      • School enrollment records
  • Bring your social security card
  • Pay the applicable fees for the written test of $5 and the ID learner’s permit of $29.

You will also need to take all the written tests that are required for the class of CDL you want. If you are applying for any endorsement, you must also take the written exams for the endorsements.

Once you complete the above steps, you will be an official commercial learner’s permit holder. Congratulations!

Idaho CLP Restrictions

Obtaining your CLP is an essential step toward receiving your CDL. However, you must adhere to a few different rules while you drive with this permit. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires all commercial learner’s permit holders to operate on PUBLIC ROADS ONLY, and you can only drive while you are accompanied by someone with a full CDL.

Your commercial license permit will be valid for 180 days. The Idaho DMV acknowledges the federal waiting period of 14 days before you are eligible to complete the skills test to earn your full commercial driver’s license, but it is currently not enforced in Idaho.

Idaho Commercial Driver’s License

Next, you must complete your skills exam. Once you’re ready, you can schedule another appointment with your local ID DMV office. Make sure you schedule enough time to complete the skills test, which typically takes up to 3 hours to complete.

You must bring with you:

  • Proof of identification – your driver’s license will work, but you can also bring:
    • Your birth certificate
    • A military photo identification card
    • Your passport
    • A valid Idaho concealed weapons permit
  • Proof of a valid Idaho auto insurance policy
  • Your Idaho DMV receipt that shows you passed and paid for your written exams
  • Payment for the skills test fee, which is a maximum of $200

You must arrange to complete the skills test in the same class of vehicle that you want to operate with your CDL. If you use a vehicle that is not in the same class of vehicle you want to operate while taking your skills exam, you may receive a restriction on your commercial driver’s license.

The skills exam includes:

  • Vehicle inspection
  • Basic control skills test
  • Road test

If you don’t pass the skills exam on your first try, you will be eligible to complete the exam again, but you must wait at least 3 days before retaking the skills exam test and repaying the testing fee.

Once you pass the skills test, you must pay the Idaho $40 CDL fee at the ID DMV. After paying the CDL fee, you will receive a temporary license. Your permit commercial driver’s license should arrive in the mail. Keep in mind that your CDL will be valid for 4 years. Once 4 years expire, you can renew your license if you choose.

Seasonal CDLs in Idaho

The ID DMV also offers seasonal commercial driver’s licenses for certain industries that are farm-related, such as:

  • Farm retail outlets and/or suppliers
  • Custom harvesters
  • Agri-chemical businesses
  • Livestock feeders

Seasonal CDLs will ONLY be considered legal:

  • For 180 days within a span of 12 months
  • Within a radius of 150 miles from the farm or business being serviced

You are only allowed to obtain a seasonal commercial driver’s license 2 times.

CDL Fees in Idaho

The ID DMV currently charges the following for CDLs and related services:

  • Testing
    • Written tests: $5 each
    • Skills test: a maximum fee of $200
  • Commercial learner’s permit: $29
  • Commercial driver’s license: $40
    • Adding endorsements: $20 each
    • Duplicate CDL or CLP: $20

The fees may be prorated if you are under 21 years old.

CDL Medical Requirements in Idaho

Before you can apply for a CLP, you must be deemed physically fit for the job. All applicants must inform the ID DMV regarding the type of driving they intend on doing with their CDL, in a process called self-certification.

Keep in mind that you may be required to submit additional paperwork.

Federal Self-Certification Requirements

You must self-certify your type of vehicle operating with the ID DMV. You need to self-certify one of the following driving categories:

  • Non-excepted interstate
  • Excepted interstate
  • Non-excepted intrastate
  • Excepted intrastate

Applying for an Idaho Motorcycle License

If you are a new resident of Idaho, welcome to the Buckeye state! If you are currently a motorcycle license or endorsement holder from a different state, you may be able to transfer your license without too much hassle.

As long as your out-of-state license or endorsement has not expired for at least 25 months, you are eligible to go to your local ID DMV office and:

  • Surrender your out-of-state motorcycle license
  • Submit proof of your:
    • Age, identity, and Idaho residency
    • Lawful presence in the U.S.
    • Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Pass the DMV’s written motorcycle knowledge test
  • Pay the required fees:
    • Knowledge test: $5
    • Endorsement: $15

Motorcycle Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for an Idaho motorcycle endorsement, you must:

  • Already attain a Class A, Class B, Class C, or Class D Idaho driver’s license
  • Earn a motorcycle permit
  • Complete an Idaho Skills Training Advantage for Riders (STAR) motorcycle education course IF you are under 21 years old
    • If you are older than 21 years old, this course is NOT required. However, if you take and pass the STAR motorcycle education course, the ID DMV motorcycle road skills test will be waived.
  • Pass the on-road motorcycle skills test ID if you did not complete a motorcycle education course

Idaho Motorcycle Permits

Before you can receive an ID motorcycle endorsement, you must earn a motorcycle instruction permit and already have a standard ID driver’s license.

When you’re ready, you can visit your local ID DMV office and:

  • Present proof of your:
    • U.S. citizenship
    • Social security number
    • Age
    • Identity
    • Idaho residency
  • Pass the motorcycle written knowledge exam
  • Pay the required fees:
    • Knowledge exam: $5
    • Motorcycle permit: $15

Motorcycle Permit Restrictions in Idaho

While you obtain an Idaho motorcycle permit, you are prohibited from operating your motorcycle:

  • At night or when lighting is minimal
  • On freeways
  • While transporting passengers

How to Get an Idaho Motorcycle Endorsement

Once you have your motorcycle permit, you must either enroll in and pass a motorcycle safety education course, which is required for motorcycle riders who are under 21 years old but will also waive the DMV road skills test for all other applicants, or you can practice with your permit and pass the DMV road skills exam. You must pay a $25 fee to your skills tester.

Once you pass the ID motorcycle course or exam, visit your local ID DMV office and present the following:

  • Proof of your:
    • Legal presence in the U.S.
    • Idaho residency
    • Date of birth
    • Identity
    • Social security number
  • Either your:
    • Motorcycle safety course completion certificate, OR
    • Written proof of passing the ID DMV road exam
  • Payment for the $15 endorsement fee

Once you complete these steps, you will be issued your ID motorcycle endorsement. Congratulations!

Idaho STAR Motorcycle Education

If you are younger than 21 years old, you must complete a Skills Training Advantage for Riders safety and education course before you can apply for your Idaho motorcycle endorsement. If you aren’t required to take the motorcycle education course, completing this course can still be beneficial.

The Idaho STAR courses, which are overseen by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, will waive your ID DMV road skills exam requirement since you will need to pass a test at the end of the course. During the ID motorcycle education course, you will learn different skills, such as:

  • Communicating and sharing the road with other drivers
  • Making smooth turns
  • Finding the safest riding path
  • Dealing with emergencies

This Idaho Skills Training Advantage for Riders (STAR) program is the ONLY course that is approved by the Idaho DMV.

How Much Does an Idaho Motorcycle Endorsement Cost?

The fees that are associated with obtaining your Idaho motorcycle endorsement are as follows:

  • Testing fees:
    • Written knowledge test: $5
    • On-road motorcycle skills test: $25 (will be paid to a third-party tester)
  • Motorcycle instruction permit: $15
  • Motorcycle endorsement: $15

Idaho DMV Locations

You’ll be happy to know that there are multiple Idaho DMV locations throughout the state of Idaho. When you visit an ID DMV location, you can handle your licensing needs. Check out this list and see if you can locate an Idaho DMV location near you.

Idaho Department of Motor Vehicles – Caldwell Branch
6618 Cleveland Blvd
Caldwell, ID 83607
(208) 455-6020
Call for business hours

Idaho Department of Motor Vehicles – Meridian Branch
1769 N Lakes Pl
Ste 100
Meridian, ID 83646
(208) 577-3135
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

Idaho Department of Motor Vehicles – McCall Branch
475 Deinhard Ln
Ste 106
McCall, ID 83638
(208) 634-8102
Monday – Friday (8:30 AM – 4:30 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

Idaho Department of Motor Vehicles – Grangeville Branch
320 W Main St
Grangeville, ID 83530
(208) 983-2217
Call for business hours

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