How Old Do You Have To Be To Drive in Nevada?

For most teens, earning a learner’s permit is seen as their first step toward freedom and the responsibilities of adulthood. It’s also a very serious transition for parents, who do their best to keep them safe behind the wheel by instilling good driving habits and ensuring they understand traffic laws.

The Responsibility of Driving

Driving is a tremendous responsibility for children and parents alike. Just like drivers of any age, teens must abide by the rules of the road and are subject to the same penalties if they break them. If your child is eager to learn how to drive, it’s important to know at what age they can begin driving and the laws surrounding teen drivers in Nevada.

Teens in Nevada can begin driving a vehicle as young as 15 years old. However, several additional requirements must be met to keep them safe while learning on the road. Before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle on a public road, teens must qualify for their Instruction Permit.

How To Get an Instruction (Learners) Permit in Nevada

Nevada residents who are 15.5 years old can schedule an appointment at a Department of Motor Vehicles office to apply for their Instruction Permit. Visits to rural offices are available by walk-in on a first-come-first-served basis.

Provide Proof of Nevada Residence

To get an Instruction Permit, Nevada requires three types of identification:

  • A social security card
  • Two documents that prove address, such as an insurance card or other mail
  • Proof of identity such as a  U.S. state-issued birth certificate.

Other types of identification accepted include:

  • Valid Real ID or identification card from another state
  • Valid, unexpired United States Passport or United States Passport Card
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240)
  • Certificate of Naturalization (N-550)

Nevada law also requires anyone under the age of 18 to provide proof of school attendance when applying for an Instruction Permit or driver’s license.

Submit Required Applications and Documents

In addition to valid forms of identification and proof of residency, applicants must submit a completed Certification of Attendance (DMV 301) and an Application for Driving Privileges or ID Card (DMV 002) with a parent or guardian signature included in the financial responsibility section.

The beginner driver and their parent or guardian must also provide a signed and dated copy of the Minor Affidavit and Information Sheet (DP-38), ensuring they understand certain laws impacting minor drivers. This can also used to request cancellation of the minor’s permit or license.

Complete Required Tests

To obtain a learner’s permit in Nevada, you need to pass both a written test and a vision screening.

The knowledge test includes 25 multiple-choice questions and is based on the information provided in the Nevada Drivers Handbook. To pass, applicants must score a minimum of 80%.

Your vision must meet a minimum standard of 20/40 in one eye. If corrective lenses such as glasses or contacts are needed, a Restriction B will be added to the Instruction Permit.

Written testing in Nevada DMV offices is subject to early closures (as early as one hour prior to closing). Be sure to review the hours of your local DMV office and arrive with plenty of time if you plan to take the written test.

Pay Required Fees

A $25 testing fee is required prior to taking the written test. A $10 retest fee will apply to all retakes. An additional licensing fee of $22.25 is also required.

If you’re under 25 years old and homeless, you can get a driver’s license or ID card in Nevada without paying the fee by submitting the Declaration of Homeless Status (DMV 128).

Once you pass the tests and all the required documents and fees are submitted, you will receive an interim paper document that allows you to drive with an accompanying licensed driver. An actual Instruction Permit will be mailed within ten business days.

Instruction Permit Rules and Restrictions

In addition to following the required road laws, drivers with their Instruction Permit must be accompanied at all times by a driver who meets all the following requirements:

  • Is 21 or older
  • Has been licensed for more than a year
  • Is seated next to the Instruction Permit holder while they are driving

Nevada Instruction Permits are valid for one year. If you wish to apply for renewal, you must do so in person at a DMV office and have your parent or guardian sign another Financial Responsibility Statement on the Driving Privileges or ID Card Application (DMV 002).

How To Get a Minor’s Driving License

Gain behind-the-wheel experience

Once a teen has earned their Instruction Permit, it’s time for them to get out on the road. Nevada law requires young drivers to complete 50 hours of behind-the-wheel experience in a vehicle, with 10 hours of that experience completed in darkness.

Drivers must keep a written log of the dates and times of their driving hours, and submit this log when they take their driving skills test. Time spent behind the wheel with a professional driving instructor counts towards the required hours.

If driver education is not offered within a 30-mile radius of your residential address, and you do not wish to complete an online course, you must complete 100 hours of supervised driving experience, 10 hours of which must be in darkness.

Take Required Courses

Drivers earning their full license must complete driver’s education either through an in-person classroom course or an online course. Education courses can be taken at a public or private high school, or at a DMV-licensed professional driving school.

You can find a list of licensed schools on the Nevada DMV website. All professional driving schools will issue a Certificate of Completion, which you will need to present to the DMV when you apply for your full license. A report card or official transcript is also acceptable for high schools that do not issue a Certificate of Completion.

Pass Required Tests

Once a driver has completed a driver’s education course and logged their required practice hours behind the wheel, they will need to complete vision, knowledge (written), and skills (driving) tests at the DMV.

Skills tests are generally administered by appointment only. During the skills test, the examiner will check your car to make sure it’s safe to drive. They’ll also check your registration and insurance. Your car must be registered and insured, and it must be the same type of license class for which you are applying. You cannot use a rental car.

Additional requirements

In order to apply for your full license, drivers must also:

  • Be 16 years of age or older
  • Hold a valid instruction permit for at least six months prior to applying
  • Have no at-fault crashes in the six months prior to applying
  • Have no moving violation convictions in the six months prior to applying
  • Have no alcohol or drug convictions of any kind in the six months prior to applying

Regarding laws involving minors drinking and driving, it’s important to note that Nevada is a zero-tolerance state. This means it is illegal for anyone under 21 to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.02 or higher.

The zero-tolerance policy applies to both recreational and medical marijuana users. It does not matter if you are impaired by cannabis or not. If you have any amount of THC in your system, you can be charged with a DUI.

Penalties for a DUI conviction can include a fine, a driver’s license suspension of at least 90 days, and even jail time. Also, a Las Vegas car accident lawyer at Cloward Trial Lawyers will represent you if you were injured in a car accident in Nevada, and help you build the strongest possible defense.

Benjamin P. Cloward

In 2016, at the age of 37, Benjamin P. Cloward became the youngest lawyer in the history of the State of Nevada to be awarded the prestigious “Trial Lawyer of the Year” by the Nevada Justice Association. That same year, he became the youngest member of the Nevada, Las Vegas Chapter of ABOTA (American Board of Trial Advocates), and at the time was also the youngest person in the State of Nevada to be Board Certified as a Personal Injury Specialist.

Practice areas: personal injury, car accidents, truck accidents, wrongful death, Greyhound bus accidents, and walk-in tub accidents.
Location: Las Vegas, NV

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