missouri-road-signEarning your permit and ultimately becoming a fully licensed driver in the state of Missouri means completing the steps of the Graduated Driver’s License Program (GDL), a multi-step process that will give you time to properly learn the rules of the road before you begin driving on your own. GDL programs have been proven to reduce traffic collisions due to inexperienced young drivers.

The GDL process in the state of Missouri includes three different steps:

  • Instruction Permit
  • Intermediate License
  • Full License

This guide will help you learn how to pass the Missouri permit test and go on to earn unrestricted driving privileges.

Instruction Permit

When you are 15 years old, you can apply for your Instruction Permit (or learner’s permit). This involves passing a written knowledge test (permit test) that will check how familiar you are with traffic law, traffic signals and road signs.

Begin by Studying

The more you study ahead of time, the better you will do on the permit test. We offer a free copy of the Missouri Driver’s Handbook for you to use, or you can request a physical copy by visiting the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR).

Commit to Practice Exams

If you aren’t taking advantage of practice permit tests, you are missing out on a wonderful resource. Our Missouri practice permit test contains similar subject matter as the actual test, and taking it a few times is a good way to figure out whether you’re ready for the real thing.

Locate a Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) Testing Site and Do Your Testing

Although the DOR is in charge of licensing, the MSHP takes care of the actual testing. First, you will visit a testing site and do your permit test and vision exam. Then, you will return to the DOR to apply for your Instruction Permit.

Relax and do your best on the test. If you studied hard and took practice exams, there is no reason to believe you won’t do well.

When you pass your tests, you will be given a Driver Examination Record (Form DOR-100), which demonstrates your success. Take that to the DOR office, also bringing along:

  • Proof of identity (a birth certificate, U.S. passport or citizenship documents).
  • Your Social Security card.
  • Proof of Missouri residency (utility bills, employment records or school records).
  • Your completed application.
  • $3.50 in fees.

Start Your Supervised Driving Practice

Now that you have your permit, you can begin to practice driving. However, if you are under the age of 16, you may only drive with a parent, legal guardian or driving instructor who is at least 25 years old and has been driving at least three years. During this phase, your parent or guardian must sign a Parent or Guardian Permission Statement (Form 5434), which you will need to keep in the vehicle you are using for your practice.

When you are 16 years old, you may drive with any licensed driver age 21 or older as long as that person is carrying their license at the time.

While holding your Instruction Permit, the state of Missouri requires that you complete 30 hours of daytime practice driving and 10 hours of nighttime practice. The supervising driver will need to log those hours in a Driver Experience Log (Form 4901).

Intermediate License

When you turn 16, you have held your Instruction Permit for 182 days and you have completed your practice driving, you are eligible to apply for your Intermediate License. This requires that you pass a behind-the-wheel driving test, which will check how well you can operate a vehicle and observe road laws.

Note: You can’t apply for your Intermediate License if you have had an alcohol-related conviction within the past year or any traffic violation in the past six months.

When you’re ready, visit an MSHP testing site and take your road test. Bring along a parent or guardian and a registered and insured vehicle to use for the test. You must receive a score of 70 percent or better to pass.

If it’s been more than a year since your written exam and vision test, you will need to take them again at this time.

Upon passing, head to the DOR office and bring along:

  • Your Instruction Permit.
  • A completed driver license application.
  • Signed proof that you completed your practice driving.
  • Proof of identity and residency.
  • Your Social Security number.
  • $7.50 in fees.

Until you are 18 years old, the Missouri Intermediate License comes with some limitations:

  • Unless you are accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or older, you may not drive between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. There is an exception if you are driving to school or work. You also may drive in an emergency situation.
  • You and your passengers must always wear safety belts.
  • For the first six months, you can’t have more than one passenger under the age of 19 unless the passengers are immediate family members.
  • After six months have passed, you can only have three passengers under the age of 19 unless those passengers are immediate family members.

Driver’s License

When you are 18 years old, you can apply for your full license as long as you haven’t had any traffic or alcohol violations in the past year. To do so, visit your local DOR office and bring along:

  • Your Intermediate License.
  • Proof of identity and residency.
  • Your Social Security card.
  • $10 in fees.

Your permanent Missouri Full Driver’s License should arrive in the mail within 10 business days. Congratulations! You are now an unrestricted driver.

Additional Information

If you’re moving to Missouri and currently carry a driver’s license for your state, you can trade it in for a Missouri license. Visit your local DOR office and bring along:

  • Your out-of-state license.
  • Proof of identity and residency.
  • Your Social Security number.
  • Either $7.50 or $10 in fees, depending on your age and whether or not you want to apply for an Intermediate or Full License.