New Hampshire Permit and Driver's License FAQ

  • Applying for Your NH License
  • Preparing for the NH Written Test
  • Taking the NH Written Test
  • Preparing for the NH Driving Test
  • Taking the NH Driving Test
  • Renewing Your NH License
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Applying for Your NH License: Frequently Asked Questions

What are the age requirements for getting started?

New Hampshire’s Graduated Driver’s Licensing Program differs slightly from the programs of many other states in that New Hampshire does not require new drivers to get a Learner’s Permit. Instead, New Hampshire’s GDL levels and age requirements are:

  • Driver’s Education & Practice Driving – 15 ½ years old
  • Youth Operator License – 16 years old
  • Full Driver’s License – 21 years old

What documents am I required to bring with me when applying for a license in New Hampshire?

  • Form DSMV450 – Application for Driver License
  • Proof of legal name, date of birth, identity & Social Security Number – here are documents that can be submitted
  • Driver’s Ed completion certificate
  • Form DSMV 509 – Driver’s Out-of-Class Log Sheet
  • Form DSMV 38 – Parent or Guardian Authorization Certificate
  • $50 for fee

Where do I file my NH driver’s license application?

You will file your application at a local office of the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles.

How can I contact my local office?

Visit https://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/dmv/locations/index.htm for office hours and contact information.

Do I have to take a Driver’s Ed Course?

Yes, drivers under the age of 18 are required to take driver’s education in New Hampshire. The course will include 30 hours of classroom instruction, 10 hours of driving with an instructor and six hours of driving observation.

What if I am new to New Hampshire?

New Hampshire only accepts valid out-of-state driver’s licenses. It does not accept Learner’s Permits. You will have 60 days to transfer your license. You must also meet the following requirements: are at least 16; have completed driver’s education; and have completed 40 hours of driving practice.

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Preparing for the NH Written Test: Frequently Asked Questions

What subjects are commonly covered on the written test?

The New Hampshire written knowledge test covers rules of the road, road signs and safe driving practices. All questions on the test are drawn from the state Driver’s Manual. Here are a couple of examples of content from the manual that could be tested for on the written exam:

  • The time it takes from the moment you see the danger until you step on the brake is called the REACTION TIME. The distance your vehicle has traveled during this time is called the REACTION DISTANCE. Tests have shown that the average driver takes about 3/4 of a second to put a foot on the brake pedal after seeing the danger
  • Alcohol can affect you differently at different times. Drinking on an empty stomach will affect the body faster than drinking after eating. Alcohol also affects you more if you are taking medicine or are tired.

How is the test formatted?

The New Hampshire knowledge test is multiple choice.

Are there a lot of “trick” questions on the written test?

No, the state driver’s manual specifically says “there are no trick questions.” All questions are from the Driver’s Manual so if you study the manual thoroughly enough you shouldn’t be surprised by anything you see on the test.

How many questions are on the test and how many do I need to answer correctly to pass?

The New Hampshire written test contains 40 questions and you must answer at least 32 correctly to pass.

What are the best ways to prepare for the written test?

Study the New Hampshire Driver’s Manual and take practice tests to identify any weak areas and direct your studies. We offer free practice tests on this website that are formatted like the real New Hampshire test to that you can get used to sitting for the exam.

Where can I get a free New Hampshire Driver’s Manual to study?

Right here! We offer the New Hampshire Driver’s Manual for free.

How can I improve my odds for passing the first time I take the test?

When studying the driver’s manual pay particular attention to measurements, distances and lengths as these are often asked about on the exam. You should also be sure to read the driver’s manual several times and take practice tests to verify your knowledge and see if there are any areas that you need to focus more study time on.

What should I do the night before the test?

What you don’t want to do is stay up all night cramming for the test. If you plan ahead and spread your studying out over several nights instead of trying to do it all in one night you’ll be much better off. In fact, it is best if you go to bed early on the night before the test to ensure you are well rested the next day.

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Taking the NH Written Test: Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to make an appointment to take the written test?

Contact your local DMV office to see if appointments are accepted and it is recommended that you schedule one if they are.

Where do I take the written test?

You will take the test at one of the DMV offices located throughout the state.

What do I need to bring when I sit for the written test?

You should bring:

  • Form DSMV450 – Application for Driver License
  • Proof of legal name, date of birth, identity & Social Security Number – here are documents that can be submitted
  • Driver’s Ed completion certificate
  • Form DSMV 509 – Driver’s Out-of-Class Log Sheet
  • Form DSMV 38 – Parent or Guardian Authorization Certificate
  • $50 for fee

Who should accompany me to the written test?

A parent or legal guardian should accompany you.

Do I need to pay a fee to take the written test?

Yes, you will need to pay a $50 fee.

What should I expect when I sit for the written test?

You will be given 40 questions and you will have 40 minutes to complete the test. The test itself is administered on a touch screen monitor, which is easy to use and doesn’t require any computer knowledge. You can only miss a maximum of eight questions and still pass the test. When taking the test you cannot refer to any notes or the driver’s manual. Here is a practice test formatted like the real New Hampshire test.

What happens after I pass the written test?

You will receive your Youth Operator’s License.

What happens if I fail the written test?

You will be allowed to retake the test.

How soon can I retake the written test?

You will have to wait 10 days to retake the test.

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Preparing for the NH Driving Test: Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve passed the written test, what are the next steps?

With your Youth Operator’s License you will have the following restrictions:

  • You cannot drive from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m.
  • For the first six months, you cannot drive with more than one passenger under 25 years old who is not an immediate family member
  • After that, you cannot drive with more passengers than there are seat belts in your vehicle
  • If you have more than one passenger under 25 years old you must be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 25 years old

How long after getting my Youth Operator’s License can I get a full license?

Your license will automatically become a full license when you turn 21.

Can I drive anywhere in New Hampshire with my Youth Operator’s License?

Yes, provided you adhere to the license’s restrictions, which include not driving between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m.

Should I practice driving solely during the day?

When practicing for your Youth Operator’s License, you are required to complete at least 10 hours of your 40 hours of driving practice at night.

Does anyone have to be in the car with me when I’m practicing my driving?

Yes, you must be accompanied by a licensed supervising driver who is at least 25 years old.

What should I do if I have a lost New Hampshire License?

You can apply for a replacement license in person at your local DMV office. You will need to provide a completed application form and identification and you will have to pay a $10 fee.

How can I be sure I’m prepared to ace the driving test?

You should study the New Hampshire Driver’s Manual and try to apply the safe driving tips to your own driving. You should also get as much practice as possible with a good supervising driver who can tell you what you are doing wrong and provide advice for how to improve.

Are there particular driving maneuvers I should practice?

Be sure to practice parking; turning, including three-point turns; stopping; accelerating; backing; and driving safely in traffic.

How can I simulate the driving test?

To simulate the driving test, complete a maneuver course – for example, in a seldom used parking lot. You should practice parking, backing, stopping, accelerating and making turns. You should also practice driving in traffic where you will need to display good defensive driving skills, such as signaling, obeying traffic signs and signals and more. If possible, try to drive on the roads that are actually used on the driving test to get better familiar with them.

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Taking the NH Driving Test: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I schedule my driving test?

Where do I take the driving test?

You will take the test at a local DMV office.

What should I bring to the driving test?

  • Form DSMV450 – Application for Driver License
  • Proof of legal name, date of birth, identity & Social Security Number – here are documents that can be submitted
  • Driver’s Ed completion certificate
  • Form DSMV 509 – Driver’s Out-of-Class Log Sheet
  • Form DSMV 38 – Parent or Guardian Authorization Certificate
  • $50 for fee
  • A well-maintained, properly functioning vehicle
  • Vehicle registration

Who should bring me to the driving test?

A parent or legal guardian should bring you.

What will I be asked to do on the driving test?

During the driving test the examiner will be assessing your skill in handling the vehicle in traffic; driving habits; working knowledge and understanding of traffic signs and rules of the road; how well you physically, mentally and emotionally handle the actual stress of driving in traffic; and your attitude toward driving and personal and public safety.

What are the most common reasons new drivers fail the driving test?

One common reason for failure is not being able to complete basic maneuvers with the car, such as not backing up in a straight line or not making a proper three-point turn. Another common reason for failure is not showing the proper attitude when behind the wheel – for example, showing a careless disregard for pedestrians and not obeying traffic signs and signals.

What are five mistakes I should be sure to avoid when taking the driving test?

  • Making a rolling stop
  • Following too closely
  • Not signaling
  • Speeding
  • Failing to check the blind spot when changing lanes

What happens if I fail the driving test?

You will be allowed to retake the driving test.

How soon can I retake the test?

You will have to wait 10 days to retake the test.

I’ve passed the road test, now what?

You will issued a 60-day temporary paper license and will receive your Youth Operator’s License in the mail.

What restrictions come with a New Hampshire license?

  • You cannot drive from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m.
  • For the first six months, you cannot drive with more than one passenger under 25 years old who is not an immediate family member
  • After that, you cannot drive with more passengers than there are seat belts in your vehicle
  • If you have more than one passenger under 25 years old you must be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 25 years old

What are the insurance requirements for drivers in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire does not require drivers to carry auto insurance. However, if you are in an accident and you do not have insurance you may be required to pay damages including medical expenses.

If you do not have the cash to pay you are liable for the payment and your license will be suspended until a settlement is reached.

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Renewing Your NH License: Frequently Asked Questions

What if I need to renew my license or replace a lost/stolen license?

You may renew a valid New Hampshire Driver’s License up to six months before the expiration date. The state DMV will send you a renewal notice approximately two months before the expiration date.

You can apply for a replacement license in person at your local DMV office. You will need to provide a completed application form and identification and you will have to pay a $10 fee.

Where can I renew my New Hampshire driver’s license?

You can renew your New Hampshire license online or in person at a local DMV office.

Will I be required to take a vision test when renewing my license?

Yes, when renewing in person you will need to take a vision test. To pass the test, you must be able to read the 20/40 vision line with both eyes. If you are blind in one eye, you must read the 20/30 vision line.


The New Hampshire DMV Test — What You Need to Know

You’ll never forget the day you receive your driver’s license.  For many people, it symbolizes the passage into adulthood. While for others, it symbolizes freedom and independence.  But before you can get your hands on your very own driver’s license, the state of New Hampshire has a few requirements.

While the state of New Hampshire does not issue learner’s permits, the New Hampshire’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) still requires you to pass a written knowledge test before issuing you a driver’s license. The test is designed to determine your understanding of the rules of the road, state traffic laws, and road signs.

Start Preparing Now With NH DMV Practice Tests

Failing the written test can be an embarrassing experience. Not only do you leave the DMV office empty handed but you also have to come back to take the test all over again.

Our goal is to help you prepare for the test with confidence.

We’ve done the hard work for you by gathering only the best study resources, including providing you with our sample interactive New Hampshire practice permit test. You’ll also find a copy of the official  New Hampshire Driver’s Manual. Need a motorcycle license?  We have resources to help you pass the motorcycle written test as well.  Our New Hampshire study material is a great place to start as you prepare for your test. Don’t put it off any longer.  It’s time to prepare for success.