Montana Graduated Driver Licensing

Montana's graduated driver licensing law creates a three-step program that allows new drivers under the age of 18 years to safely develop and improve their driving skills. Each step progressively increases the privileges and responsibilities of a new driver in an effort to reduce the number of motor vehicle crashes involving minors.

Step 1: Permit Period

  • Age and Permits: Teenagers may obtain a Traffic Education Learner's License (TELL) as early as age 14½ years old only if they are in a state-approved traffic education program. Teenagers may get a Learner's License from a driver exam station if they meet all of the following criteria: are 15 years old and successfully complete a state-approved traffic education program, or are 16 years or older, pass the required driver license tests, turn in any other driver licenses, do not have a license suspended, revoked or denied in any other state or jurisdiction, pass the medical requirements for the type of driver license desired, have not been found by a court to be mentally incompetent, alcoholic and/or a habitual user of illegal drugs
  • Length of Permit: A teenager must hold a permit for a minimum of six consecutive months before applying for a First-Year Restricted License. The permit is valid for up to one year.
  • Conditions During Permit Stage: Teen drivers must acquire at least 50 hours of supervised driving experience, including 10 hours at night. A driver with a TELL permit must be supervised by a licensed parent or guardian. A driver with a Learner's License must be supervised by a licensed parent or guardian, or a licensed driver age 18 years or older who is authorized by the parent or guardian. Everyone in the vehicle must wear a seatbelt. The teen driver must not get any traffic violations for alcohol or drug offenses in the six-month period before advancing to Step 2.

Step 2: First-Year Restricted License

When teens have satisfied all Step 1 requirements, they may apply for a First-Year Restricted License at a driver exam station. They must: pay the associated fees, bring all required documents: proof of identity, proof of Montana residency, proof of authorized presence, a completed Graduated Driver Licensing Parent/Legal Guardian Certification form

Initially, the driver license will show a restriction code on the front and back. This restriction remains in effect for one year. During this period, the following restrictions apply: Everyone in the vehicle must wear a seatbelt. Teenage drivers may not drive between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., with some exceptions. These exceptions including emergencies, farm-related activities, travel to and from school, church or work, and specific parent-authorized purposes. Law enforcement officials may contact the parent or guardian of a teen driver to verify the purpose for which the teen is authorized to drive between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. For the first six months, unless supervised by a licensed driver age 18 or older, a teenage driver may have only one unrelated passenger under age 18 in the vehicle. For the second six months, unless supervised by a licensed driver age 18 or older, a teenage driver may have three unrelated passengers under age 18 in the vehicle.

Penalties for violating the Step 2 license restrictions are: First Offense – between 20 and 60 hours of community service. Second Offense – suspension of the teen's driver license for six months

Step 3: Full Privilege Driver License

First-Year Restricted License restrictions automatically end on the date indicated on the back of the driver license, or when the individual turns 18, whichever occurs first. Once the teenager reaches Step 3, the driver license confers full privileges.

For more information on graduated driver licensing, go to the Graduated Driver License Law page on the Office of Public Instruction website.

What is Montana Graduated Driver Licensing?

What is Montana GDL? Montana Graduated Driver Licensing is a system for phasing in on-road driving, allowing beginners to get their initial experience under conditions that involve lower risk and introducing them in stages to more complex driving situations.

Take some time to watch the Young Drivers video here. See if your teen likes this video. If they do, they will love our Montana graduated driver licensing program.

  • We begin with combining the in-class with the behind-the-wheel training process concurrent with one another.
  • Then we add more hours behind-the-wheel to give the new drivers an opportunity to experience all four seasons and weather conditions under a controlled risk factor.
  • We take away the 6 hour driver training clock and base achievement and graduation on performance, skill and experience.

Remember when we were trying to teach our new teenagers as if we were traveling on a two-lane dirt road at 35 MPH, when our average traveled speed in Montana exceeds 55 MPH on a six-lane highway? Most families had a single vehicle in the fifties and sixties, and then to two vehicles in the seventies. The days of driving on weekends with mom and dad for the first year or two is over. In today’s hectic schedules, we are not allowing ourselves time to protect our Montana teens and teach them to drive as we should be. Parents need to realize that as the times change we must keep pace with that change.

Our driving generation, 35 to 50 years old, will be remembered as the worse driving generation in the history of the vehicle. We average 40,000 fatalities per year. Our generation needs to change the way we think and teach Montana graduated driver licensing.

If you look closely, you'll realize we spend about 12 years on basic education, reading writing, math, history and physical education…and only 6 hours behind the wheel training in a vehicle.

We need to be remembered as the generation that created the best Montana drivers in history. The generation that did something about the way we think and teach driver training. We need help from every mom and dad to complete this goal. We need to invest our time in our teenagers and take the time needed to teach our children to drive better.

This could mean as much as 1 or two years of guidance. And to do this you will need the very best Montana curriculum and training videos available. You will need to allow Montana graduated driver licensing to become part of your families dinner conversation and sharing experiences on new intersections, changes on the interstate on ramps or maybe a lost of a fellow student friend.

Montana Driver education and training is no longer a project to hire out to the local driving school. Parents need to get involved and stay involved for at least two or three years. Placing driving restrictions and hours on when a new driver is allowed to drive and with whom. This, in essence, is Montana Graduated Driver Licensing.


Online Video Library

As soon as you enroll, the student will have access to over 7 hours of excellent quality video content at the click of the button. All graduated driver licensing videos are also available on our Video Library DVD featured below. The online program is easy to follow, and provides over 100 video clips throughout the course to guide the teen driver along the way. A high speed internet access is required.

What is Graduated Driver Licensing?

Essentially an apprentice system, graduated driver licensing utilizes three stages. the first is a supervised learner's period, lasting a minimum of 6 months in optimal systems, then an intermediate licensing phase that allows unsupervised driving, but only in less risky situations, and finally a full-privilege license becomes available when requirements of the first two stages have been met.

Within this framework, substantial variation is possible in terms of the provisions of the stages and their duration. This variation often has created difficulty for jurisdictions that are producing a graduated driver licensing system. Lawmakers need to know what sections their system should include and what the features should be.

About Us About Us

NDT's foundational curriculum combines the at-home or classroom study with hands-on activities, focusing on all parts of the mind while examing the young driver's grasp of the lesson. Not only does this make concepts easier to learn and remember, it’s a blast!

There are seven levels to the curriculum, providing over 30 hours of accreditation. Each lesson ends with a written exam, which can be taken repeatedly if necessary to achieve the desired score.