Missouri's Graduated Driver License law requires that all first-time drivers between 15 and 18 years old complete a period of driving with a licensed driver (instruction permit), and restricted driving (intermediate license), before getting a full driver license.

If the permit holder is under age 16, the licensed driver occupying the seat beside the permit holder for the purpose of giving instruction while driving must be a qualified person, grandparent, qualified driving instructor, a qualified driver at least 25 years of age who has been licensed for a minimum of 3 years and has received written permission from the parent or legal guardian, or in case of disability (of the parent, grandparent or guardian), their designee.

At age 16, the driver may apply for an intermediate license. The intermediate license allows the driver to drive alone except during a late night curfew (1 a.m. to 5 a.m.). The driver and passengers must use seat belts, be free of alcohol and drugs, and obey the traffic laws.

At age 18, or within the 30 days immediately preceding his/her 18th birthday, the intermediate license holder may apply for a full driver license.

Definitions

Immediate family shall include parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, stepbrothers, stepsisters, and adopted or foster children residing in the driver's household. Parent shall include a foster parent, stepparent or adoptive parent. Grandparent shall include a foster grandparent, step-grandparent or adoptive grandparent.

Qualified driving instructor is defined as an instructor who has a valid driver education endorsement on a teaching certificate issued by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, or a driver training instructor employed by a private driver education program.

Qualified person is a parent, legal guardian, or a certified trainer with a federal residential job training program with a valid driver license.

STEP ONE: Instruction Permit

Eligible Age: 15

Cost: $3.50

Valid for: 0-12 Months

To Obtain:

Permit Notes:

  • Under age 16, you may drive only when accompanied in the front seat by a licensed driver who is:
    • a qualified person;
    • a grandparent;
    • a qualified driving instructor;
    • a qualified driver at least 25 years of age who has been licensed for a minimum of 3 years and has received written permission from the parent or legal guardian; or
    • a qualified driver designated by the disabled parent or guardian of the permit holder.
  • At age 16 or older, you may drive when accompanied in the front seat by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and has a valid driver license.
  • Seat belts must be worn by the driver and all passengers.
  • Your test paper alone is not legal for driving. Be sure to carry your permit with you.
  • You may renew your instruction permit.

To Graduate to an Intermediate License:

  • You must have an instruction permit for a minimum of 182 days (beginning the day after issuance).
  • You may not have any alcohol-related convictions in the last 12 months and no traffic convictions within the last 6 months.
  • You must have received 40 hours of driving instruction, including a minimum of 10 hours of nighttime driving instruction between sunset and sunrise, with a qualified person, grandparent, or qualified driving instructor.

STEP TWO: Intermediate License

Eligible Age: 16 to 18

Cost: $7.50

Valid for: 0-2 Years

To Obtain:

  • You must hold the instruction permit for at least 182 days (beginning the day after issuance).
  • You may not have any alcohol-related offenses in the last 12 months and no traffic convictions in the last 6 months.
  • A qualified person or grandparent must accompany you to the license office to verify you have received 40 hours of driving instruction, including a minimum of 10 hours of nighttime driving instruction between sunset and sunrise.
  • You must pass the vision, road sign recognition, and written tests at a Missouri State Highway Patrol driver examination station if previous results are more than one year old.
  • You must pass the driving test at a Missouri State Highway Patrol driver examination station.

License Notes:

  • Your test paper alone is not legal for driving. Be sure to carry your intermediate license with you.
  • Seat belts must be worn by the driver and all passengers.
  • Passenger restrictions outlined below may not be applicable to an intermediate license holder who is operating in agricultural work-related activities.

Driving Restrictions:

  • During the first 6 months, you may not operate a motor vehicle with more than one passenger who is under 19 years old and who is not a member of your immediate family.
  • After the first 6 months, you may not operate a motor vehicle with more than three passengers who are under 19 years old and who are not members of your immediate family.
  • You may not drive alone between 1 a.m. - 5 a.m. except to and from a school activity, job, or for an emergency, unless accompanied by a licensed driver 21 years old or older.

To Graduate to an Under-21 Full Driver License:

  • Your driving privilege cannot be suspended, revoked, or denied at the time of application.
  • You may not have any alcohol related offenses or traffic convictions within the last 12 months.

STEP THREE: Under 21 Full Driver License

Eligible Age: 18

Cost: $10

Valid for: 0-3 Years

To Obtain:

  • You must satisfy the requirements for an Intermediate License, including having no alcohol-related offenses or traffic convictions in the last 12 months.
  • You must have a valid intermediate license. Your driving privilege cannot be suspended, revoked, or denied when you apply for a full license.
  • You must pass the vision and road sign recognition tests. (You are not required to pass the written and driving tests if already completed.)

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