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Apply for Missouri Drivers License

Apply for Missouri Drivers License

Whether you are a teenager who never held a license or an adult who holds a license issued by a different state, if you are a Missouri resident and would like to be able to drive on public roads, you have to apply for a Missouri drivers license. The application process largely depend on your age, due to the fact the everyone applying for a driver's license before the 21st birthday must follow the state's graduated drivers license program. The process of applying for a driver license in Missouri requires you to take a number of tests, such as vision screening, a knowledge test and a drivers license test. Applicants who are exchanging their out-of-state license for a Missouri driver license may be exempt from taking a road skills exam.

Driving License - Under 21 Years of Age

Due to the fact that teenage drivers have twice as many accidents per half the miles traveled, the Department of Revenue has established a separate set of licensing rules for everyone who applies for a drivers license in Missouri before reaching the 21st birthday. These rules are known as the Missouri graduated drivers license program and they were proven to be highly effective in reducing the number of teenagers that die on public roads every year. The program breaks the licensing procedure into a number of stages, each stage designed to teach the applicant a certain set of driving skills. Graduation to the next level is impossible until the requirements of the previous stage are met.

Your way towards a drivers license starts at a Missouri State Highway Patrol office where you will take a knowledge exam and go through vision screening. You have to be at least 15 years of age in order to be able to take the tests. If you pass the examinations, you are issued with a receipt that you need to present at the Department of Revenue, where you can submit your application for Missouri learners permit.

Once you have your permit, you can start practicing driving. The permit must be held for at least six months and you need to be no younger than 16 years before you can proceed to the next stage. During these months, you need to complete at least 40 hours of supervised driving with a parent or legal guardian, including 10 hours at night. You must also observe other Missouri instruction permit restrictions until the time when you get your license.

If all of the above requirements are met, you are good to schedule a driving test and graduate to the next level of the program. The DOR issues you with an intermediate drivers license that you will need to hold for the next 12 months. Although your intermediate license allows unsupervised driving in certain cases, it is still not a full license and you would do good following Missouri intermediate license restrictions.

When the holding period is up, you can visit the DOR and apply for a regular Missouri driver license. No additional testing will be conducted at the time.

Drivers License - 21 Years of Age and Older

Those who are already 21 years of age can skip the permit stage and apply straight for the Missouri driver's license. However, all testing requirements are the same, so if you do not have any driving experience, you should definitely go ahead and get a Missouri drivers permit first so you can practice driving before you take the road skills exam.

If you are sure that you know the state driving rules and are able to pass the knowledge exam, visit a local MSHP branch and take the permit test and the vision exam. Once done, you are provided with a receipt to take to the Missouri DOR where you can obtain a driver permit.

Practice driving for as long as you wish, but keep in mind that if you do not take a drivers license test within 12 months from the time the permit was issued, you will be required to do the knowledge test again. For most adults, 30-50 hours of supervised driving experience is usually enough for passing the actual driver's license test.

When you pass the drivers test, the Highway Patrol will provide you with your driving test results and you can take them down to the DOR where you will apply for your Missouri drivers license. Since you do not need to observe graduated license rules, you will be issued with a full unrestricted drivers license right away.

Testing Requirements

The DOR will not allow you behind the wheel until you prove that you know the driving rules and have the potential to become a safe and responsible driver. Drivers license testing in Missouri is conducted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol and you are required to take a vision exam, a drivers permit test and a road skills exam in order to receive a driver license.

Vision Exam

Vision screening consists of an acuity vision test and a peripheral vision test. The minimum requirements for an unrestricted Missouri drivers license are as following:

  • Minimum acuity at least 20/40 with either or both eyes
  • Peripheral reading at least 55 degrees in each eye or 85 degrees in one eye

If you usually wear glasses or contact lenses, you must also wear them for the vision exam. An appropriate restriction will be placed onto your Missouri drivers license and you will be required to wear glasses or contact lenses at all times while driving.

Those who fail the vision exam or are unable to take it at the MSHP office are required to have an eye specialist or physician to fill out a vision exam form. If both your natural and corrected acuity vision are worse than 20/160, or your peripheral combined is worse than 70 degrees , you are not eligible to receive a Missouri driver license or learners permit.

Knowledge Examination

The knowledge test is based on the information contained in the Missouri drivers license manual. The test has two parts and covers the state road rules and traffic signs. There are 25 questions on the Missouri driver's permit test and you have to answer at least 20 of them correctly if you want to pass.

Those looking for ways to prepare for the drivers permit test should turn their heads towards Missouri drivers education classes. Drivers ed classes provide you with a great way to learn the driving rules, get prepared for the permit exam and possibly receive an insurance discount from your car insurance provider. Most of the drivers ed classes also include free Missouri practice drivers tests that will help you identify the driving rules you may have missed.

Drivers License Test

You have to be at least 16 years of age to be able to take a drivers license test in Missouri and must already meet all of the graduated license requirements by this time. The drivers test is your chance to prove that you have control over the vehicle and that you are able to apply your knowledge of Missouri driving rules in real life situations.

In most cases, if you have at least 40 hours of driving experience, you are able to pass the driving test quite easily. If you are not confident that you can pass the test, go ahead and schedule a professional driving lessons. A professional driving instructor will be able to run a mock up drivers test for you and tell you what maneuvers you may need to practice before taking the road skills exam.

Required Paperwork

The following paperwork must be presented at the ROE when you submit your application for a driver's license:

  • verification of name
  • proof of birth date
  • Social Security Number
  • proof of Missouri residency

If you are under 18 years of age, a parent, legal guardian or a certificate trainer will need to testify that you have completed at least 40 hours of driving, including 10 hours at night.