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Apply for Missouri Learners Permit

Missouri Learners Permit Application

If you are trying to get a drivers license before your 21st birthday and you have not been licensed previously, you will need to apply for a Missouri instruction permit first. The permit will allow you to practice driving while being supervised by another licensed driver, so you can obtain some driving experience before you take the road test. When you apply for a learners permit in Missouri, you are required to complete a number of testing procedures, such as vision screening and a knowledge test based on the state driving rules and safe driving practices. Make sure you know what restrictions apply to the Missouri drivers permit as you will have to observe them until you get your first license.

Graduated Drivers License

It is a widely known fact that teen drivers are much more likely to be involved in a traffic accident than an average adult driver is. There are a few factors at play here and lack of driving experience is one of the most important ones. Combine this lack of driving experience with the fact that teenagers are more likely to take risks and frequently disregard basic safety precautions, such as wearing a seat belt and you got yourself a very dangerous mix. That's why the Department of Revenue has developed a set of rules and restrictions that must be observed by all teenage drivers. These rules came to be known as the Missouri graduated license program and it applies to everyone who chooses to apply for a Missouri drivers license before reaching the age of 21 years.

Required Testing

Before the DOR will allow you to get behind the wheel, you must prove that you know the state driving rules and that you possess the health required for operating a vehicle. Driver testing in Missouri is performed by the Missouri State Highway Patrol and they will administer a drivers permit test and vision screening before the DOR will issue you with a permit.

Vision Screening

Vision screening consists of an acuity vision test and a peripheral vision test. The minimum requirements for an unrestricted Missouri learners permit 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 learners permit or drivers license.

Knowledge Exam

The knowledge exam is also known as the Missouri permit test and it contains two parts, one of them covering the road signs and the other one based on Missouri driving rules and regulations. The test consists of 25 multiple choice questions and you need to answer at least 20 of them correctly. Permit test questions are originate from the information provided in the drivers permit book, so if you are looking for ways to prepare for the test, you should definitely go ahead and study the book.

Drivers permit applicants who aren't sure whether they are ready for the learners permit test can go ahead and take a Missouri permit practice test online. Practice tests cover the same topics as the real permit exam and should give you a good estimate of how well you can do on the real DOR permit test.

Paperwork Requirements

Your Missouri learners permit serves a dual purpose. Not only does it allow you to practice driving, but it can also serve as means of identification, so before you are issued with a permit, you are required to prove that you are really the person you claim to be. The following paperwork must be filed along with the application for a Missouri DOR instructional permit:

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

Learners permit applicants under the age of 18 years will need to have a parent or legal guardian to be present at the time of the application. The parent will need to sign a permission statement.

If you are not sure as to what documents may be used as proof of identification, please refer to the Missouri drivers permit book or the DOR website, both of them contain a full list of acceptable documents.

Applying for an Instruction Permit - Under 21 Years of Age

The minimum age when you can apply for a Missouri learners permit is 15 years. In order to do so, visit a local MSHP office where you will take a vision exam and the permit test. Once the tests are passed, you are given a receipt that you can present at a DOT branch where you submit the actual application for a permit. Keep in mind that you must have a parent or legal guardian present at the office when the application is filed, the application will not be accepted without parental signature.

Applying for Drivers Permit - 21 Years of Age and Older

Those who are at least 21 years of age are not required to apply for a drivers permit at all and can aim straight for a drivers license. However, this option should be taken only by those who have previous driving experience and are able to pass the Missouri driving test. If you have never held a license before, you should definitely go ahead and apply for a permit first.

The first thing you need to do is to learn Missouri driving rules. Once done, go down to a local MSHP office where you can take a vision exam and a permit test. If you pass, you are provided with a form that reflects your testing score. Take the form to the DOR along with other required paperwork and you will be issued with an instruction permit there.

Operating Under a Permit

The main and only purpose of the drivers permit is to allow you to practice driving before you take the road test, the permit is not meant for granting you full driving privileges. Keep this in mind while you are operating under a learners permit and remember that you are to observe Missouri permit restrictions at all times. You cannot drive alone and must be supervised by a licensed driver at least 21 years of age at all times. If you are under 16 years of age, the supervising driver must be your parent, step-parent or legal guardian.