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Apply for New Jersey Learners Permit

New Jersey Permit Application

Those who would like to receive a drivers license in New Jersey will have to start by applying either for a special learners permit or an examination permit, depending on the age. A New Jersey special learner permit can be issued to those to enter the graduated license program before reaching the age of 17 years, everyone else has to apply for a New Jersey examination permit. The application procedure is very similar for drivers permit applicants for all ages, however those applying for a special learners permit are required to complete a professional behind the wheel training program.

Graduated Driver's License Requirements

The type of the permit that you need to apply for is dictated by the New Jersey graduated drivers license program. Unlike graduated license laws in other states, the new Jersey's graduated license program applies to drivers of all ages, so even if you are 50 years of age when you choose to apply for a New Jersey drivers permit, you are still subject to the program.

There are three separate sets of rules in the graduated license program, each one designed for a specific age group. Currently there are three sets of permit requirements:

The Early Bird Road - suits New Jersey permit applicants 16 to 17 years of age
The Young Adult Road - 17 to 21 years of age
The Adult Road - 21 years of age and older

Drivers Education

Although you are not required to take a New Jersey driver's education class when applying for a New Jersey examination permit, you may still wish to do so. Drivers education classes are a great way to learn the state's driving rules and license requirements, so when the time comes to take a learners permit test, you are fully prepared and don't need any additional study materials.

Those who choose to apply for a New Jersey special learners permit prior to reaching the age of 17 are required to sign up for and complete a professional drivers training program. This program is different from drivers education, it does not contain any classroom hours and involves only driving lessons with a professional driving instructor.

Testing Required

Testing procedures are exactly the same, no matter how old you are or what type of New Jersey learner permit you are applying for. The state needs to make sure that you know the driving rules and are both mentally and physically fit to drive prior to allowing you behind the wheel, so you will have to take a vision exam, answer a few health-related questions and take a New Jersey permit test at the Motor Vehicle Commission.

Vision Examination

Your vision will be checked when you submit your application for a New Jersey MVC learner permit and the following minimum requirements must be met:

20/50 vision with or without corrective lenses. For sight in one eye only, that eye must meet the 20/50 rule and the applicant must have documentation signed by a licensed physician.

If you are unable to meet these requirements, a restriction that limits you to driving during daylight hours only may be placed onto your license. In some cases, you may be denied the driving privilege altogether.

Learners Permit Test

The permit test consist of 50 questions that cover New Jersey driving rules and road signs. There are many ways for you to prepare for the learner's permit test and most of them are free, so there is no excuse for not studying. Grab a copy of the New Jersey drivers permit manual, it is published by the MVC and can be downloaded on the MVC website or picked up at a local office. The test is based on the information put forth in the book.

Once you are done with the permit book, you may also try to take a few New Jersey learner's permit practice tests. They are one of the favorites among those applying for a drivers permit, since they show you exactly which driving rules you may have missed while preparing for the test, so you can go back and revisit the chapters in questions.

Required Paperwork

The paperwork that is required for applying for a New Jersey driver permit is pretty standard and very similar to the paperwork requested by the DMV in other states. Be prepared to produce the following documents when you visit the MVC to submit your application for a permit:

  • proof of identity
  • proof of age
  • proof of US citizenship or legal presence
  • proof of New Jersey residency
  • Social Security Number

If you are under 17 years of age, you will also need to furnish proof of enrollment in a professional behind the wheel program. Everyone under 18 years of age must also receive parental consent prior to applying for an examination permit.

Applying for a Special Learners Permit - 16 to 17 Years of Age

Start the application process by locating a driving school near you. Shop around as prices for driving lessons may vary greatly between different schools. Make sure that the driving school that you select is state-approved, so you do not waste your money.

Once the school is selected and you got your proof of enrollment, gather the required paperwork and visit the MVC. When you submit your application for a special drivers permit, you will take a vision exam and a learners permit test. If everything checks our and you pass the tests, your driving instructor will purchase the permit for you.

Note that at this point, your New Jersey special learner permit is only good for driving with a professional drivers instructor, you cannot drive with your parents. Once the driving lessons are completed, you need to have the permit validated by the MVC, after that point you are good to drive with anyone who satisfies the requirements for a supervising driver.

Applying for an Examination Permit - 17 Years of Age and Older

If you are at least 17 years of age, you are not required to sign up for a behind the wheel program prior to applying for a New Jersey examination permit. Just gather the required paperwork and visit the nearest MVC office during their regular business hours to file your application. Take a vision exam and a permit test while at the office. If you pass, you are issued with an examination permit.

Keep in mind, though, this is not a drivers license and you need to observe all New Jersey permit restrictions for the required period of time. If you are under 21 years of age, the permit must be held for at least six months. Those who are at least 21 years of age need to hold a permit for at least three months prior to taking a New Jersey driving test and receiving a full New Jersey drivers license.

Although adults are not required to take any professional driving lessons prior to applying for a New Jersey drivers license, we still advise that you take a lesson or two with a pro before you take the drivers test. A professional instructor will be able to polish your driving skills and teach you exactly what you need to know to pass the test.