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New MVD program helps 15-year-olds obtain learner’s permit without driver's education

Driving a Car
Posted at 1:38 PM, Apr 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-03 10:43:27-04

HELENA — The Montana Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) has a new temporary relief program to help clear a backlog of students trying to get driver’s education during the pandemic.

The new program was announced Friday and allows 15-year-olds to obtain a learner’s permit after passing a written exam without driver's education. Previously Montana teens had to wait until they were 16 to obtain a learner’s permit if they had not completed a driver’s education course.

After the learner’s permit is obtained, the driver will have to complete 50 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction with a parent or other responsible adult and passing the driving skills test over the next six months.

A student that passes the driving test with MVD will receive a graduated driver’s license, which limits the number of passengers they can have and restricts nighttime driving.

The MVD testing and behind-the-wheel driving requirements will remain unchanged with the new guidance.

“Thousands of young Montanans haven’t been able to get their learner’s permit because of lockdown measures and an ongoing instructor shortage in schools. Too many families are having to wait for more than a year until their son or daughter can get into a driver’s ed class,” Attorney General Austin Knudsen said. “We’re getting bureaucracy out of the way so Montana teenagers can get back on track, start learning to drive safely, and save their families money.”

More information about the Student Driver Relief Program can be found here.

The site includes a copy of the Montana Driver Manual, a parent’s guide to teen driving, how to schedule testing and a step-by-step breakdown of how to obtain a driver’s license under the new guidance.