Your First-Time Nevada Drivers License Guide

by Jim Thompson | Last Updated: March 16, 2021

Most first-time drivers in Nevada must complete a drivers ed course to learn how to drive safely. This step is required by the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (NV DMV) to obtain a driving permit or a drivers license. Fortunately, it’s not difficult going through one of these courses, and there are plenty available to choose from.

Steps to Getting Your Nevada License

If you’re looking to get your Nevada drivers license, we’re here to help. Welcome to our step by step guide to get you off of your couch and out onto the road. We know you have a lot of questions, so let’s get going.

No matter your age, getting your license can be an exciting, scary, and confusing time, sometimes all at the same time. First off, let’s clear up some Nevada DMV terms. In some cases, it seems they’ve gone out of their way to make it confusing.

Terms (and abbreviations) you should know:

Who Must Take Nevada Drivers Ed?

No matter your age, it’s probably not a bad idea for anyone to take a drivers ed course before getting their first license. However, Nevada only requires drivers ed for driving candidates younger than 18. You can enroll in drivers ed at age 15. You will need to provide a Certification of Attendance (DMV 301) to prove school attendance. This form must be completed according to the following guidelines:

There is only one way for driving candidates younger than 18 to skip drivers ed. This would apply only if there is no classroom course offered within a 30-mile radius of your residence, and you do not have access to the internet. If you meet these requirements, you can substitute 100 hours of practice driving in place of a drivers ed course.

The Path to a Nevada License in a Nutshell

The quick and dirty looks like this:

Now let’s take a look at what it’ll take to get those four steps done.

Step 1—Take Drivers Ed

A Nevada drivers ed course is comprised of either:

The classroom portion teaches topics like:

Nevada drivers ed can be completed online, at an approved driving school, or, if it is offered, your high school.

At the end of your course, you will receive a certificate of completion. Hold on to it. You’ll need it when you apply for your license.

Perhaps the easiest way is to complete the classroom portion of drivers ed is online. Taking drivers ed online means you can complete this portion at a pace and on a schedule that works best for you.

If you think completing a course online might be a good fit, here’s a list of some great Nevada online drivers ed providers.

Best Nevada DMV Approved Online Drivers Ed Course Providers

Website Name License Phone
Aceable.com Aceable Drivers Ed for Mobile and Web PRDS00046773 512-522-4174
MyImprov.com Online Driver’s Ed Course by Improv PRDS00043881 800-391-8536
DriversEd.com Drivers Ed PRDS00044949 510-433-0606
IDriveSafely.com I Drive Safely PRDS00027648 800-723-1955
TeenDrivingCourse.com Teen Driving Course PRDS00025879 800-482-6593
IGottaDrive.com I Gotta Drive PRDS00045402 877-336-6872
1stNevadaLicense.com A Better First Nevada License PRDS00029521 877-972-4665
eDriveStar.com Drive star Driving School PRDS00026531 559-229-4828
NVDriver.org National Driving and Traffic School PRDS00038508 310-848-5512
NevadaDrivingSchools.com Nevada Driving Schools PRDS00043874 702-463-4600
LasVegasNVDrivingSchool.com Las Vegas NV Driving School PRDS00042919 702-556-7938
TeenRoadRules.CourtEducation.com LRS Systems Ltd. PRDS00027789 702-732-0214
NVDriversEd.com NV Drivers Ed PRDS00044370 702-907-9992
CantorsDrivingSchoolNV.com Cantor’s Driving School PRDS00045079 702-985-7993
AmericanDriverEd.com ABC Drive Safe PRDS00042851 775-329-2888
DrvEdu.com All American Driving School PRDS00024188 775-825-1957
OnlineDriversEd.com Online Drivers Ed PRDS00026444 800-800-3579
Safe2Drive.com Safe2Drive PRDS00038686 858-764-0622

If you (or your folks) would prefer a traditional driving school experience, check out our guide to selecting the best driving school. 

How to Choose the Best Driving School for Your Teen

Step 2—Getting Your Permit

If you are 15 1/2 and have completed drivers ed, you can apply for your instruction permit.

Application for a permit will happen at your local DMV office. You’ll need to call or make an appointment online to submit your application.

When you arrive, be sure to have the following:

For most applicants, proof of identity and address can be supplied by showing a certified, U.S. issued Birth Certificate, your Social Security Card, and two documents to prove your address.

Check out the NV DMV list of acceptable documents to see exactly what you should bring. We’ve also provided a list of links to all of the documents mentioned on the DMV list at the bottom of this post.

After you have shown all of this to the folks at the DMV, hold on to it! You’ll need much of it again when you apply for your license.

Now it’s time for your written permit test.

The test will include questions about:

To pass the 25-question multiple-choice test, you’ll need to score 80%. Here are some suggestions on how to prepare.

How to Pass the Permit Test

Another way to give yourself a leg up on passing the permit test is to consider one (or more) of the following:

A permit practice test has everything the “real” test does, except the pressure. That’s because practice tests feature questions taken from actual DMV exams. It’s like seeing all the answers before the test even begins! Don’t head to the DMV without a dress rehearsal, you want to pass the first time.

You can find permit practice tests (both paid and free versions) all over the internet.

What If Your Test Didn’t Go Like You Planned?

What if you get to the testing center and, despite all your best preparation, your nerves get the best of you, and you wind up failing the test? First, don’t panic. Nearly 1 out of 3 test-takers fail on their first attempt.

Fail Your Permit Test? You’re Not Alone

If you do happen to fail, the DMV will give you two more chances, but there are some rules.

How to Retake Your Permit Test

Another Note—If you’re new to Nevada and started this whole license dance somewhere else, here are some tips that might help, or here’s what the DMV has to say about it.

I Just Got My Permit and Now We’re Moving?!?

Step 3—50 Hours of Practice Driving

Now it’s time to put that learners permit to good use, and you are required to use it for six months before you can apply for your license.

Before you can take a driving test, you’ll have to complete 50 hours of practice driving, and at least 10 of those will need to happen after dark. You’ll need to record these hours on a Beginning Driver Experience Log.

Your permit does come with some restrictions. You must be accompanied at all times by a licensed driver who is:

While you might be nervous at first, do your best to enjoy this time and always pay close attention to what’s going on around you. You never know the kinds of things, good and bad, that you might learn from the drivers around you. Also, do yourself the favor of driving in as many conditions as you can, places like:

It’s better if you don’t see these things for the first time on your own.

Since you’ll be using your permit for six months, there’s no reason not to drive WAY more than 50 hours! It can only do you good.

Step 4—Pass a Driving Test

Finally, the last hurdle, your driving test. It’s all good. You got this.

You must be 16 years old to apply for a full license. You must also have:

You must schedule an appointment with the DMV for a driving test. You can either call or schedule online. You will need your instruction permit number or Social Security number available when you make the appointment.

When you arrive for your appointment, be sure to have the following with you:

Told you that you wanted to hang on to all the stuff from when you got your permit!

The examiner will give you instructions on where to drive for the test. Serious traffic violations such as speeding or failure to yield will result in automatic failure. Examiners use a point system to grade other aspects of performance. If you fail the test, the examiner will explain why and instruct you on how to re-take it. A 30-day time limit can be imposed.

After you pass your test, you will return to the DMV to have your new license processed. The DMV will punch a hole on your instruction permit and return it to you along with a document that certifies your driving privilege. The actual license will be mailed to you within 10 business days.

In case you want to see what your license will look like, check out the Driver License Designs page.

Using Your New License

Per the rules of the Nevada Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Program, your new license will come with some restrictions concerning when you can drive and who you can have in the car with you.

TIME:

If you are under age 18, you can’t drive state-wide from 10 P.M. to 5 A.M. except when driving:

There are some individual municipalities with curfews stricter than the state rules. While they don’t apply specifically to driving, you should still know them.

PASSENGERS:

If you are under age 18, you may not transport any passengers under age 18 for the first six months after receiving your license. This rule does not apply to passengers who are family members.

A Final Note

Any licensed driver will tell you that you will never face a driving situation as complicated, nerve-wracking, and time-consuming as getting your license. By no means should you let your guard down once you’re behind the wheel but, rest assured. You’ll never face anything on the road that will compare with the process it took to get you your license.

Good luck as you work your way through this. Can’t wait to see you out on the road!

A Final Final Note

If you’ve made it this far, may we suggest you bookmark this page? You’ll probably be coming back to it often as you work your way through this!

A Few More Helpful Items from the Nevada DMV

RoadReady app from the Safe Roads Alliance (available on Android or iPhone)

The Parents Supervised Driving Guide

Additional Time Sheets to add to your driving log

Links to the Items on the List of Acceptable “Proof Documents”

Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240)

A Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550 or Form N-570)

A Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-560 or Form N-561)

Permanent Resident “Green” Card (Form I-551)

Form I-797

Form I-94

Certification of Nevada Residency (DMV 005)

Relief Agency or Shelter Certification (DMV 115)