Frequently Asked Questions

Am I required to take a motorcycle training course?
In Montana, if you want to legally operate a motorcycle or scooter on streets and highways, you are not required to pass a motorcycle training course. However, the Montana DMV recommends drivers to attend a motorcycle training course in order to advance the ability of all riders. There are three types of motorcycle training courses, including:

  • Basic RiderCourse (BRC)
  • Basic RiderCourse (BRC2)
  • Advanced RiderCourse (ARC)

Apart from this, you are required to pass a written and driving test in order to obtain a motorcycle endorsement on your drivers license. To find out more details about this, read the Montana Motorcycle Supplement.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in Montana

Am I required to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle?
Montana state law requires that all motorcycle drivers and passengers under 18 years of age wear a protective headgear upon the head when riding a motorcycle. The headgear must meet the standards stated by the Montana Department of Justice.
Can I renew my commercial drivers license online?
Montana residents who possess a CDL license and need a CDL renewal do not have the option of renewing their CDL license online, so they must either visittheir local Montana DMV office in person or mail the required renewal documentation to the Montana DMV. The renewal process must be completed six months before the expiration date and you need to present the following documents to the local Montana DMV office:

For more information: How to Renew a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in Montana

Can I take the DMV written test online?
The state of Montana does not allow taking the written drivers test online. You must present certain documentation to the local Montana DMV office along with parental consent. In order to avoid a long wait or delay, schedule an appointment in advance. However, you can prepare yourself through the learners permit practice test or by reading thoroughly the Montana Driver Manual.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Montana

Can I use my state CDL anywhere in the United States?
In Montana, if you want to operate a commercial motor vehicle anywhere in the United States, you must be at least 21 years old. Montana residents in possession of a CDL license are required to submit CDL Self-Certification Classification and Medical Documentation classifying them as one of the following:

  • Interstate Non-Excepted: Operates in interstate commerce and meets the qualification requirements.
  • Montana-Only (Intrastate) Non-Excepted: Operates in only intrastate commerce and meets the qualification requirements.
  • Interstate Excepted: Operates in interstate commerce but engages exclusively in transportation or operation.

For more information: Montana Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

Do I need a motorcycle license to ride a scooter or moped?
Montana residents who own and want to operate scooters or mopeds must get a motorcycle endorsement on their drivers licenses in order to legally operate the vehicles on the road. The state of Montana has certain regulations, which require the drivers to pass a written drivers test and a driving test. For additional details about the exams and the motorcycle endorsement, read the Montana Motorcycle Supplement.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in Montana

Do I need to take a drivers ed course?
If you are a Montana resident under the age of 16, you must enroll or complete a state approved drivers ed in order to apply for a learners permit. If you are 18 years old or older, you must complete a state-approved drivers ed course or hold a learners permit for a minimum of 30 days, before applying for a new license.

For more information: Driver’s Education in Montana

How can I get a veteran designation on my ID card?
If you are a veteran in Montana, you are permitted by a state law to have a veteran designation written on the front of your ID card. In order to apply for this designation, you need to complete and submit a Add Veteran Designation to Driver License or ID Card form to your local Montana DMV office.This designation not only presents your service, but also helps you in obtaining veteran discounts.
How do I apply for a commercial drivers license?
Montana residents who want to apply for a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) must visit a Montana DMV office in person. If you are a vehicle operator who holds a regular Class D drivers license, you must provide only a proof of Social Security number and a valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC). If you do not have a valid Class D drivers license, you should do the following upon visiting any Montana DMV office:

  • Bring the required documents:
    • Proof of identity
    • Proof of Montana residency
    • Proof of authorized presence
    • Proof of Social Security number
  • Pass the required exams:
    • Written drivers test
    • Vision exam
    • Driving test

For more information: Montana Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

How do I apply for a learner’s permit?
In order to apply for a learners permit in Montana, you first need to decide for which type of learners permit you will file an application at your local Montana DMV office. Montana provides the following types of learning permits:

  • Traffic Education Learner License (TELL): For this type of license you must be 14 and a half years old. You also need to either have already started or successfully completed a drivers ed course.
  • Traffic Education Permit (TEP: This type of license is only valid when you are a student already enrolled in a drivers ed course and when you are under a supervision of an instructor.
  • Learner License: For this type of license you need to be 16 years old without drivers ed, or 15 years old with completed drivers ed. You are allowed to drive with this permit only if accompanied by a licensed driver who is 18 years old or older.

After having decided for which type of learners permit you are planning to apply, you should schedule an appointment and then submit an application to your local Montana DMV office. You will need to:

  • Provide parental consent and complete the graduated driver licensing process.
  • Pass written, vision and driving tests.
  • Provide proof of your:
    • Identity.
    • Montana residency.
    • Authorized presence.
  • Pay the required fee for learners permit.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Montana

How do I apply for a motorcycle license?
In Montana, when you plan to apply for a motorcycle license, have in mind that you must first obtain a drivers license and only then you can apply for a motorcycle endorsement. You can file an application by visiting one of the nearest Driver Exam Stations at any Montana DMV office. In order to obtain a motorcycle endorsement, you must complete the following steps:

  1. Be 16 years old (or 15 years old with a drivers ed course passed and approved by the Montana Department of Justice)
  2. Have a valid Montana drivers license
  3. Successfully complete the motorcycle knowledge and skills tests
  4. Pay the required motorcycle endorsement fee

To study for the knowledge and skills tests, refer to the Montana Motorcycle Supplement.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in Montana

How do I get a duplicate ID card?
Residents of Montana, who have lost, misplaced or damaged ID cards, may contact the nearest Driver Exam Station at your Montana DMV office for information on obtaining an identification card replacement. A duplicate ID card will not be issued if the card is lost or destroyed or the personal information on the card has changed. However, the individual may re-apply for a new ID card. Upon arrival, you should bring the damaged ID card and the following documents:

  • Proper identification (either two primary identification documents, or one primary and one secondary identification document)
  • Proof of autorized presence
  • Proof of Montana residency, in case your address has changed

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Montana Driver’s License or ID Card

How do I renew my driving permit?
In Montana, there is no renewal process for a learners permit. Drivers under 18 need to hold a learners permit for a minimum of six months before they can apply for a first-year restricted license. First-year restricted license ends when the individual turns 18 or on the date written on the back of the drivers license. At that moment, the restricted license converts to a full privilege drivers license.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Montana

How do I renew my ID card?
If you want to renew ID card in Montana, you need to visit your local Montana DMV office in person and bring the following documents:

  • Proof of identity (either two primary identification documents, or one primary and one secondary identification document):
    • Primary documents:
      • A color photo driver license or ID card not expired for more than four years and issued by a US or Canadian jurisdiction
      • A certified birth certificate, issued by a US or Canadian jurisdiction
      • Certificate of birth abroad of a US citizen
      • A valid, unexpired passport or passport card, issued by the US Department of State or other jurisdiction
      • One valid, unexpired document issued by the USCIS
    • Secondary documents:
      • An original US social security card or Canadian insurance card
      • A certified copy of a marriage certificate
      • A US or Canadian expired drivers license or ID card
      • A current US or Canadian jurisdiction photo ID card
      • A current school photo ID card with the student’s name and identification number
    • Provide proof of authorized presence
    • Provide proof of Montana residency, in case your address has changed
    • Pay the ID card renewal fee

For more information: How to Apply for a Montana Identification Card

How do I renew my medical report for a commercial license?
To renew a medical report for your Montana commercial drivers license, you must provide the Montana DMV with a copy of your new MEC prior to expiration of your current certificate.

If a commercial driver does fails to submit a new MEC before the expiration date of their expiring MEC, their CDL license will be downgraded to non-commercial driver’s license. This action will be taken within 10‐days of the MEC expiration date and the driver will no longer be valid to operate a commercial motor vehicle.

For more information: How to Renew a CDL in Montana

How do I renew my motorcycle license?
Drivers in Montana who have a motorcycle endorsement on their drivers license must renew the motorcycle endorsement at the same time of their drivers license renewal. The Montana DMV will notify you by mail of the expiration date of your drivers license with a motorcycle endorsement, two months in advance. The motorcycle license can be renewed by mail or in person at your local Montana DMV office.

For more information: How to Renew/Replace a Motorcycle License in Montana

How does a military member obtain a motorcycle license?
When Montana residents are on active military duty overseas, they will have to do the following in order to obtain a motorcycle endorsement on their Montana driver license:

  • Complete a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course
  • Send identification, certificate of completion of the MSF course and an amount of $2 to the Montana DMV
  • Take the written test that the DMV will send to your commanding officer, so that you can take it under his supervision at his office, and tell him to send it back to Montana DMV

After all of the aforementioned steps are completed, the Montana DMV will add the motorcycle endorsement on your drivers license and send it to you.

However, if you are stationed in any state in America, then the Montana DMV will not add any endorsement to your drivers license, and you can either exchange your Montana drivers license for one from the state where you are stationed, or add the motorcycle endorsement when you get back to Montana.

How long do I need my learners permit before I can get my drivers license?
In Montana, there is a three-step process in obtaining a drivers license:

  • Learners permit period
  • First-year restricted license period
  • Full privilege drivers license

If you are a teenager under 18 in Montana, you will need to hold your learners permit for a minimum of six months before you can apply for a first-year restricted license. First-year restricted license ends on the date written on the back of the drivers license, or when the individual turns 18. Once it expires, the restricted driving license converts to a full privilege drivers license.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Montana

How long will it take to get my new ID card?
Montana residents who want to obtain an ID card can do that only in person at a local Montana DMV office. Once you have successfully applied for a Montana ID card, you will immediately be given your new card.

For more information: How to Apply for a Montana Identification Card

How often do I need to renew my CDL license?
As a Montana resident, you need to get a CDL license renewal before the expiration date written on the license. The validation and duration of a CDL license in Montana are different due to the vehicle operator’s age, but if you are between 21 and 70 years old, your CDL license is valid for five years. Your CDL license usually expires on your birthday, so the renewal process must be completed six months before the expiration date. Upon renewing CDL license, you must provide the following:

For more information: How to Renew a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in Montana

If I’m out of state and lost my ID, how can I get a new one?
Montana residents who are living out-of-state and who have lost their ID card, must apply for an ID card replacement by calling 406-444-3933 or sending the required paperwork via mail to the following address:

Motor Vehicle Division

302 N. Roberts, Third Floor, Scott Hart Bldg

P.O. Box 201430, Helena, MT 59620-1430

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Montana Driver’s License or ID Card

Is there a minimum age I have to be to get a commercial drivers license?
If you are a Montana resident and you wish to apply for a CDL license, you must be at least 18 years old. If you want to obtain an interstate CDL license and to transport hazardous materials or operate a double/triple trailer, then you must be 21 years old. To apply for a CDL license, either for an intrastate or interstate CDL license, visit your local Montana DMV office.

For more information: Montana Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

What are the age restrictions to ride a motorcycle?
For Montana residents, the age restrictions on motorcycle endorsements are the same as the age restrictions for regular drivers license. Below are listed the age restrictions according to the type of drivers license:

  • Traffic Education Learner License (TELL): 14 and a half years old
  • Learner License: 16 years old (without drivers ed) or 15 years old (with completed drivers ed)

Once the drivers receive a full privilege drivers license, they can apply for a motorcycle endorsement.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in Montana

What are the available commercial license endorsements?
In Montana, CDL license endorsements are required to be done before the vehicle operator holding a CDL license may transport passengers or cargo in a commercial motor vehicle. Montana law presents the following endorsements:

  • Hazardous Materials endorsement (Class H)
  • School Bus (Class S)
  • Tank endorsement (Class N)
  • Passenger endorsement (Class P)
  • Double/Triple Trailer endorsement (Class T)

To apply for a CDL license endorsement, contact your local Montana DMV office.

For more information: Montana Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

What are the fees associated with an ID card?
Montana residents who apply for an ID card must submit a payment for the ID card to the local DMV office, and this payment varies according to the age of the resident:

  • If you are under 21 years old: $8
  • If you are 21 years old or older: $16

These fees are the same for a renewed or replaced ID card.

For more information: How to Apply for a Montana Identification Card

What are the learners permit restrictions during my first year?
Montana residents have the following learners permit restrictions during their first year:

  • Drivers must acquire at least 50 hours of supervised driving (10 hours at night).
  • A driver with a traffic education learner license (TELL) must be supervised by a parent or legal guardian.
  • A parent, legal guardian, or a licensed driver above 18 years must supervise a driver with a learners permit.
  • Everyone in the vehicle must wear a seatbelt.
  • The driver must not receive any traffic violations or alcohol/drug-related offenses in the six-month period prior to the first-year restricted license.
  • The driver must hold the learners permit for a minimum of six months in order to be able to advance to the first-year restricted license.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Montana

What are the medical certifications required to obtain a CDL?
If you are a Montana resident who wants to obtain a commercial drivers license, you must present the required documentation to the local Montana DMV office. One of the requirements you must meet before receiving a CDL license is to be medically certified by an approved medical examiner. After that you must submit a valid copy of your Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC) to your local Montana DMV office. If you fail to present these documents to the Montana DMV, your commercial licensing status will be downgraded to non-commercial driver’s license.

For more information: Montana Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

What are the penalties for getting a traffic ticket with a driver’s permit?
If you are a Montana resident with a learner’s permit and you get a traffic ticket fine, you won’t be able to obtain a regular driver’s license in the expected time. In fact, if you are a driver with a learner’s permit and you violate the restrictions of driving with a learner’s permit, you could lose your driving privileges as the severest penalty of getting a traffic ticket.

For more information: Traffic Violations in Montana

What are the requirements to operate a three-wheel motorcycle?
In Montana, you need to be aware of the fact that a motorcycle endorsement is required in order to operate not only motorcycles, but also three-wheel motorcycles. If you wish to operate a three-wheel motorcycle, the requirements to operate it would be the same as for a motorcycle: you will have to pass a written drivers test and a driving test.

For additional details about the exams, read thoroughly the Montana Motorcycle Supplement. This supplement contains specific information about the safe operation of a three-wheel motorcycle, including both three-track motorcycles and motorcycles with sidecars.

What documents do I need to get a learner’s permit?
When you file an application for a drivers permit at your local Montana DMV office, bring the following documentation along with you:

  • Parental consent
  • Proof of your identity
  • Proof of your Montana residency
  • Proof of your authorized presence
  • Payment of the required fee for learners permit

In case you have changed your name, you will also need to show proof of your name change.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Montana

What documents do I need to get a motorcycle license?
Residents of Montana who would like to apply for a motorcycle license or motorcycle endorsement, must provide certain documentation to their local Montana DMV office, including:

  • A motorcycle endorsement application
  • A valid drivers license
  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of Montana residency
  • Proof of authorized presence
  • Payment for the required motorcycle endorsement fee

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in Montana

What exams do I need to pass to get a motorcycle license?
In Montana, you are required to pass certain examination in order to obtain a motorcycle endorsement on your drivers license. This examination consists of:

  • A written drivers test
  • A vision exam
  • A driving test

Before you take any test, you need to schedule an appointment at one of the nearest Driver Exam Stations at your Montana DMV office. For additional details about the exams, read thoroughly the Montana Motorcycle Supplement.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in Montana

What happens to my commercial driver license if I am convicted of a DUI?
Residents of Montana who have been convicted of DUI while operating a commercial motor vehicle and who have an alcohol concentration of 0.04 percent or more, will have their CDL license suspended. For a first offense, your CDL license will be suspended for one year. For the second and any subsequent offense, you will have a life suspension on your CDL license (three years if transporting hazardous materials).

For more information: DUI/DWI Information for Montana

What is an ID card?
Montana residents can apply for ID cards at any age at a local Montana DMV office. Montana ID cards serve to prove your:

  • Identity.
  • Age.
  • Montana residence.
What is the passing score for a written test?
The written drivers test is conducted at the nearest driver exam station. The exam includes topics on safe driving, meaning of traffic signs and Montana traffic laws. If you want to obtain a Montana learners permit, you need to pass this written drivers test with a score of 80 percent or higher. You are also encouraged to takeonline practice driving tests and to read thoroughly the Montana Driver Manual.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Montana

What test do I need to take for my learners permit?
If you are a Montana resident who wants to obtain a learners permit, you need to pass the following tests:

  • A written drivers test
  • A vision exam
  • A driving test

Once you pass the required tests, you will be issued a one-year valid learners permit.You can always revise your knowledge by taking online practice driving tests using this link from the Montana DMV website.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Montana

What tests do I have to take to obtain a CDL?
Montana residents who want to apply for a CDL license must pass certain tests in order to receive their CDL license, including:

  • Written drivers test
  • Vision exam
  • Driving test

The vision exam and the CDL knowledge written test can be taken at any Driver Exam Station at your Montana DMV office. The CDL driving test is not available at all of the driver exam stations in Montana DMV offices. Check the Montana Driver Exam Station Schedule in order to find which station provides road tests for Class A, Class B and Class C CDL licenses.

For more information: Montana Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

When does my ID card expire?
If you are a Montana resident and you have an ID card, you need to know that it expires on your birthday either four or eight years after it was issued. Moreover, the validity of the ID card differs according to your age:

  • If you are under 21 years old, your ID card has a validity of four years.
  • If you are 21 years old and older, your ID card has a validity of eight years.

You can renew ID card either six months prior to the expiration date or three months after it expires. You need to renew it in person at your local Montana DMV office, and you will receive the renewed ID card in the mail.

For more information: How to Apply for a Montana Identification Card

Where can I obtain an ID card?
Residents of Montana wanting to obtain an ID card must visit a local Montana DMV office in person. To apply for ID card, you need to bring either two primary identification documents or one primary and one secondary identification document. Also, remember to provide payment for the ID card fee.

For more information: How to Apply for a Montana Identification Card

Who can sign for my permit or license if I am under 18?
Montana residents who would like to obtain a learners permit and are under 18, must have a consent by a parent or legal guardian when submitting an application in person at a local Montana DMV office. Parents or legal guardians must sign a parental consent and if they are licensed drivers must be present on the seat next to you while you are driving with a learners permit. A driver with a Traffic education learner license (TELL) must also be accompanied by a licensed parent or legal guardian.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Montana