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How to Apply for a New Driver's License in Missouri

Residents must obtain a Missouri drivers license if they intend to get behind the wheel and operate a motor vehicle on public roadways. An MO DMV drivers license certifies that the license holder has demonstrated safe driving capabilities and has been granted permission to drive within the state and beyond. Driver's licenses are also widely recognized and accepted as an official identification document. To be eligible for a new drivers license, driving applicants must fulfill the certain requirements set by the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR).

Did you know? A majority of new drivers fail the written driving test due to lack of preparation. Be fully prepared and take the test with confidence by studying with our DMV practice exam.

How to Apply for a Missouri Driver's License:

  • Visit an MO DMV location.
  • Present the required documentation.
  • Pass the road sign and written DMV exam.
  • Take and pass the driving test.
  • Pass a vision screening.
  • Pay Missouri driver's license fees.

Review the topics below to discover what you need to know about getting drivers license privileges in Missouri.

Types of Drivers Licenses in Missouri

The drivers license application process will differ slightly depending on the type of license you are applying for. Qualified candidates can apply for both a standard MO drivers licenses and CDL drivers licenses.

  • Instruction Permit, or learner drivers license - Issued to teen drivers who may operate a vehicle under the supervision of a licensed adult
  • Motorcycle Instruction permit- Issued to teen driver who are in the process of learning how to operate a motorcycle.
  • Class F Intermediate License - Issued to new drivers who are permitted to operate a vehicle under certain restrictions.
  • Class F full drivers license - Issued to drivers who operate a non-commercial vehicle.
  • Class E for-hire license - Issued to drivers who operate a vehicle for employment purposes, including delivery drivers.
  • Class M motorcycle license - Issued to drivers who operate a motorcycle.
  • Commercial Drivers License (CDL) - Class A, B or C driving license - Issued to drivers who operate commercial vehicles.

First-Time Driver (Under 18) in Missouri

Any Missouri resident who intends to operate a motor vehicle on public roadways must apply for drivers licenses privileges. The Missouri Department of Revenue outlines a number of requirements that drivers need to meet in order to obtain a new drivers license. To get a MO drivers license you must pass a series of exams, as well as provide proof of identity and in-state residency.

For more information, visit our Learner's Permit page.

Missouri New Drivers (Over 18)

Before obtaining a full Missouri drivers license, driving applicants who have never been licensed before must pass a written driver's test, as well as a road signs test, driving skills test and vision exam.

MO Driver's Study Guide and Driver's Practice Test

Driving applicants can benefit from reviewing a study guide and taking a practice permit test in preparation for the DMV exam. Our Missouri DMV practice test covers a wide range of questions that are similar to the ones you will encounter on the official exam.

How to Apply for Drivers Licenses in MO

Driving applicants getting a drivers license in MO will have to visit the nearest Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) testing center to take the four-part driving exam and present the necessary documentation. New drivers license applicants are required to gather the following documents:

  • Proof of identity, including legal name, date and place of birth.
  • Proof of Social Security Number.
  • Proof of Missouri residency.

MO Drivers License Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to receive a Missouri DMV drivers license, driving applicants must be at least 18 years of age and have no alcohol-related convictions or traffic violations within the last 12 months. You must also provide the proper documentation and pass a vision screening and road sign recognition test. Driving applicants who have already passed the written DMV exam and driving test as part of the intermediate license requirements are not required to re-take the exams.

MO Written/Driving Test

All drivers applying for an MO drivers license must receive a passing score on their written driver's tests. New drivers will also need to pass a driving skills test and a road sign recognition test before the issuance of a full Missouri drivers license. To prepare for the DMV exam, consider taking a practice permit test. A DMV practice test can help you feel prepared and confident on test day.

MO Driving Test

During the Missouri driver's test, an examiner will assess your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle and perform driving maneuvers. Some of the driving maneuvers you will encounter on the test include:

  • Your ability to obey road signs and signals.
  • Your ability to enter and exit intersections.
  • Your ability to park parallel to the curb and park on a hill.
  • Your ability to safely back up while in reverse.

Only the driving applicant and examiner may be in the vehicle during the driving skills test. In order to take the driving skills test, you must provide a safe vehicle in working order that is equipped with current license plates and a valid inspection sticker.

New Missouri Resident

New residents who recently moved to Missouri can transfer their out-of-state driver's license at a local DMV branch. You will be required to provide proof of identity, as well as proof of your Social Security Number and in-state residency. All drivers must pass a vision screening and road sign test before the issuance of a Missouri drivers license. If your out-of-state license has been expired for six months or longer, you will also be required to take the written exam and driving skills test.

New Missouri residents are also responsible for obtaining in-state car insurances and car titles. In addition, you must also be prepared to register your vehicle. If you recently bought a used vehicle out-of-state, then you must visit a licensed inspection station to get an identification number and an odometer verification. A safety and emissions inspection must also be performed before a car can be registered.

Replace Driver's License in Missouri

If your license becomes lost, stolen or damaged, you must apply for a duplicate drivers license at an MO DOR branch. You will need to bring one document, preferably with a photo, to show proof of identity. If your MO replacement drivers license was within six months of the expiration date, you will need to apply for a driver's license renewal. For more information about obtaining a duplicate driver's license, click here.

Locate a DMV in Missouri

Use our MO DMV locations page to easily review a number of different office branches in your area and obtain both contact and location information.

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