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Obtaining a learner's permit is generally the first step that a beginner driver takes toward becoming a fully licensed driver in Nebraska. You are eligible to apply for a learner's permit if you are at least 14 years old and:
- you have never been licensed to operate a vehicle, or
- you are a new resident of Nebraska who has been licensed in another state, but your driver's license has expired.
HOW TO OBTAIN AN ORIGINAL LEARNER PERMIT (LPD)/SCHOOL LEARNER PERMIT (LPE)
- Download a copy of the Nebraska's Driver's Manual, or get a hard copy by visiting a local Driver License Exam Station.
- One form of age and identity identification document.
- Your certified birth certificate or certified birth registration (must not be hospital issued) if you are under 18 years of age as proof of identity. If you are unable to submit a birth certificate, you may submit an under age 18 certification completed and signed by your parent or guardian.
- The appropriate fee.
- The LPE is issued if you are between 14 and 16 years of age and is useful for those students who want to legally practice driving for a School Permit. A written test and vision screening is required for an LPE.
- You must be at least 15 years old to get an LPD. The application can be submitted 60 days prior to your 15th birthday but it won't be issued till you turn 15. There is a mandatory vision and writing test.
The LPE is valid for 3 months, and can be renewed. Issuing a fresh LPE will also be done at the Driver License Exam Stations. The LPD expires in one year. On the expiry of your LPD, you can apply for a Provisional Operator Permit (POP).
If you hold an LPE, you can drive, provided that you are accompanied by a licensed driver of 21 years or older. This person must sit beside you.
SCHOOL PERMIT (SCP)
An SCP can be applied if you have had an LPE or LPD for at least 2 months. An SCP is usually issued if you are a resident in an area which is outside the city limits of a population of 5,000 or more while your school is 1.5 or more miles away from home; or your school is outside the city limits of a population of 5,000 or more. You must be at least 14 years and 2 months old to apply for an SCP.
There are various kinds of certificates that you need to submit in order to get an SCP:
- The vision, writing and safety tests can be waived if you undertake a Nebraska DMV-approved driver safety course. A Test Waiver Form will be issued by the driving instructor for submission to the Driver's License Examiner.
- The written test will be waived (but the vision and driving test will still be required) in case you submit a 50-hour certification form attested by a licensed driver who is 21 years or older. You will also need to submit an LPE issued after January 1, 2006 (valid or expired for no more than one year).
An SCP enables you to drive unsupervised if you are going to school. However, in order to drive anywhere else you have to be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age.
An SCP application fee is $8.00, and is valid till you are 16 years and 3 months old. On the expiry of the SCP, you can apply for a Provisional Operator Permit (POP).
PROVISIONAL OPERATOR PERMIT (POP)
POP is the next stage for beginner drivers after the SCP or LPD or LPE has been held for at least 6 months. You must be 16 years of age and not have accumulated 3 or more points on your driving record in the 6 months prior to the application date. Testing procedures and certifications required will vary depending on the kind of permit you already hold and the period of time. Procedures for LPD and LPE holders (valid or expired for no more that one year):
- Undertake a Nebraska DMV-approved driver safety course. In which case, the vision, writing and safety tests can be waived. A Test Waiver Form will be issued by the driving instructor for submission to the Driver's License Examiner or,
- Complete a 50-hour certification form attested by a parent, a legal guardian or a licensed driver who is 21 years or older. This form must indicate that at least 10 hours of driving training has been completed at night. The written test will be waived (but the vision and driving test will still be required) in this case.
For valid SCP holders for the past six months, the written and driver test will be waived and you need not present a Driver Test Waiver Form or a 50 hour certification form.
Restrictions on a POP are:
- While you can drive alone between 6 am and midnight, if you are holding a POP, you need supervision of a licensed driver over the age of 21 if you are driving between midnight and 6 am, the only exception being driving to or from a work or school related destination.
- During the first six months of holding the POP, the licensee can have only one passenger in the vehicle who is not an immediate family member and is under 19 years of age.
- A driver improvement course (consisting of at least 8 hours of instruction) may be necessary if the licensee accumulates 6 or more driving points during any 12 month period. This course must be completed within 3 months of notification from the department, failing which the POP may be suspended.
The POP application fee is $15.00, and the permit will expire on your 18th birthday. It can be replaced at a Driver License Exam Station. Once your POP period is completed, you are eligible for a regular operator license.
REGULAR OPERATOR LICENSE
Licensee's who are under 18 years of age are eligible for a regular operators license if they have held the POP for 12 months and have not accumulated three or more points on their driving record during this period. However, POP holders who are 18 years and older may not need to do the written and drivers test to obtain the regular operator license.
A driver improvement course (consisting of at least 8 hours of instruction) may be necessary if the licensee accumulates 6 or more driving points during any 12 month period. This course must be completed within 3 months of notification from the department, failing which the driver's license may be suspended.
- For more information, see our Beginner Drivers section.
- See also Applying for a Drivers License.
- See also Driver's Education, Driving Schools and Practice Tests.
- Bear in mind that in order to drive legally in the state of Nebraska, you must have valid auto insurance. See our Auto Insurance section for more information, or to obtain a competitive quote on car insurance.