First-time drivers need to get a learners permit in New Jersey before they are allowed to operate a vehicle on state roads. The minimum age for drivers is 16, and the application requirements vary based on when you first choose to start the process.

To get a drivers permit in New Jersey at 16 years of age, for instance, you need to take a drivers education course. Drivers who are 21 years of age or older, on the other hand, will be able to go through an expedited application process.

Below, you will learn everything you need to know about getting a New Jersey DMV learners permit, including how much a permit costs, which tests you need to pass and more. You will also learn about the restrictions placed on permit holders.

Did you know? More than half of drivers license applicants in New Jersey fail the knowledge test on their first try. Utilize our practice permit tests in order to get familiar with the type of questions you will have to answer on the actual exam day.

New Jersey Learners Permit Eligibility Guidelines

Drivers permit requirements in New Jersey vary based on when you choose to get your license. If you are 16 years of age, you will need to be taking a drivers education course in order to qualify for the Student Learners Permit.

Applicants this age will then need to practice driving for a minimum of six months. Once you turn 17 years of age, you will be eligible for the Probationary Driver License. This license requires you to go to the DMV with your driving instructor in order to pass the road test.

If you get your first permit between 17 and 20 years of age, you will qualify for the Examination Permit, as opposed to the Student Learners Permit. This permit does not require you to be taking a drivers education course. Instead, you will need to drive for six months with an adult supervisor and pass a road exam in order to get your Probationary Driver License.

Applicants who are at least 21 years of age will need to get the Examination Permit. However, you will only need to drive with an adult supervisor for three months before you qualify for the road exam. Passing this road exam will allow you to get the Probationary Driver License.

No matter your age, you will need to drive with the Probationary Driver License for a year to qualify for a standard drivers license. This learning license does not require you to drive with an adult supervisor.

No matter which drivers learners permit you get, you will need to be a resident of New Jersey who is legally allowed to be in the US. Additionally, you will be required to pass both an eye exam and a knowledge test. If you apply for a permit as a minor, you will need the consent of a parent or guardian.

How to Apply for a Learners Permit in New Jersey

Getting a learners permit in New Jersey requires you to go to a DMV office in-person. You are not allowed to apply to this type of permit through any other method. When deciding where to get a learners permit in New Jersey, you will want to check with your nearest DMV office ahead of time to determine whether it administers permit tests. If it does, you can take the tests at the same time that you apply for your permit.

In order to apply for your learner permit, you will need to fill out and submit the Auto Permit Application. This application is not available online, so you will need to fill it out at the office. It will ask you for basic information about yourself, such as your name, Social Security Number and address.

You will also need to bring the following:

  • One primary and one secondary document showing your identity
  • One document showing your New Jersey residency
  • One document showing your Social Security Number

For their primary identity document, US citizens may use the following:

  • Adoption papers.
  • A birth certificate.
  • Certificate of Naturalization.
  • Certificate of Citizenship.
  • Military ID.

The preferred primary identity documents for non-US citizens, who are applying for a learners permit, are a foreign passport, Permanent Resident Card, I-327, I-571 or I-94. A Temporary Resident Card or Employment Authorization Card may also be used.

The secondary identity document will most likely be a photo ID, such as a school ID or employee ID. However, your secondary proof of identity may also be a marriage certificate, divorce certificate, school diploma, health insurance card, Social Security card, tax statement or bank correspondence.

Your proof of residency can be any document showing your name and address. Common examples include insurance policies, tax statements and school transcripts.

Understanding how to apply for a learners permit in New Jersey means understanding how the state’s point system works when providing identity documentation. New Jersey weighs forms of identification differently, and it requires the documents you bring to add up to six points.

US citizens will automatically qualify, since the documents they show easily add up to six points. Non-US citizens bringing one of the preferred primary documents listed above will also qualify.

However, if your primary document is a Temporary Resident Card, Employment Authorization Card or a Permanent Resident Card that does not list an expiration date, your documents may not add up to six points. For more on the values of each document, consult the New Jersey Driver Manual.

The New Jersey Drivers Permit Test

The New Jersey DMV permit test is designed to show that you have the knowledge required to drive responsibly on state roads. This drivers permit test has 50 questions, covering topics such as:

  • Basic driving maneuvers, such as turn signals and stopping.
  • How to drive safely.
  • The consequences of unsafe driving habits, such as drinking and driving.

An online drivers test is not provided, because the DMV needs to ensure you are completing the test by yourself. That said, the New Jersey learners permit test may be administered in eleven languages, including sign language.

A New Jersey drivers permit practice test is not provided by the state DMV. Instead of taking a DMV practice permit test, the state encourages you to thoroughly study the Drivers Manual, as all of the information in the test will be covered in the manual. If you want to take a practice test, you will need to take one from a private entity.

New Jersey Driving Permit Rules and Restrictions

New Jersey driving permit rules are designed to slowly introduce you to the responsibilities of driving. This means that motorists who are 16 years of age always need to drive with a licensed adult in the vehicle, while Examination Permit holders will need to drive with a licensed adult for the first six months after they have received the permit.

Permit driving hours are from 5 a.m. to 11:01 p.m. Permit holders who need supervision may only drive during these hours, unless they are at least 21 years of age. Exceptions are made for the purposes of work or religion.

Below you will find two commonly asked questions about learners permit rules in New Jersey:

  • Can you drive with a permit in New Jersey if your supervising adult has a drivers license from a different state? No, your supervising adult must have a valid New Jersey license. Additionally, supervising drivers must have driving privileges for at least three years.
  • How long does a learner’s permit last in New Jersey? Permits last for two years.

New Jersey Learner Permit Fees

The fee for learners permits in New Jersey are the same for Student Learner Permits and Examination Permit, but different for Probationary Licenses.

You can see these prices below:

  • The DMV permit cost is $10
  • The learner permit fee for testing is $10.
  • The Probationary License cost is $14.
Last updated on Tuesday, March 5 2019.

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