Nevada Driver's License: A Step-by-Step 2018 Guide

Learn what to expect and how to get behind the wheel faster.
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On this page: Types of licenses How to apply Knowledge test Road test Replace or renew New residents

How Does It Work?

Driving across extensive Nevada deserts requires a valid driver license. This is your full step-by-step guide that will help you get, renew and transfer your driver license fast and easy in the driest state in the country.

Get an instruction permit

Allows you to practice driving under supervision.

Get a restricted license

Allows you to drive unsupervised with restrictions.

Get a Full (Adult) License

Allows you to drive with no restrictions.

Types of Driver Licenses in Nevada

For each license type there's a corresponding type of instruction permit
Nevada Class C Driver's License
Class C
It is the basic driver license that allows you to drive common cars, vans and pickup trucks. You may also tow another vehicle of 10,000 pounds or less where the combination of vehicles does not exceed 70 feet. Read the NV Driver's Handbook or take a free NV DMV practice test.
Nevada Class A/B (Commercial) Driver's License
Class A/B (Commercial)
These are commercial licenses that allow you to operate any combination of vehicles with gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more provided the GVRW of the vehicle towed is more than 10,000 pounds (Class A); and any vehicle with GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more or towing a vehicle with GVWR not in excess of 10,000 pounds (Class B). Read the NV CDL Manual or take a free NV CDL practice test.
Nevada Motorcycle Driver's License
Class M
It allows you to operate a motorcycle or moped on Nevada roadways. Read the NV Motorcycle Operator Manual or take a free NV DMV motorcycle test.

How to Apply for Your Class C Driver License in Nevada for the First Time

To apply for a Class C driver license you should complete an application form, visit a DMV office, provide the required documentation and pass a knowledge, vision and skills test. This is your complete plan of action depending on your age.

How to Apply for Instruction Permit in Nevada

Instruction permit is the first step to getting driving privileges in Nevada. It allows you to drive supervised at all times by a licensed driver of 21 years of age or older who has at least one year of driving experience and is seated beside you.

1COMPLETE YOUR APPLICATION FORM

You may download it here or complete it at a DMV office.

2APPLY IN PERSON

Find your local full service DMV office using this map and check if your location allows to make an appointment in advance.

3BRING YOUR PARENT/GUARDIAN

Your parent/guardian must give their consent in writing and accept financial responsibilities if you are younger than 18.

4BRING DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of address (2 documents)
  • Proof of Social Security Number

    Check here how to choose documents correctly.

  • Certificate of School Attendance (under 18 years of age only). It must be completed by your high school official, or by your parent/guardian (section 2) if you are homeschooled or excused from attendance. Provide a diploma or a Certificate of High School Equivalency and have your parent complete section 2 if you have finished high school or equivalent.

5PASS THE VISION TEST

The minimum vision standard is 20/40 in one eye.

6PAY THE TEST FEE

$26.00. It includes your knowledge test fee and initial skills test fee. Each retesting requires an additional $11 fee.

7PASS THE KNOWLEDGE TEST

You will have to answer questions about Nevada rules of the road, signs, markings and safe driving laws. Read Frequently Asked Questions about Written Exam and take free practice tests here before you go. You can't make an appointment for the knowledge test, it's administered on a walk-in basis.

8PAY THE PERMIT FEE

$23.25

9RECEIVE YOUR TEMPORARY DOCUMENT

You may start driving with a supervising adult. Your instruction permit will be sent to you within 10 business days.
Your instruction permit will be valid for one year. You may renew it if necessary. If it is expired longer than 30 days, you will have to pay all the fees and take the written test again.

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How to Apply for Driver License at the Age of 16- 18

In Nevada, you may receive your full driver license at the age of 16. However, there will be the following restrictions to your driving till you turn 18 years of age:

  • No driving between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless traveling to or from work or a scheduled school event. There are additional local curfews, call your police department to learn more about them.
  • No transporting of passengers under 18 years of age unless it's your immediate family member for the first 6 months.
  1. HOLD YOUR INSTRUCTION PERMIT FOR AT LEAST 6 MONTHS

    Use this time to practice driving with a licensed adult. Your parent/guardian may download the RoadReadyiPhone app or Parents Supervised Driving Guide to teach you driving. You may ask for a copy at your local DMV.

  2. COMPLETE A DMV APPROVED DRIVER EDUCATION COURSE AND BEHIND-THE WHEEL PRACTICE

    You may enroll at age 15 at a public or private high school, or a DMV-licensed professional drive school. You may complete either of the following:

    • a classroom course +50 hours of behind-the-wheel experience; or
    • an online course + 50 hours of behind-the-wheel experience; or
    • 100 hours of driving experience (only if there are no classroom courses within a 30-mile radius of your residence)

    Your behind-the-wheel experience must include 10 hours of night time driving. Complete a written log of your driving. You may use this form for the log or the RoadReady app.

  3. SCHEDULE YOUR DRIVING SKILLS TEST

    Schedule your appointment online or call (702) 486-4368 ( Las Vegas area), (775) 684-4368 (Reno/Sparks/Carson City), (877) 368-7828 (Elsewhere in Nevada).

  4. BRING DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED
    • Your valid instruction permit
    • Proof of identity
    • Driver Education Certificate of Completion or high school report card/official school transcript
    • Completed driving log printed from the RoadReady app or DLD 130.
    • The Certificate of Registration of your test car
    • Evidence of Insurance Card for the test car

  5. COMPLETE YOUR APPLICATION FORM

    You may download it here or complete it at a DMV office.

  6. BRING YOUR PARENT/GUARDIAN

    Your parent/guardian must give their consent in writing and accept financial responsibilities.

  7. PASS YOUR DRIVING SKILLS TEST

    You must arrive in a vehicle with proper registration and insurance and demonstrate your ability to drive safely. Read Frequently Asked Questions about the Road Test in Nevada before you go.

  8. PAY THE FEE

    $23.25

  9. RECEIVE YOUR TEMPORARY LICENSE

    Your permanent license will be mailed to you within 10 business days.

    Your license will be printed in the vertical format. Note that minor driver licenses can be suspended for all the same reasons as adult licenses and also for non-driving alcohol/drug convictions, firearms violations or habitual truancy.

How to Apply for Your Full (Adult) Driver License in Nevada

If you are 18 years of age or older and have never been licensed in the US or your US license expired more than a year ago, you must pass a vision, knowledge and driving skills test. You are not required to get any driving education, however, you may take a course at one of certified driving schools.

If you hold an instruction permit, start with step 8.

1COMPLETE YOUR APPLICATION FORM

You may download it here or complete it at a DMV office.

2APPLY IN PERSON

Find your local full service DMV office using this map and check if your location allows to make an appointment in advance.

3BRING DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Proof of address (2 documents)

Check here how to choose documents correctly. If you don't have enough documents to get a REAL ID license, you may still get a standard license or driver authorization card.

4PASS THE VISION TEST AND HAVE YOUR PICTURE TAKEN

The minimum vision standard is 20/40 in one eye.

5PAY THE FEES

Exam fee: $26.00. It includes your knowledge test fee and initial skills test fee. Each retesting requires an additional $11 fee.

Permit fee: $23.25

License fee: $ 42.25 (for 8 years)

6PASS THE KNOWLEDGE TEST

You will have to answer questions about Nevada rules of the road, signs, markings and safe driving laws. Read Frequently Asked Questions about Written Exam and take free practice tests here before you go. You can't make an appointment for the knowledge test, it's administered on a walk-in basis.

7RECEIVE YOUR TEMPORARY DOCUMENT

You may start driving with a supervising adult of 21 years of age or older. It will allow you to prepare for your driving skills test. Your instruction permit will be sent to you within 10 business days.

8SCHEDULE YOUR DRIVING SKILLS TEST

As soon as you are ready, schedule your appointment online or call (702) 486-4368 ( Las Vegas area), (775) 684-4368 (Reno/Sparks/Carson City), (877) 368-7828 (Elsewhere in Nevada). Call if you need to cancel.

9BRING DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED

  • Your valid instruction permit (if you have one)
  • Proof of identity
  • The Certificate of Registration of your test car
  • Evidence of Insurance Card for the test car

10PASS YOUR DRIVING SKILLS TEST

You must arrive in a vehicle with proper registration and insurance and demonstrate your ability to drive safely. Read Frequently Asked Questions about the Road Test in Nevada before you go.

10RECEIVE YOUR TEMPORARY LICENSE

You will be issued an interim document for a fee of $4.25.
Your permanent license will be mailed to you within 10 business days.

Nevada Knowledge test aka Written Exam

Take a free practice test
What is included in the exam?
There are 50 multiple-choice questions that cover Nevada driving laws, safe driving practices, highway signs and markings. You must answer at least 40 questions correctly as the passing score is 80%. The tests are available on touch-screen computers or on paper.
How to prepare for the test?
Study NV Driver's Handbook as all questions are based on the information provided there. Then prepare with the help of our free practice tests available here. When you feel comfortable with your score, you are ready! You can also download our free DMV Genie app to study on the go. Get it on the App Store or on Google Play.
Do I have to make an appointment for the test?
No, written exams are given on a walk-in basis.
What common errors must I avoid when taking the NV knowledge test?
The most common mistake comes from not knowing enough information out of the handbook. This happens when people study solely with practice tests. Make sure you read the handbook first. Another problem is rushing through questions. Take your time and remember what you have studied.
What languages are available for the test?

English and Spanish.

If your English or Spanish language skills are limited, you may use an interpreter who is able to present a letter from an approving agency (a governmental agency, court, educational institution, or non-profit advocacy group). The interpreter will also complete an "Affidavit of Oath for Interpreters" form at the DMV office. Interpreters may not provide services for their family members.

Can I take the test if I can’t read?
Yes, there are audio-based tests available. You may also request an oral examination.
Can I use the driver's handbook when I take the actual test?
Nice try, but there will be no handbooks available during the knowledge test.
What happens if I fail the test?
You may retake it as early as the next business day. The retesting fee is $11.00 for each attempt.

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Road Skills Test

Step-by-Step Guide
What to expect during NV drive test
Road Test FAQ

This test aims at checking if you have enough skills and knowledge to drive safely on Nevada roads.

Reserve your spot online or call (702) 486-4368 (Las Vegas area), (775) 684-4368 (Reno/Sparks/Carson City), (877) 368-7828 (Elsewhere in Nevada). Bigger offices also have tests on a stand-by basis. Have your instruction permit number or SSN at hand while scheduling the exam. Call if you need to cancel.

Before the test

Bring the following documentation:

  • Your valid instruction permit
  • Proof of identity
  • Driver Education Certificate of Completion or high school report card/official school transcript (under 18 years of age)
  • Completed driving log printed from the RoadReady app or DLD 130. ( younger than 18 )

The vehicle you bring for the test must have

  • The Certificate of Registration and license plates
  • Evidence of Insurance Card

Rental cars are not allowed.

Safety Inspection

Your examiner will check the following equipment to make sure that the vehicle you brought for the test is safe to ride.

  • headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn lights
  • horn
  • windshield wipers
  • tires
  • seatbelts
  • brakes
  • speedometer
  • muffler
  • a safe and clean seating by the driver
During the test

Your job is to follow your examiner's instructions and drive along a designated route. Your examiner won't try to trick you or ask you to violate any laws. Passengers and interpreters are not allowed. Also, make sure you don't leave any kids unattended while taking a drive test.

Your route will include the following:

  • three right turns
  • three left turns
  • a stop sign
  • a traffic light
  • a school zone
  • parallel parking
  • backing up

The examiner will assess your ability to

  • Prepare to drive
  • Enter traffic
  • Control the vehicle
  • Choose and use lanes properly
  • Control your speed
  • Make correct turns
  • Come to a complete stop at the stop sign
  • Pass
  • Pay attention to a developing traffic situation

You will fail automatically if you use your cell phone any time during the test.

After the test

    Your examiner will let you know if you pass or fail and explain your errors. If you pass, you may go back to the DMV office and receive your temporary license. If you fail, you may schedule another appointment to retake the test for the $11.00 fee as early as the next business day.

How to Renew Your Driver License in Nevada

  • You must renew you driver license before it expires if you plan to keep driving. DMV will send you a renewal notice which states which methods of renewal you may use. Everyone may renew in person. If your license expiration date is coming and you haven't received your notice yet, you may email DMV your name, current address and license number or call (775) 684-4560 or (877) 368-7828.

    If you are planning an extended trip outside Nevada, note that you may renew you license as early as you wish.

    Plan of Action:

    1. MAKE AN APPOINTMENT

      Larger offices offer appointments. You may renew at any DMV office you want.

    2. CHOOSE REAL ID OR STANDARD LICENSE

      If you want to be able to use your driver license while boarding a plane after October 2020, you will need to get a REAL ID license (golden circle with a star in the corner). Read here more about a Real ID.

    3. BRING DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED

      If you choose to get a Real ID license, bring the following:

      1. Proof of identity
      2. Proof of Social Security Number
      3. Proof of address (2 documents)

      Check here how to choose documents correctly.

    4. COMPLETE YOUR APPLICATION FORM

      You may download it here or complete it at a DMV office.

    5. PASS THE VISION TEST AND HAVE YOUR PICTURE TAKEN

      The minimum vision standard is 20/40 in one eye.

    6. PAY THE FEE

      $42.25 ( for an 8 year license).

      $23.25 ( for a 4 year or limited term license).

      There is a $10 late fee if your license expired more than 31 days ago.

    7. GET YOUR TEMPORARY LICENSE

      Your old license will be punched and given back to you together with your interim document. Your permanent license will be mailed to you.

    If your license expired more than a year ago but less than four years ago, or you had three or more moving violations in the last 4 years, you will be asked to pass the knowledge test.

    If the license expired more than four years ago, you will have to pass the knowledge and road skills tests.

  • You may renew by mail if you are in the military or outside Nevada and are qualified to do so. You must get a full-page renewal notice to be able to renew by mail (unless you are a member of armed forces or their spouse and dependent). Note that your application will be returned to you if you do not qualify for a mail renewal or if there is any unusual problem with your license.

    Plan of Action:

    1. Download the application form.
    2. Email the DMV before completing the application to make sure that you qualify. You may also call Reno/Sparks/Carson City (775) 684-4DMV (4368) , Las Vegas Area (702) 486-4DMV (4368) , Rural Nevada (877) 368-7828
    3. Complete your application.
    4. Add a check, money order or debit/credit card authorization (use this form) for $42.25. If your license expired more than 30 days ago, add a late fee of $10.00.
    5. Send the packet to
      555 Wright Way
      Carson City
      NV 89711

      Or fax it to (775) 684-4797.

    You may renew by mail (if qualified) up to one year after your license expiration.

  • Most drivers are required to renew their license in person. However, it is always advisable to check if you qualify to renew online.

    1. Get your full-page renewal notice.
    2. Go to MyDMV portal. If you don't have a MyDMV account, sign up and get it.
    3. Follow the instructions.
    4. If you qualify, you will need a card to pay the $ 42.25 fee and a printer for the interim document.

    Late renewals cannot be processed online.

New Residents: How to Get the Nevada Driver License

Once you become a resident of Nevada, you must apply for a Nevada driver license within 30 days.
Out-of-state license Foreign license
Not sure if you are a resident of Nevada?
Are you a Nevada resident?
You are considered ‘resident’ if you physically live in Nevada or accept gainful employment here.
Residing temporarily? Good news!
Are you a visiting California

You don't have to transfer your out-of-state driver's license if you are

  • a tourist
  • a seasonal resident
  • an active duty military member, their spouse, or dependent
  • a full-time student in Nevada but your home is somewhere else

I’ve Got a Valid Out-of-State License

Moving from another US state? Welcome to Nevada!
Moving from another state?

You must transfer your out-of-state license in person within 30 days of becoming a Nevada resident. You may transfer the license and have your vehicle registered at the same time.

In most cases you will have to take a vision test only. However, if you are under 21, you will also be asked to pass a knowledge test. If you hold a license issued by a US territory, you must pass knowledge and road skills tests.

Plan of Action
  1. COMPLETE YOUR APPLICATION FORM

    You may download it here or complete it at a DMV office.

  2. APPLY IN PERSON

    Find your local full service DMV office using this map and check if your location allows to make an appointment in advance. Smaller offices allow a remote check-in.

  3. BRING DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED
    • Your current driver license
    • Proof of identity
    • Proof of Social Security Number
    • Proof of address (2 documents)

    Check here how to choose documents correctly. If you don't have enough documents to get a REAL ID license, you may still get a standard license or driver authorization card.

  4. PASS THE VISION TEST AND HAVE YOUR PICTURE TAKEN

    The minimum vision standard is 20/40 in one eye.

  5. PAY THE FEE

    $42.25 for an 8 year license.

    $18.25 for a 4 year license.

    You can pay by check, cash, credit/debit card, electronic check or money order.

  6. SURRENDER YOUR OUT-OF-STATE LICENSE
  7. PASS THE KNOWLEDGE TEST

    You must take the test only if you are under 21 years of age or your current license expired more than one year ago.

  8. RECEIVE A TEMPORARY LICENSE

    Your permanent license will be mailed to you within 7-10 days.

If your out-of-state license expired more than 4 years ago, you must pass vision, knowledge and road skills tests.

driver's license in Nevada
Your new Nevada driver license will be valid for 8 years. If you are 65 and older, your license will be valid for 4 years.

I've Got a Valid Foreign License

Moving from another country? Welcome to Nevada!

If you have a driver license issued by another country or U.S. territory, you must take a vision, knowledge and road skills test as a general rule.

However, if you hold a driver license from Canada, you will take the vision test only, your procedure of transferring your driver license will be the same as transferring an out-of-state license.

If you have a driver license from Taiwan, you won't have to take the road skills test.

If you hold a driver license from another country, check the full guide to getting Nevada driver license.

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