How to Apply for Oregon Driver's License: Step-by-Step Guide (2018)

Learn what to expect, things you need, 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?

The charm of Oregon is incomplete without a good road trip. Pacific Coast Scenic byway, Hells Canyon or Crater Lake National Park will all require a car and the ability to drive. Follow this full step-by-step guide to getting, renewing or transferring your driver license in Oregon and enjoy your drive!

Get an instruction permit

Allows you to practice driving under supervision.

Get a provisional 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 Oregon

For each license type there's a corresponding type of instruction permit
Oregon Class C Driver's License
Class C
It is the most common non-commercial driver license that allows you to drive regular cars up to 26,000 pounds and tow a trailer up to 10,000 pounds as well as a moped, an emergency vehicle or recreational vehicle for personal use. Read the OR Driver Manual or take a free OR DMV practice test.
Oregon Class A/B/C Driver's License
Class A/B/C
These are commercial driver licenses (CDL) that allow you to operate any combination of vehicles (Class A); 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); any single smaller vehicle that doesn't fit into class A or B and transports 16 or more passengers (including the driver) or is placarded for transportation of hazardous materials (Class C). Read the OR Commercial Driver Manual or take a free OR CDL practice test.
Oregon Motorcycle Driver's License
Class M
It is a motorcycle endorsement that allows you to operate motorcycles on public roads. You must possess a valid Oregon driver license of any class to apply for a motorcycle endorsement. Read the OR Motorcycle & Moped Manual or take a free OR motorcycle practice test.

How to Apply for Your Class C Driver License in Oregon

To apply for your first driver license in Oregon, you must gather documentation and pass a vision, knowledge, safe driving practices, and drive test. This is your complete plan of action depending on your age.
Apply for Learner's License I’m between 15 and 17
(First Timer)
Apply for Provisional Instruction Permit
How to Start

How to Apply for Provisional Instruction Permit in Oregon

Getting a provisional instruction permit is the first step to becoming a licensed driver for teenagers over 15 years of age. The permit allows you to drive accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21 years of age sitting beside you.

1COMPLETE APPLICATION FORM

You can download it here. Your parent/guardian must sign it with you and certify that you attend school. If you don't attend school, bring proof of GED or high school graduation.

2APPLY IN PERSON

Visit a DMV office of your choice. You may check wait times at some of the offices here. No appointments are available.

3BRING DOCUMENTATON REQUIRED

  • one proof of legal presence/identity (e.g., certified birth certificate, US passport, permanent residence card, immigration documents, etc.)
  • your social security number (if applicable)
  • one proof of name change (if applicable)
  • one proof of your OR residence address (e.g., any document issued by an educational institution, pay stub, an item delivered by a postal service, etc.)
  • proof of high school graduation if applicable

Choose suitable documents using this list.

4PASS A VISION TEST

Your eyesight will be tested to confirm you see well enough to drive. Wear glasses or lenses if necessary. If you fail the vision test, you will be sent to a licensed vision specialist.

5PAY THE KNOWLEDGE TEST FEE

$5.00. You can pay by cash, checks, debit and credit cards.

6PASS THE KNOWLEDGE TEST

The test has 35 multiple-choice questions about Oregon traffic laws, road signs and safe driving practices. If you fail the test, you must wait at least one day before retaking it. Read Frequently Asked Questions about the Knowledge Test and practice with OR DMV practice tests before you go.

7HAVE YOUR PICTURE TAKEN

See top 7 tips for an excellent driver's license photo. Note that in the picture you may not have any glasses, head coverings other than religious, contacts that change the appearance of your eye, face paint, stickers and bandages.

8PAY THE PERMIT FEE

$23.50. You can pay by cash, checks, debit and credit cards.

9GET AN INTERIM CARD

Your permit will be mailed to your address. It will be valid for 2 years and can be renewed if necessary.
You must carry your permit for at least 6 months to be able to apply for the provisional license. Note that your supervising driver must be licensed for at least 3 years. Otherwise, your driving won’t count toward the formal practice requirements.

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How to Apply for Your Provisional Driver License in Oregon

The provisional license allows 16-17 old drivers to operate a vehicle on their own but with a number of restrictions:

  • No driving using a mobile communication device including hands-free accessories.
  • No driving between midnight and 5 a.m. unless driving from work and school events or accompanied by a licensed driver 25+.
  • For the first 6 months, no passengers under age 20 who are not your immediate family members.
  • For the second 6 months, no more than 3 passengers under 20 who are not your immediate family members.
  1. HOLD YOUR INSTRUCTION PERMIT FOR AT LEAST 6 MONTHS

  2. COMPLETE DRIVER EDUCATION

    You can learn how to drive with a licensed driver of at least 21 years of age who has had the driver license for at least 3 years. Alternatively, you may take a specialized teen driver ed course or a standard driver training course. If you complete a TSD-approved course, your drive test will be waived.

  3. COMPLETE 50 OR 100 HOURS OF DRIVING PRACTICE

    You must get at least 100 hours of supervised driving if you haven't completed an approved course, or 50 hours if you have passed the course.

  4. SCHEDULE YOUR DRIVE TEST

    You may schedule your appointment with DMV by calling 503-945-5000 or you may take the drive test with a Class C Testing Business. If you turn a hard plastic Driver Education Certificate of Completion card issued by the State of Oregon, Transportation Safety Division, your drive test will be waived.

  5. BRING REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION
    • one proof of legal presence/identity and date of birth (e.g., certified birth certificate, US passport, permanent residence card, immigration documents, etc.)
    • proof of SSN
    • proof of residence address (if it's not showing on one of your documents)
    • proof of the vehicle current liability insurance (can be a photocopy or electronic)

  6. BRING YOUR PARENT/GUARDIAN

    Your parent/guardian will co-sign your application form.

  7. PASS THE SAFE DRIVING PRACTICES TEST

    It is an additional test that is required for everyone under 18 years of age. It tests your knowledge of safe driving principles. You don't have to make an appointment to take it. You may take this test no sooner than 30 days before your 16th birthday. The test is free. There are 20 multiple-choice questions. If you fail the test, you will have to wait one day before retaking it. If you fail it 4 times, wait 28 days before retaking.

  8. PASS A VISION TEST

    Your eyesight will be tested to confirm you see well enough to drive. Wear glasses or lenses if necessary. If you fail the vision test, you will be sent to a licensed vision specialist.

  9. PAY THE FEES
    • $9.00 - drive test fee (paid each time you take the test)
    • $60.00 - license fee

    You can pay by cash, checks, debit and credit cards. If you pay by check, please have 2 separate checks.

  10. PASS THE DRIVE TEST

    The vehicle you bring must have current registration and insurance. The test will check your ability to drive safely. Read about the road test procedure here. If you fail it, you will have to wait at least one day to retake it. If you fail it 4 times, wait 28 days before retaking it.

  11. HAVE YOUR PICTURE TAKEN

    See top 7 tips for an excellent driver's license photo. Note that in the picture you may not have any glasses, head coverings other than religious, contacts that change the appearance of your eye, face paint, stickers and bandages.

  12. RECEIVE YOUR PROVISIONAL LICENSE

    It will be sent to the address in your application form.

All the driver license restrictions will apply till you are 18 years of age or hold your provisional license for a year whichever comes first.

How to Apply for Unrestricted (Adult) Driver License in Oregon

You may obtain the unrestricted driver license at the age of 18. If you have never been licensed in the United States, start with step 1. If you have an instruction permit, start with step 8.

1COMPLETE APPLICATION FORM

You can download it here.

2APPLY IN PERSON

Visit a DMV office of your choice. You may check wait times at some of the offices here. No appointments are available.

3BRING DOCUMENTATON REQUIRED

  • one proof of legal presence/identity (e.g., certified birth certificate, US passport, permanent residence card, immigration documents, etc.)
  • your social security number ( if applicable)
  • one proof of name change ( if applicable)
  • one proof of your OR residence address ( e.g., any document issued by an educational institution, pay stub, an item delivered by a postal service, etc.)

Choose suitable documents using this list.

4PASS A VISION TEST

Your eyesight will be tested to confirm you see well enough to drive. Wear glasses or lenses if necessary. If you fail the vision test, you will be sent to a licensed vision specialist.

5PAY THE KNOWLEDGE TEST FEE

$5.00 by cash, checks, debit and credit cards.

6PASS THE KNOWLEDGE TEST

The test has 35 multiple-choice questions about Oregon traffic laws, road signs and safe driving practices. If you fail the test, you must wait at least one day before retaking it. Read Frequently Asked Questions about the Knowledge Test and practice with OR DMV practice tests before you go.

7GET THE INSTRUCTION PERMT (OPTIONAL)

It will allow you to practice driving supervised by a licensed driver 21+. Pay the permit fee of $ 23.50.

8SCHEDULE YOUR DRIVE TEST

You may schedule your appointment with DMV by calling 503-945-5000 or you may take the drive test with a Class C Testing Business. If you turn a hard plastic Driver Education Certificate of Completion card issued by the State of Oregon, Transportation Safety Division, your drive test will be waived.

9BRING REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION

  • one proof of legal presence/identity and date of birth (e.g., certified birth certificate, US passport, permanent residence card, immigration documents, etc.)
  • proof of SSN
  • proof of residence address (if it's not showing on one of your documents)
  • proof of the vehicle current liability insurance (can be a photocopy or electronic)

10PAY THE FEES

  • $9.00 - drive test fee (paid each time you take the test)
  • $60.00 - license fee

You can pay by cash, checks, debit and credit cards. If you pay by check, please have 2 separate checks.

11PASS THE DRIVE TEST

The vehicle you bring must have current registration and insurance. The test will check your ability to drive safely. Read about the road test procedure here. If you fail it, you will have to wait at least one day to retake it. If you fail it 4 times, wait 28 days before retaking it.

12HAVE YOUR PICTURE TAKEN

See top 7 tips for an excellent driver's license photo. Note that in the picture you may not have any glasses, head coverings other than religious, contacts that change the appearance of your eye, face paint, stickers and bandages.

13RECEIVE YOUR LICENSE

You will get an interim card. You license will be sent to the address in your application form.

Oregon Knowledge Test

Take a free practice test
What does the test consist of?
There are 35 multiple-choice questions about Oregon rules of the road, signs, and markings, and other traffic laws. You are required to answer 28 of them correctly to pass the test. The test is administered on touchscreen computers.
How to prepare for the test?
Study OR Driver Manual as all questions are based on the information provided there. Then prepare with the help of our 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.
What common errors must I avoid when taking the OR knowledge test?
The most common mistake comes from not knowing enough information out of the manual. This happens when people study solely with practice tests. Make sure you read the manual first. Another problem is rushing through questions. Take your time and remember what you have studied.
When should I arrive for the test?
Check office hours of the location you choose and keep in mind that you won’t be tested one hour before closing. Appointments are not required unless you need special accommodation. The busiest times are early mornings, late afternoons, lunch time, Mondays and Fridays.
Can I use the manual when taking the actual test?
No, it’s considered cheating. You may not talk as well. If you are caught cheating, your test will be cancelled and you will not be allowed to retest for 90 days.
What items are prohibited in the testing area?
You may not have any books, notes, phones and other electronic devices.
Can I take the test in another language?
Yes. The following languages are available: English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Vietnamese. You may also use a translator from other languages. You may be allowed to use a dictionary.
What happens if I fail the test?
You may retake it as early as the next business day for another $5.00 fee. If you fail the test 4 times, you may not retest for 28 days. The same applies to all subsequent failures.
Do I have to take the Safe Driving Practices Test?
If you are under 18 years of age, you will have to take it as well. It consists of 20 multiple-choice questions about safe driving practices. All the information can be found in OR Driver Manual. The test is free and may be taken no sooner than 30 days before your 16th birthday.

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Road Test

Step-by-Step Guide
What to expect during OR drive test
Road Test FAQ
The drive (behind-the-wheel) test measures your driving skills and knowledge of traffic rules, highway signs, and signals. The test will last about 20 minutes. The drive tests are by appointment only. You can either schedule a test with DMV by calling 503-945-5000 or with a Class C testing business.
Before the test

What to bring:

  • one proof of legal presence/identity and date of birth (e.g., certified birth certificate, US passport, permanent residence card, immigration documents, etc.)
  • proof of SSN
  • proof of residence address (if it's not showing on one of your documents)
  • proof of the vehicle current liability insurance (can be a photocopy or electronic)
  • a properly registered vehicle

Before you start driving, the examiner will check your vehicle. If it doesn't pass the equipment check, your exam will be cancelled. Make sure the following equipment is in good order:

  • Headlights
  • Brake lights
  • Fenders
  • Rearview mirror
  • Turn signal lights
  • Seatbelts
  • Muffler
  • Foot brake (or hand brake as needed)
  • Horn
  • Tires
  • Valid license plates
  • Inside and outside passenger door handles
  • Headlights, tail lights, windshield wipers, defroster (if needed for weather conditions)
  • The vehicle starts without jump starting or pushing

You are also required to

  • turn off all audio systems, GPS devices, phones and other electronic devices
  • clear the dashboard and rearview mirror
  • arrive without weapons
  • refrain from smoking
  • bring parent/guardian to sign the application form if under 18 years of age
During the test

This is when you must show that you can drive safely and follow traffic rules. The examiner will sit next to you and give you directions. Only you and the examiner are allowed in your car. The examiner will not try to trick you or ask you to do anything illegal. You start your test with 100 points and will lose some for each error. Your job is to keep at least 76 points.

The following skills will be evaluated:

  • Obeying traffic signs and laws
  • Backing up on the first try (turn your head to see behind and beside you)
  • Watching and reacting to other traffic and pedestrians
  • Choosing speed appropriately
  • Signaling
  • Lane changing
  • Right and left turns
  • Checking blind spots
  • Applying right-of-way laws
  • Passing controlled intersections (stop signs, traffic lights)
  • Passing uncontrolled intersections
  • Merging and yielding when entering a freeway
  • Parking (parallel parking is not required)
Critical Driving Errors

You will fail the test immediately if you make one of the following errors:

  • You refuse to follow the instructions.
  • You get into a car accident.
  • You drive over the curb or side walk.
  • The examiner has to intervene to prevent an accident.
  • Other drivers have to react to prevent the accident.
  • You create a traffic hazard.
  • You pass a car which is stopped to yield to pedestrians.
  • You turn to or from the wrong lane and create a dangerous situation.
  • You fail to stop for a school bus with red lights flashing.
  • You run or almost run a red light.
After the test

    At the end of the test, the examiner will let you know whether you pass or fail and explain your errors. If you pass, you will have your picture taken and you will be issued the interim license.

    If you fail for the first time, you will have to wait for 7 days before your next attempt. If it is your 2nd failure, wait for 14 days. If it is your 3rd or 4th failure, the waiting time is 28 days. In the case of the 5th failure, the waiting time is increased to one year. Each new attempt costs $9.00.

How to Replace or Renew Your Class C Driver License in Oregon

  • You may not drive if your driver license has expired. You may renew it up to one year before and past its expiration date. To renew your license, you will have to visit a DMV office.

    Plan of Action:

    1. Complete the application form. You may download it here.
    2. Collect the following documentation:
      1. one proof of identity (e.g., your Oregon driver license, certified birth certificate, US passport, permanent residence card, immigration documents, etc.)
      2. one proof of your OR residence address (e.g., any document issued by an educational institution, pay stub, an item delivered by a postal service, etc.)

      You can learn more about acceptable documents here.

    3. Bring your application and documents to a DMV office. There are no appointments available. Note that Mondays, Fridays, early mornings, late afternoons and lunch times are usually very busy. You may monitor wait times at some DMV offices.
    4. Pass a vision test if you are 50 years of age or older.
    5. Have your picture taken.
    6. Pay the renewal fee of $40.00. You can pay by cash, checks, debit and credit cards.
    7. Get an interim card. Your new license will arrive in the mail.

    If you driver license expired more than a year ago, you will have to take all the tests (vision, knowledge and drive tests) and pay all the original fees.

  • You may be allowed to renew by mail if you are out of Oregon at the time of renewal. Contact DMV at 503-945-5000 to check if you are eligible for renewing your license by mail.

  • Oregon DMV does not offer online renewals at this time.

New Residents: How to Get the Oregon Driver License

If you plan to keep driving in Oregon, you must get your Oregon driver license within 30 days of establishing your OR residency.
Out-of-state license Foreign license
Not sure if you are a resident of Oregon?
Are you a Oregon resident?

You're considered resident for driver license purposes if any of the following is true

  • You stay in Oregon for at least 6 months each year.
  • Your children are enrolled in public school here and you don't pay nonresident tuition.
  • You pay resident income taxes to the state of Oregon.
  • You declared yourself a resident of Oregon to get a state license.
Residing temporarily? Good news!
Are you a visiting California

You don't need to convert your existing license to an OR driver license if

  • You reside permanently outside Oregon.
  • You are in the military stationed in Oregon.
  • You are attending school in Oregon and are paying non-resident tuition.
  • You do not plan to take steps to becoming a resident of Oregon.

I’ve Got a Valid Out-of-State License

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

To convert your out-of-state driver license, you will have to visit a DMV office in person, bring documentation, and pass a vision and knowledge test.

Plan of Action
  1. COMPLETE APPLICATION FORM

    You can download it here.

  2. APPLY IN PERSON

    Visit a DMV office of your choice. You may check wait times at some of the offices here. No appointments are available.

  3. BRING DOCUMENTATON REQUIRED
    • one proof of legal presence/identity (e.g., certified birth certificate, US passport, permanent residence card, immigration documents, etc.)
    • your social security number (if applicable)
    • one proof of name change (if applicable)
    • one proof of your OR residence address (e.g., any document issued by an educational institution, pay stub, an item delivered by a postal service, etc.)

    Choose suitable documents using this list.

  4. PASS A VISION TEST

    Your eyesight will be tested to confirm you see well enough to drive. Wear glasses or lenses if necessary. If you fail the vision test, you will be sent to a licensed vision specialist.

  5. PAY THE FEES
    • $5.00 - knowledge test fee (paid each time you take the test)
    • $60.00 - license fee

    You can pay by cash, checks, debit and credit cards. If you pay by check, please have 2 separate checks.

  6. PASS THE KNOWLEDGE TEST

    The test has 35 multiple-choice questions about Oregon traffic laws, road signs and safe driving practices. If you fail the test, you must wait at least one day before retaking it. Read Frequently Asked Questions about the Knowledge Test and practice with OR DMV practice tests before you go.

  7. HAVE YOUR PICTURE TAKEN

    See top 7 tips for an excellent driver's license photo. Note that in the picture you may not have any glasses, head coverings other than religious, contacts that change the appearance of your eye, face paint, stickers and bandages.

  8. SURRENDER YOUR OUT-OF-STATE DRIVER LICENSE
  9. RECEIVE YOUR OR LICENSE

    You will get an interim card. You license will be sent to the address in your application form.

driver's license in Oregon

Starting from spring 2019, DMV will issue a new card design which meets or exceeds national standards. Starting from summer 2020, Oregon residents will be able to get Real ID complaint licenses.

I've Got a Valid Foreign License

Moving from another country? Welcome to Oregon!
If you plan to keep driving in Oregon, you may use your valid foreign license for up to one year after arriving here. To convert your existing license to the Oregon Driving License, you will have to take vision, knowledge and drive tests. Please follow the procedure in this guide. If you have been licensed in Germany or South Korea, your drive test will be waived and the procedure will be the same as transferring your out-of-state driver license.

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