Distributed by: Linda McCulloch, Superintendent

Traffic Education Programs

Office of Public Instruction, Helena, Montana September 2005


WHO: Anyone under age 18 that does not currently hold a driver's license or has not applied for a license or been issued a permit before July 1, 2006.




STEP ONE ­ INSTRUCTION PERMIT (Traffic Education Learner's License)


WHEN: Starts with instruction permit obtained in a state-approved driver education program as early as age 14 1/2 or without driver education as early as age 16.


HOW LONG: Minimum of six months.



- 50 hours of supervised driving.

- 10 hours must be at night.

- Supervision to be provided by a licensed parent/guardian or licensed driver age 18 or older authorized by a parent/guardian.

- Each occupant must wear a seatbelt.

- Remain free from traffic violations or alcohol/drug offenses.







WHEN: Starts with successful completion of Step One - Instruction Permit, and parent/guardian certification of no alcohol/drug offenses, and 50 hours of supervised driving practice.



-One year





Each occupant must wear a seatbelt.

May not drive between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., some exceptions* may apply.

For the first six months may have only one passenger, more allowed if they are family members or supervised by a licensed driver age 18 or older.

For the second six months may have up to three passengers, more allowed if they are family members or supervised by a licensed driver age 18 or older.

Penalty for Step Two Violations

First Offense ­ not less than 20 hours or more than 60 hours of community service.

Second Offense ­ suspension of driver's license for six months.








WHEN: Upon successful completion of Steps One and Two or reach age 18, whichever comes first.


*Exceptions to night driving restrictions include emergencies, travel to and from school, church or work and farm related activities.

For more information including how GDL applies to motorcycles see the GDL bill at

Montana's GDL

(Graduated Driver's License Law)

Effective July 1, 2006





The purpose of graduated licensing is to limit in-car distractions, to provide more parental supervision, reduce late night driving, and allow for a safer progression in learning how to operate a motor vehicle.




Who does the graduated license affect?

Any person who applies for a driver's license on or after July 1, 2006 , and who is under 18 years of age at the time of application, unless the person has been issued an instruction permit, traffic education learner's license or traffic education permit prior to July 1, 2006.


Prerequisites for issuance of driver's license to a minor

1. Has held an instruction permit or traffic education learner's license for a period of 6 months


2. Has passed a road test or a skills test


3. Presents written certification that a parent or guardian states that the person has at least 50 hours of driving experience, 10 of which were at night, during which the person was supervised by a parent, legal guardian, or a person at least 18 years of age and who had a valid driver's license


4. Presents certification from parent or legal guardian that the person has not been convicted of a traffic violation or convicted of an offense involving alcohol or drugs during a 6 month period preceding the application for driver's license and the person has no pending traffic, alcohol, or drug citations.  If the certification can't be made the person may have an additional year or until the person reaches their 18th birthday, whichever occurs first.


5. Minor must be at least 15 years old


First year restrictions

1. Restrictions apply to persons under 18 years of age for one year or until 18th birthday, whichever comes first


2. Seatbelts must be worn by all occupants


3. May not operate vehicle between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.


4. Must be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 18 years old


5. Exemptions may apply to the 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. rule if the person is returning from an athletic event or going to or from employment.


6. For the 1st 6 months of a restricted permit the driver may not operate vehicle with more than one sub-18 year old.

(More restrictions apply)



If during the year of the restricted permit and violations occur there may be penalties.

1. Driver may be required to perform community service on first offense

2. If a second offense occurs the person may not drive for six months. Probationary license will not be issued.