How to Get a Driver’s License in New Hampshire

Each state in the country requires similar procedures for obtaining a driver’s license, but there are also some differences of which to be aware when moving to New Hampshire. The licensing process will eventually require a visit to a local New Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles office. Drivers may choose from around 14 different DMV sites around the state; however, each office may not perform all services associated with licensure, so a call to the office to confirm services is essential before making an appointment.

License Requirements

For drivers who already have a license in the state of New Hampshire, renewal is simple and requires the driver to bring the correct paperwork and the licensing fee to his or her nearest DMV office. Other types of applicants may require special documentation or testing if a driver does not already have a license or was licensed in another state.

Like most states, New Hampshire has special requirements for license applicants under the age of 18 and requires completion of a Driver Education Program before an application may begin. The state grants approval to a number of driving schools around the state, and it’s essential that a future driver enrolls in a state-approved school. The government keeps a list of current schools from which to choose.

In addition to completion of a driver’s education program, the state also requires submission of a standard license application, proof of New Hampshire residency, and at least two forms of identification. Types of identification may include a birth certificate or a current United States passport as well as any other type of certified documentation.

If a driver holds a license granted in a country other than the United States, a trip to the DMV office in Concord will be required after which further renewals may be granted at any of the state’s DMV locations. Non-US citizens must establish residency in New Hampshire or hold a student/work visa for licensure. Foreign drivers must also complete vision, written, and road tests. Note that, in most cases, visitors who are on vacation cannot apply for a New Hampshire driver’s license.

New Hampshire also offers licensing options for commercial driver’s licenses as well as motorcycle licenses, and there are specific application requirements associated with each.

If a driver plans to operate a vehicle weighing more than 26,000 pounds, the state requires that the driver applies for a commercial driver license (CDL). The knowledge and proficiency tests required for a commercial license differ from those of a regular license. Additionally, commercial license holders are required to carry a medical card at all times.

A CDL will be labeled with one of four certifications which include:

Intrastate: permits travel only in the state of New Hampshire
Interstate: permits driving out of state as well as Canada and Mexico
Excepted: non-government workers in the private sector
Non-excepted: government agency and municipality workers

To obtain a motorcycle license, a class on motorcycle operation is required as well as a written test at the DMV. For applicants under the age of 18, motorcycle licensure requires parental consent. The state also offers a learner’s permit for motorcycle operation, which restricts a rider to daytime riding after sunrise and before sunset. Remember that the DMV provides motorcycle skills tests only when roads provide safe driving opportunities without snow or ice.

Costs for Licensing

Each type of license in New Hampshire requires a different fee which may range from $30, in the case of a first-time motorcycle license, to $60 for a commercial license. For payment, the state accepts credit cards, cash, personal checks, and money orders for payment.

Fees for driver’s licenses are as follows:

Standard driver’s license: $50
Commercial driver’s license (A, B, or C): $60
Motorcycle license: $55
First-time motorcycle license: $30
Moped license: $8

In addition, the state requires a driver to pay $10 for commercial endorsements that include the following:

Hazardous materials (H)
Tank vehicles (N)
Passenger vehicles (P)
School bus (S)
Double/Triple vehicles (T)

License Process

There are no surprise elements to the New Hampshire licensing process, and as long as a driver has completed any necessary training and arrives at the DMV with the right paperwork and identification materials, the process doesn’t take long. If there is any doubt as to the licensing requirements, calling the DMV in advance is best so that a trip to the office is not wasted.

Driver’s Tests

There are three types of driver’s tests in New Hampshire and a driver may be required to complete one or all of them, depending on current driving status, age, and the type of license sought. Vision tests and a written test are offered on a “first-served” basis; however, a road test does require an appointment. The state requires a driver to pass the vision and written tests before a road test may be scheduled.

The vision test administered by the state requires 20/40 vision, and if an applicant fails, he or she will be required to get a doctor’s note. The written test is given via a computer touch-screen and all applicants must pass the test with a grade of 80 percent or higher. The road test must be completed in the company of an authorized DMV employee and the vehicle used for the test must be in safe operating condition.

Take Free Practice Test Now

New Hampshire DMV Practice Test – Quiz 1 (Signs)
New Hampshire DMV Practice Test – Quiz 2 (Signs)
New Hampshire DMV Practice Test – Quiz 3 (Rules)
New Hampshire DMV Practice Test – Quiz 4 (Rules)
New Hampshire DMV Practice Test – Quiz 5 (Rules)
New Hampshire DMV Practice Test – Quiz 6 (Rules)
New Hampshire DMV Practice Test – Quiz 7 (Rules)