How to Apply for Nebraska 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?

To pioneer through Nebraska’s cornfields or visit amazing dunes of the Sandhills you will need to drive. Here is a step by step guide that will help you get your Nebraska driver’s license fast and easy. We will also help you renew your license or transfer it from another state or country.

Get a learner's 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 Nebraska

For each license type there's a corresponding type of instruction permit
Nebraska Class O Driver's License
Class O
It is the most common operator's license, which allows you to operate any motor vehicle, including a moped, autocycle and all-terrain vehicles, except commercial vehicles and motorcycles. Read the NE Driver's Manual or take a free NE practice test.
Nebraska Class A/B/C Driver's License
Class A/B/C (Commercial)
These are commercial driver licenses (CDL) 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); 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 vehicle that transports 16 or more passengers (including the driver) or is placarded for transportation of hazardous materials (Class C). Read the NE CDL Manual or take a free NE CDL practice test.
Nebraska Motorcycle Driver's License
Class M
It allows you to operate a motorcycle or three-wheeled motor vehicle. Read the NE Motorcycle Operator Manual or take a free NE motorcycle practice test.

How to Apply for Nebraska Class O Operator’s License

To apply for Nebraska driver’s license for the first time, you are required to collect documentation and pass vision, written and drive tests. This is your complete plan of action depending on your age.
Apply for Learner's License I’m between 14 and 16
(First Timer)
Apply for School Learner’s Permit (LPE) and School Permit (SCP)
How to Start
Apply for Provisional License I’m 15+
(First Timer)
Apply for Learner’s Permit (LPD)
How to Start
Apply for Full (Adult) License 18+ I’m between 16 and 18
(LPE, SCP or LPD holder)
Apply for Provisional Operator’s Permit (POP)
How to Start
Apply for Full (Adult) License 18+ I’m 17+ (First Timers or POP holders)
Apply for Operator's (Adult) License
How to Start

How to Apply for School Learner’s Permit (LPE) and School Permit (SCP) in Nebraska

You are eligible to apply for school permit (SCP) only if you live outside a city of 5,000 or attend a school outside a city of 5,000 or more. Before applying for the school permit, you should first receive your school learner's permit (LPE) which will allow you to practice driving supervised at all times by a licensed driver 21+.

Your school permit will allow you to drive unsupervised to and from school, scheduled courses of instruction and school-related activities at your school over the most direct and accessible route. You may also transport a family member that resides with you over the same route. At all other times you must be supervised by a licensed adult (21+). Here is your step by step guide to getting your LPE and SCP.

1APPLY IN PERSON AFTER YOUR 14TH BIRTHDAY

2BRING DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED

  • one proof of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Status. It must state your name, date of birth, and identity. E.g., a certified birth certificate, valid U.S. passport, I-94 or I-94A, valid Permanent Resident Card, etc.
  • principal address in Nebraska (at least 2 documents). Your parents/guardians' documents will be accepted. E.g., an account statement from a bank issued within the last 90 days, valid NE vehicle registration, mortgage or rental agreement, blank check, etc.
  • disclose your Social Security Number or bring proof of exemption.

Check here to get more ideas how to choose the correct documents.

3PASS A VISION TEST

You must meet minimum vision requirements. Wear corrective lenses if necessary.

4PASS A WRITTEN TEST

It will have 25 questions about Nebraska driving laws and regulations. If you fail the test, you may retake it as early as the next business day. Read Frequently Asked Questions about the Written Test and practice with free NE DMV practice tests before you go.

5PAY THE SCHOOL LEARNER’S PERMIT FEE

$10.50. Be prepared to pay cash.

6GET YOUR SCHOOL LEARNER’S PERMIT (LPE)

It will be valid for 3 months, but can be renewed. You must hold it for at least 2 months.

7COMPLETE A DMV APPROVED DRIVER SAFETY COURSE OR BRING 50 HOUR CERTIFICATION FORM

You must pass written and driving tests given by the driver safety course instructor, your results will be transmitted electronically to the DMV.

Or bring the 50 hour certification form signed by your parent/guardian or licensed driver (21+) certifying 50 hours of your behind-the-wheel practice including 10 night time hours.

8APPLY FOR SCHOOL PERMIT (SCP)

If you have completed driver safety course, disregard steps 9-12, apply online, pay $10.50 by card and receive your permit in about 20 days.

If you don't take the course, visit any Nebraska DMV driver licensing office and bring the following:

  • 50-hour certification form
  • one form of primary identification
  • 2 proofs of your Nebraska residential address

9PASS A DRIVE TEST

It will measure your ability to drive in normal traffic conditions. You must bring your own vehicle. If you fail the drive test, you may not retake it on the same day. Learn more about the drive test procedure here. (The test will be waived if you complete a DMV approved driver safety course.)

10PRESENT THE ISSUANCE CERTIFICATE TO ANY COUNTY TREASURER

You may find their locations here. Do it within 90 days, otherwise, you will have to return to the DMV office.

11PAY THE SCHOOL PERMIT FEE

$10.50. Be prepared to pay cash.

12RECEIVE YOUR SCHOOL PERMIT

The county treasurer will issue your permit and send it within 30 days to the address indicated in your application.
Your SCP expires when you are 16 years and three months of age. After you hold it for at least 6 months, you may apply for the Provisional Operator's Permit ( POP) , which will allow you more driving privileges.

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How to Apply for Learner’s Permit (LPD) in Nebraska

Learner's permit allows every new driver to practice supervised driving. You may drive anytime accompanied by a licensed driver of at least 21 years of age. It's your first step in getting your driver's license according to NE Graduated Driver's Licensing Laws unless you qualify for School Permit.

1APPLY IN PERSON

You may visit any Nebraska DMV driver licensing office as early as 60 days before your 15th birthday, but the permit cannot be issued earlier than your 15th birthday.

2COMPLETE THE DATA FORM

You may download it here to complete at home and save time at the driver licensing office.

3BRING DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED

  • one proof of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Status. It must state your name, date of birth, and identity. E.g., a certified birth certificate, valid S. passport, I-94 or I-94A, valid Permanent Resident Card, etc.
  • principal address in Nebraska (at least 2 documents). Your parents/guardians' documents will be accepted. E.g., an account statement from a bank issued within the last 90 days, valid NE vehicle registration, mortgage or rental agreement, blank check, etc.
  • disclose your Social Security Number or bring proof of exemption.

Check here to get more ideas how to choose the correct documents.

4PASS A VISION TEST

You must meet minimum vision requirements. Wear corrective lenses if necessary.

5PASS A WRITTEN TEST

It will have 25 questions about Nebraska driving laws and regulations. If you fail the test, you may retake it as early as the next business day. Read Frequently Asked Questions about the Written Test and practice with free NE DMV practice tests before you go. This test will be waived if you have a school learner' permit (LPE) or school permit (SCP) that is valid or expired no longer than a year ago.

6PAY THE LEARNER’S PERMIT FEE

$10.50. Be prepared to pay cash.

7HAVE YOUR PERMT ISSUED BY A COUNTY TREASURER

Your learner's permit will be valid for a year. If you are under 21 years of age, you must hold the learner's permit or a combination of a learner's permit, school permit and school learner's permit for at least 6 months.
Your next step will be to apply for the Provisional Operator’s Permit which will allow you to drive on your own with a number of restrictions.

How to Apply for Provisional Operator’s Permit (POP) in Nebraska

This permit is the next step of getting driving privileges for 16- 18 year old applicants according to NE Graduated Driver's Licensing Laws. Your POP allows you to drive supervised by a licensed driver 21+ at all times as well as unsupervised but with several restrictions:

  • No driving between 12 midnight and 6 a.m. unless driving to or from home to work or a school activity.
  • During the first 6 months, carrying no more than one passenger who is not your immediate family and under 19 years of age.
  1. HOLD SCHOOL LEARNER'S PERMIT, SCHOOL PERMIT OR LEARNERS PERMIT

    You may hold one of these permits or a combination of them for at least 6 months. You mustn't accumulate more than 3 points on your driving record during this time.

  2. COMPLETE A DMV APPROVED DRIVER SAFETY COURSE OR BRING 50 HOUR CERTIFICATION FORM

    Your course results will be transmitted electronically to the DMV. Or bring 50 hour certification form signed by your parent/guardian or a licensed driver (21+) certifying 50 hours of your behind-the-wheel practice including 10 night time hours.

  3. APPLY ONLINE OR IN PERSON

    Everybody may apply in person, however, you may apply online if you hold a school permit (SCP) or have completed a DMV-approved course. Otherwise, you must apply in person at any Nebraska DMV driver licensing office. Step 4- 9 are for those who apply in person. To apply online, go to DMV Online Services, you will also need a credit card and email address.

  4. COMPLETE THE DATA FORM

    You may download it here to complete at home and save time at the driver licensing office.

  5. BRING DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED
    • one proof of identification. It must state your name and date of birth.
    • principal address in Nebraska (at least 2 documents). Your parents/guardians' documents will be accepted. E.g., an account statement from a bank issued within the last 90 days, valid NE vehicle registration, mortgage or rental agreement, blank check, etc.
    • disclose your Social Security Number or bring proof of exemption.
    • present a 50 hour certification form ( if haven't completed a DMV approved course)
    • Check here to get more ideas how to choose the correct documents.

  6. PASS THE VISION TEST

    You must meet minimum vision requirements. Wear corrective lenses if necessary.

  7. PASS THE DRIVE TEST

    It will measure your ability to drive in normal traffic conditions. You must bring your own vehicle. If you fail the drive test, you may not retake it on the same day. Learn more about the drive test procedure here. The drive test is waived if you hold a school permit (SCP) or have taken a DMV-approved course.

  8. PRESENT THE ISSUANCE CERTIFICATE TO ANY COUNTY TREASURER

    You may find their locations here. Do it within 90 days, otherwise, you will have to return to the DMV office.

  9. PAY THE FEE

    $17.50. Be prepared to pay cash.

  10. RECEIVE YOUR PROVISIONAL OPERATOR'S PERMIT (POP)

    The county treasurer will issue your permit and send it within 30 days to the address indicated in your application.

You may apply online or visit a driver license office to get your Standard (Adult) Operator's License (Class O) after your POP expires on your 18th birthday, or, if you are under 18 but has held your POP for 12 months with no more than 2 points on your driving record.

How to Apply for Your Operator's (Adult) License in Nebraska

The Standard Operator's License (Class O) will allow you to drive any non-commercial vehicles on your own. You may apply for it at the age of 17 if you have a POP. If you have held your Provisional Operator's Permit (POP) for 12 months or till your 18th birthday, whichever comes first, apply online (for US citizens only, and you will need a credit card and email address) or visit a driver license office.

If you have never been licensed or have a foreign driver's license, start with step 1.

If you are under 18 and have never been licensed, get your Provisional Operator's Permit (POP) first.

If you have a learner permit, start with step 7.

1APPLY IN PERSON

2COMPLETE THE DATA FORM

You may download it here to complete at home and save time at the driver licensing office.

3BRING DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED

  • one proof of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Status. It must state your name, date of birth, and identity. E.g., a certified birth certificate, valid S. passport, I-94 or I-94A, valid Permanent Resident Card, etc.
  • principal address in Nebraska (at least 2 documents). E.g., an account statement from a bank issued within the last 90 days, valid NE vehicle registration, mortgage or rental agreement, blank check, etc.
  • disclose your Social Security Number or bring proof of exemption.

Check here to get more ideas how to choose the correct documents.

4PASS A VISION TEST

You must meet minimum vision requirements. Wear corrective lenses if necessary.

5PASS A WRITTEN TEST

It will have 25 questions about Nebraska driving laws and regulations. If you fail the test, you may retake it as early as the next business day. Read Frequently Asked Questions about the Written Test and practice with free NE DMV practice tests before you go. This test will be waived if you have a learner's permit (LPD) that is valid or expired no longer than a year ago, or you have completed a DMV approved driver safety course.

6GET LEARNER PERMIT (OPTIONAL)

If you want to practice supervised driving before your drive test, you may get the permit first at a county treasurer for the $10.50 fee. The learner permit ( LPD) will be valid for one year.

7PASS THE DRIVE TEST

It will measure your ability to drive in normal traffic conditions. You must bring your own vehicle. If you fail the drive test, you may not retake it on the same day. Learn more about the drive test procedure here. The drive test is waived if you have taken a DMV-approved course.

8PRESENT THE ISSUANCE CERTIFICATE TO ANY COUNTY TREASURER

You may find their locations here. Do it within 90 days, otherwise, you will have to return to the DMV office.

9PAY THE FEE

$26.50 for a 5-year license. Be prepared to pay cash. Some county treasurers do not accept personal checks.

Nebraska Written Test aka Knowledge Test

Take a free practice test
What does the test include?
It consists of 25 multiple-choice and true or false questions that test your knowledge and understanding of Nebraska traffic laws and road signs. You must answer 20 questions correctly and get the score of 80% to pass the test. It can be administered on a computer or paper.
How to prepare for the test?
Study NE Driver's Manual 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.
What common errors must I avoid when taking the NE 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 is a good time to take a written test?
You may do it anytime the office is open, however, if you want to avoid crowds, arrive before 3 p.m. on a working day. Note that spring and summer breaks as well as one day before and after any holiday are usually busy as well.
In what languages are the tests available?
English and Spanish.
Can I take the test if I can’t read?
Yes, non-verbal tests are provided if needed.
Can I use the manual when taking the actual test?
No, it’s considered cheating. Moreover, you mustn’t use your phone or other wireless devices.
What happens if I fail the test?
You can retake it as early as the next business day.

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Drive Test

Step-by-Step Guide
What to expect during NE road test
Road Test FAQ
The exam will check your ability to drive safely under normal traffic conditions as well as your knowledge of the rules of the road. The test will last approximately 15 minutes. The tests are administered on a first come first serve basis.
Before the test
You must bring a vehicle in good working condition, which is clean both inside and outside, and safe to use. The speedometer must work properly.
During the test

Your job will be to follow the examiner's instructions and drive safely. The examiner may ask you to complete the following maneuvers:

  • Starting and stopping the car
  • Right and left turns
  • Driving in the correct lane
  • Proper positioning inside the lane
  • Obeying stop signs (come to a complete stop)
  • Obeying traffic signals
  • Controlling your speed (neither too fast not too slow)
  • Using and giving right-of-way when appropriate
  • Identifying and responding to hazards
  • Backing
  • Parking (parallel parking is not required)
At the end of the test

Your examiner will let you know if you pass or fail. If you pass, you will receive the Issuance certificate, which you will present at any County Treasurer within 90 days. Pay the fee and receive your license or permit.

If you fail the test, you will be given a Return of Services form, which will state why you've failed and how soon you may retake the test. Bring the Return of Services form for your next attempt.

If you fail 3 times, you won't be able to try again before you

How to Renew Your Driver License in Nebraska

  • Nebraska DMV sends renewal postcards 30 days before your license expiration. It is illegal to drive without a valid license, that is why plan your renewal in advance. You may apply for renewal 60 days prior to your 21st birthday, however, the license will not be valid until 10 days prior to your 21st birthday. If you are over 21, you may renew 90 days prior to the expiration date.

    You may renew in person at any Nebraska DMV driver licensing office.

    Plan of Action:

    1. COMPLETE THE DATA FORM

      You may download it here to complete at home and save time at the driver licensing office.

    2. BRING DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED
      1. The renewal postcard (if you received one)
      2. one proof of identification. It must state your name and date of birth.
      3. principal address in Nebraska (at least 2 documents) only if you have moved.

      Check here to get more ideas how to choose the correct documents.

    3. PASS A VISION TEST

      You must meet minimum vision requirements. Wear corrective lenses if necessary.

    4. PAY THE FEE

      $26.50 for a 5 year license. Be prepared to pay cash.

    5. GET A 30-DAY RECEIPT

      The receipt will allow you to drive while you are waiting for your permanent license. The license will arrive in mail within 14 business days. If you don't receive your license within 20 days, contact Driver Licensing Services at 402-471-3861.

    If your license has been expired for more than a year, you will have to retake vision, written and road skills tests to renew it.

  • You may renew by mail if you are out of state during your renewal period ( 60 days prior to license expiring if you are turning 21 or 90 days for all other renewals). You may renew before the expiration date or up to one year after the expiration.

    Plan of Action:

    1. Download and complete the renewal form.
    2. Have section B of the form completed by an optometrist or an out of state driver license examiner.
    3. Add copies of the following documents:
      1. your valid Nebraska driver's license or other identification
      2. 2 proofs of your Nebraska address. Check possible ideas here.
    4. Include your out of state address, phone and/or fax number.
    5. Send the packet to
      PO Box 94726
      Lincoln, NE 68509
      Or you may fax it to 402-471-4020
    6. Receive an issuance certificate from the DMV.
    7. Sign the certificate, add the fee and send it back to the Lincoln office.
    8. Receive your 30 day Temporary Driving Receipt.
    9. Receive your Nebraska operator's license within 10-14 days.
  • You may renew online if everything below is true:

    1. You haven't replaced your license online more than twice in the last 5 years.
    2. You are a US citizen.
    3. Your physical description hasn't changed significantly.
    4. You are younger than 72 years of age.
    5. Your name hasn't changed since your last renewal.
    6. You last renewed online 10 or more years ago.
    7. You are required to submit medical or vision information to the DMV.

    You may renew online 90 days (21+) and 10 days ( under 21 years of age) before your license expiration date.

    Plan of Action:

    1. Use official Nebraska DMV online services
    2. Complete your application information online to check if you are eligible to renew online.
    3. Upload 2 proofs of address change if necessary.
    4. Provide your email address.
    5. Pay the fee of $26.50 + a convenience fee. You will have to pay by card.
    6. You will be sent your new license within 14 business days.
    7. Complete an online driver license inquiry form if you don't receive your new license within 20 business days.

New Residents: How to Get the Nebraska Driver License

If you become a resident of Nebraska and want to be able to drive here, you are required to transfer your current license within 30 days.
Out-of-state license Foreign license
Not sure if you are a resident of Nebraska?
Are you a Nebraska resident?
You’re considered resident for driver license purposes if you move to Nebraska and establish your permanent home 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 full time student in Nebraska, but your home is in another state.

I’ve Got a Valid Out-of-State License

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

If you move from another US state and have a valid driver’s license from this state, the written and drive tests are usually waived. However, the drive test may be administered at the discretion of driver licensing staff. If your out-of-state license expired more than a year ago, you will be required to pass written and drive tests. If it expired less than a year ago, your drive test may be waived.

Plan of Action
  1. APPLY IN PERSON

    You may visit any Nebraska DMV driver licensing office.

  2. COMPLETE THE DATA FORM

    You may download it here to complete at home and save time at the driver licensing office.

  3. BRING DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED
    • one proof of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Status. It must state your name, date of birth, and identity. E.g., a certified birth certificate, valid S. passport, I-94 or I-94A, valid Permanent Resident Card, etc.
    • principal address in Nebraska (at least 2 documents). E.g., an account statement from a bank issued within the last 90 days, valid NE vehicle registration, mortgage or rental agreement, blank check, etc.
    • disclose your Social Security Number or bring proof of exemption.

    Check here to get more ideas how to choose the correct documents.

  4. PASS A VISION TEST

    You must meet minimum vision requirements. Wear corrective lenses if necessary.

  5. SURRENDER YOUR OUT-OF-STATE LICENSE

    If you can't surrender the license, you will be asked to pass written and drive tests.

  6. PAY THE FEE

    $26.50. Be prepared to pay cash. Some county treasurers do not accept personal checks.

driver's license in Nebraska
Your permanent Nebraska operator’s license will arrive in mail within 30 days. In most cases it will be valid for 5 years.

I've Got a Valid Foreign License

Moving from another country? Welcome to Nebraska!

If you hold a driver's license from another country, the procedure of transferring your driver license is similar to that of applying for a new Nebraska operator's license. It means that you will have to pass written and driving tests. You don't have to get a learner's permit. Check your full guide to applying for your driver's license in Nebraska.

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