missouri driving laws

All new drivers should be well-informed about Missouri driving laws, for the safety of the driver and those around them on the road.

For new drivers, the structure of graduated driver’s license law can be confusing, so keep this information handy.

The Missouri Department of Revenue issues each of the three stages of the graduated license, and you can contact them here.

For additional information, contact the experienced team at Cottrell Law Office today.

Instruction Permit 

Every first-time driver starts with an instruction permit. You are eligible for an instruction permit at the age of 15, and once you receive your instruction permit, it is valid for 12 months.

To earn your instruction permit, you must pass three tests:

These tests are conducted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol at one of their driver examination stations.

Your instruction permit is not a regular operator’s license, but the first step in a three-part journey to get there.

Because of this, you must drive with a qualified person in the front seat of your vehicle.

A Missouri teen driver can’t drive with just their passed test paperwork; they must have their instruction permit with them at all times. 

Intermediate License 

To qualify for an intermediate license, according to Missouri driving laws, a driver between the ages of 16 to 18 with an instruction permit must hold that permit for 182 consecutive days.

The day you are issued the permit does not count, so the 182-day time period begins the day after you receive your instruction permit.

It’s important to follow all traffic laws and be a safe driver while you have your instruction permit if you want to move forward with gaining a full driver’s license.

For example, if you have a traffic ticket or an alcohol-related offense, you will have to wait additional time before you can receive your intermediate license.

To earn your intermediate license you must:

  • Pass a driving test conducted by Missouri State Highway Patrol; 
  • Complete 40 hours of driving instruction, 10 of which must be after dark; and
  • Have completed the written and road sign recognition tests less than a year ago. 

Once you meet all these requirements, you are not a full unrestricted driver. An intermediate license in Missouri allows you to drive by yourself and with immediate family members.

There are also specific rules applying to what time you can drive. 

Under 21 Regular Operator License

Once you turn 18, or you are within 30 days of your birthday and all other requirements are met, you can apply for an under 21 regular operator license as long as you have not had an alcohol-related offense for 12 months.

If you have, you’ll need to wait. As long as you still hold an intermediate license and have passed all the tests mentioned above, you can apply for a regular operator license and drive without restrictions. 

Call Cottrell Law Office for All Missouri Driving Law Needs

If you or your driver is in the process of earning their driver’s license and encounters legal issues such as traffic infractions or alcohol-related incidents, Cottrell Law Office can help.

Safe driving is always the best policy when keeping up with Missouri driving laws, but we know things can happen.

Cottrell Law Office has numerous positive reviews that speak to our compassion for our clients.

Call (800) 364-8305 or contact us online if you have any questions! 

Author Photo

Wesley Cottrell

Wes Cottrell earned his B.A. from Pittsburg State University in 1981 and his J.D. from the Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas in 1985. He was admitted to practice law in Kansas in 1986, in Missouri in 1987, in Arkansas in 1989, and Oklahoma in 1993. He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.

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