This guest post is brought to you by Safer America, which provides consumer safety information to help make the American community a safer place.


Learning how to drive in the US can be both exhilarating and intimidating. With so many rules and situational circumstances, new drivers can feel overwhelmed with the major responsibilities that come with being on the road. Furthermore, each state’s driving laws and standards are different, which can pose even more pressure. Oregon, in particular, has a pretty extensive driving program that all new Oregon drivers must adhere to for a variety of reasons.


The Great Rainy State

A Portland Car Accident Lawyer, Travis Mayor, explains “the hardest aspect of driving in Oregon is adapting to rainy conditions. Low hanging clouds and constant rain means low visibility and slick roads. The frequent rain brings clogged storm drains from fallen leaves, landslides and debris flows. Many Oregonians are ‘used to’ the rainfall and it becomes a way of life. For this reason, local drivers neglect to take extra precautions in the rain, sleet and fog.”

With that being said, how do you prepare for this major responsibility? The Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division (DMV) within the Oregon Department of Transportation requires all teenagers between the ages of 15-18 to complete a specified training program before testing for their license. Those above the age of 18 directly apply for their license by taking the DMV test.


The Learner’s Permit

The first step in learning to drive in Oregon is obtaining a learner’s permit. Teenage drivers, ages 15-18, are required to take a written test with 35 questions, and must answer 28 correctly. The test is comprised of questions spanning from road sign indications to situational scenarios. Additionally, a standard vision test is required, to determine the new driver’s sight. Once he or she receives their learner’s permit, they are legally allowed to drive, with an accompanied adult over the age of 21.


The Training Program & DMV Driver’s Test

The training program is arguably one of the most important aspects while learning to drive in Oregon since a new driver gains hands-on experience on the road. Oregon has specified that new drivers under 18 years old complete one of the following:


  • A driver’s training course offered by a certified instructor, totaling 47 hours, and 50 hours of behind the wheel driving practice (recommended)

  • 100 hours of supervised behind the wheel driving practice


learner driver


The final step is to apply for your driver’s license. Below are the eligibility requirements:

  • At least 16 years old
  • Have held your learner’s permit for at least six months & completed the necessary driving practice hours
  • Have no suspensions, cancelations, or revocation on your learner’s permit
  • Pass a DMV driving test or submit the completion card from the driver’s training course.

If a new driver completes the recommended training course program, he or she will receive a completion certificate and will not need to take the DMV driving test (a major benefit of the program). For drivers who opted for 100 hours of supervised behind the wheel driving practice or are over the age of 18, a test is administered at on of the DMV locations.


 Keeping New Oregon Drivers Safe

Now that a new driver has completed a training program and passed a DMV driving test in Oregon, is all the pressure suddenly uplifted? Absolutely not- driving is not easy, regardless of the age. However, new drivers face tougher obstacles because they are new to the road, so Oregon does impose stricter rules on them to keep the streets as safe as possible. New drivers under the age of 18 must abide by the two regulations below:

  • During the first six months of obtaining a license, new Oregon drivers cannot have a passenger younger than 20 in the car at any time, unless it is a family member.
  • During the second half of that year, new drivers cannot carry more than three passengers under the age of 20.


Furthermore, curfews are implemented for drivers under the age of 18. Oregon laws state that any young driver may not drive between midnight and 5 a.m. except for any job purposes, between home and a school event when no other transportation is available, or with a passenger who is at least 25 years old.

While classroom learning and behind the wheel lessons can’t guarantee a clean driving record, it helps prevents thousands of accidents every year. These processes allow the community to learn the basic principles and norms for safe driving and aims to keep all drivers safe on the road.