A Step-by-Step Guide to Obtaining an Oregon Driver’s License

Moving to a new state can be daunting, especially when it comes to obtaining a driver’s license. If you are moving to Oregon, this guide will provide you with the necessary steps to obtain an Oregon driver’s license, whether you are a new resident or an out-of-state license holder. We will discuss everything from required documents to driving tests and fees. By the end of this guide, you will have a clear understanding of what to expect when obtaining your Oregon driver’s license.

Rose Garden Portland OR
Beautiful fuschia rose at the Rose Garden in Portland OR

Gather Required Documents

Before visiting the local Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office, gather all necessary documents. For a new driver’s license, you will need proof of identity, your Social Security number, and proof of residency. Out-of-state residents must also bring their current driver’s license. The OR DMV website provides a complete list of acceptable forms of identification, but ensure you have at least one form of primary identification such as a passport or a state-issued birth certificate. If you want a Real ID, there are additional documentation requirements.

The Real ID program is a federal initiative that requires states to meet new security standards for their state-issued identification cards and driver’s licenses. Oregon is among the states that are participating in the program. To get a Real ID in Oregon, applicants must provide proof of identity, such as a US passport. If their name is different from their passport, they need to provide proof of name, such as an out-of-state driver’s license. A social security number is also required, as well as proof of address. For this last requirement, two documents are needed, such as a utility hookup order and any item delivered by a verifiable business or government agency. By providing these documents, Oregonians can obtain a Real ID and be ready for future travel within the US.

Take the Knowledge Test

Once you have gathered your documents, head to your local DMV office to take the knowledge test. For those who are planning to move to Oregon and already have a valid driver’s license from another state, it’s important to know that there are certain requirements for getting an Oregon license. While you won’t be required to take a driving test, you will have to take a knowledge test to prove you understand Oregon’s traffic laws and safety regulations. To make an appointment to take the test, you can call the Oregon DMV at 503-945-5000 or go online to their website at dmv2u. oregon.gov. Even though it may seem like an extra step, taking the knowledge test will ensure that you’re fully prepared to drive safely on Oregon’s roads.

The knowledge test covers traffic laws, road signs, and safe driving practices. Study the Oregon Driver’s Manual, available online or at the DMV office, before taking the test. To pass, get at least 28 out of 35 questions correct.

Take the Vision Test

After passing the knowledge test, you will be given a vision test. You must pass this test to continue on to the driving test. Be sure to bring any prescription glasses or contacts, if needed. If you fail the vision test, you will need an eye examination from an eye doctor, and get some glasses or contacts, and then take the vision test again.

Remember to bring your glasses to the vision test. Photo by Bud Helisson on Unsplash

Take the Driving Test

Once you’ve passed the knowledge and vision tests, you’re ready for the road test (only required for those without a valid out of state driving license). Make sure your vehicle is up to par with Oregon law before taking the test, including proof of insurance and a valid registration. The road test will include a demonstration of your knowledge of traffic laws, signal usage, and driving in different situations. 

hands on steering wheel
Are you ready for your driving test? Photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash

The Oregon driving test encompasses a range of maneuvers, including turning, signaling, backing, changing lanes, controlling speed, and general driving ability. To pass the test, individuals must demonstrate their ability to exercise good road courtesy and obey traffic signs and signals. As the test can be challenging, those preparing for it may benefit from practicing regularly and reviewing the Oregon Driver Handbook. Some students choose to take a driver’s education to help them prepare. Additionally, it is important to remain calm and composed while taking the test. By mastering the necessary skills and maintaining focus, drivers can gain their license and hit the road with confidence.

After passing the driving test, you will receive your temporary driver’s license.

Receive Your Oregon Driver’s License

After completing all the necessary tests and documents, you will receive your Oregon driver’s license. The license is valid for eight years and has an expiration date. Licenses can be renewed online or at your local DMV office. You may also receive a state ID card for identification purposes.

For Those Who Don’t Have an Existing Driver’s License Under 18

If you want to practice driving, and you do not have another driver’s license from out of state, then you have to get a learner’s license to practice driving. 

Getting your learner’s permit is an exciting step in becoming a licensed driver, but the process can seem daunting. In Oregon, the process is straightforward, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are the steps of getting your provisional instruction permit. If you’re 15, 16 or 17 years of age, then follow these steps:

Step 1: Study the Oregon Driver Manual

Before you can take the knowledge test, you need to study the Oregon Driver Manual. This comprehensive guide covers all the rules of the road, driving techniques, and safety tips. You can download the manual for free from the DMV website or pick up a physical copy at a DMV office.

Step 2: Take the Practice Knowledge Test (Optional)

If you want to test your knowledge before taking the real exam, you can take the practice knowledge test on the DMV website. The practice test is similar to the real one and will give you a good idea of the types of questions you’ll be asked.

Step 3: Determine if You Need a Real ID

A REAL ID card is a federally compliant card that can be used as identification for domestic air travel and entry into federal buildings. If you plan on flying or entering a federal building, you may want to get a REAL ID. To apply for a REAL ID, you will need to bring additional documentation to the DMV.

Step 4: Make an Appointment or Visit a DMV Office for Standby Service

To minimize wait times, it’s recommended that you make an appointment at a DMV office. However, some offices also offer standby service where you can walk in and be seen on a first-come, first-served basis. Check the DMV website for standby service availability at your local office.

Step 5: Complete the Pre-Application Online

If this is your first time getting a driver’s license in Oregon, you can complete the pre-application online. This will save you time at the DMV and ensure that you have all the necessary information handy.

Step 6: Provide DMV with Your Parent or Legal Guardian’s Signature

If you are under 18 years old, you will need to have your parent or legal guardian sign your application before you can get your permit. Make sure they bring a valid form of identification and are available to sign.

Step 7: Go to a DMV Office

On the day of your appointment, bring all your documentation and head to a DMV office. Make sure to dress appropriately per the photo rules (no hats, glasses, etc.)

Step 8: Pass the Knowledge Test and Vision Test

You will need to pass a knowledge test and a vision test. The knowledge test covers the information in the Oregon Driver Manual, and the vision test ensures that you can see well enough to drive.

Step 9: Pay the Fee

The fee for a provisional instruction permit is $23, or $53 for a REAL ID. Make sure to bring cash, a check, or a credit card.

Step 10: Get Your Picture Taken

Finally, you’ll need to get your picture taken for your permit. Remember the photo rules mentioned above.

Miscellaneous Information

After you’ve completed the above steps, you will receive an interim card to use as proof of driving privileges. Your instruction permit will be mailed to the address you provided, so make sure it’s up to date. Keep in mind that the interim card may not be accepted as proof of identification by some government agencies and businesses, so check before you go.

For Adults that need a Learner’s Permit

If you’re an adult and want to get your learner’s permit in Oregon, you’re in the right place. Obtaining a learner’s permit is an important process for anyone who wants to legally practice driving before getting their full driver’s license. But, for adults who are new to the state, or have never had a driver’s license before, it can be a daunting process. Don’t worry, we’re going to guide you through all the necessary steps to get your learner’s permit in Oregon as an adult.

Step 1: Study the Oregon Driver Manual

The first thing you need to do is study the Oregon Driver Manual. You can obtain a copy of the manual for free at any DMV office, or you can also access an online version on the Oregon DMV website. Make sure to read the manual thoroughly, as it contains all the information you need to know about traffic laws, driving techniques, and various other important rules and regulations.

Step 2: Decide if you want a Real ID

If you’re planning to fly domestically or enter a federal building or military base after October 1, 2021, you’ll need a Real ID. If you’re unsure if you need a Real ID or not, you can check the requirements on the DMV website. If you choose to get a Real ID, you’ll need to bring additional documents to prove your identity and physical address.

Step 3: Complete the pre-application online

If this is your first time getting a driver’s license in Oregon, you’ll need to complete a pre-application online. This will save you time when you visit the DMV, as it will pre-fill some of the required forms.

Step 4: Make an appointment or visit a DMV office for standby service

Next, you need to make an appointment or visit a DMV office for standby service. It’s recommended that you schedule an appointment to avoid any long wait times. However, you can also visit the DMV without an appointment and ask for standby service. Keep in mind that standby service is not guaranteed, and you may have to wait for a while.

Step 5: Show proof of your physical address and identity

When you visit the DMV, you’ll need to show proof of your physical address and identity. Acceptable documents include a passport, birth certificate, or Social Security card, as well as utility bills or pay stubs to prove your address.

Step 6: Pass the knowledge test and vision test

Once you’ve provided all necessary documents, you’ll need to pass the knowledge test and vision test. The knowledge test will cover the information you learned in the Oregon Driver Manual, and the vision test will ensure that you have adequate eyesight to drive safely.

Step 7: Pay the fee and get your picture taken

Finally, you’ll need to pay the $23 fee or $53 for a Real ID, and get your picture taken. After this, you’ll be issued your learner’s permit, which is valid for two years. Congratulations, you’re one step closer to getting your full driver’s license in Oregon! Now start practicing driving!

Getting a learner’s permit in Oregon as an adult may seem overwhelming, but it’s actually a straightforward process. By following these simple steps, you can obtain your permit and start practicing driving safely and legally in Oregon. Remember to study the Oregon Driver Manual, bring all necessary documents to the DMV, and be prepared to take the knowledge and vision tests. Good luck on your journey to becoming a licensed driver in Oregon!

Car Registration

When you move to Oregon, you must transfer your vehicle’s title to the state’s DMV to register it. Whether you bought a brand new vehicle or moved with your old car, the process requires patience and some paperwork. Here are the steps involved in titling and registering your vehicle in Oregon.

blue car
Make sure you register your car here in Oregon. Photo by Grahame Jenkins on Unsplash

Step 1: Collect Required Documents

Before you set an appointment at your local DMV, make sure you have all the necessary documents. You will need a completed title application form and the original title or ownership document, including the certificate of origin if your vehicle is new. If your title is lost, complete the replacement title application form and provide the necessary information of the vehicle’s owners. If your vehicle has an out-of-state or foreign title, you’ll require a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) inspection for $7.

Step 2: Clear Any Previous Obligations

Before applying for a new title, you need to resolve any previous liens or security interests. Provide original lien releases from any previous security interest holders and original bills of sale or releases from any previous owners. Be prepared to submit additional documentation or fees if the new title has any outstanding obligations.

Step 3: Get an Odometer Disclosure Statement

If your vehicle is subject to odometer disclosure, you need to obtain an odometer disclosure statement. You can get this statement in the transfer area on the title or a separate disclosure form. The statement confirms the accuracy of your vehicle’s mileage at the time of transfer.

Step 4: Apply for Title and Register the Vehicle

Once you have all the necessary documentation, you can apply for a new title and register your vehicle. If your car is 7 years or newer, you will also need to issue a smog certification. The fees for titling, registration, and occupancy taxes vary depending on the type of vehicle you own. Once you pay the fees, you’ll get the new plates and the registration.

Step 5: Keep Your Vehicle Documents Safe

After you have successfully transferred your car’s title to the DMV, make sure you keep all the vehicle documentation safe and secure. Store the documents in an easily accessible file and know where it is at all times.


Titling and registering your vehicle in Oregon can be a process. However, if you follow the guidelines in this blog, you should be able to transfer your title without any hassle. Make sure you collect all necessary documentation, clear any previous obligations, get an odometer disclosure statement, apply for title and register, and keep your documents safe. By doing so, you will not only ensure that you comply with state laws but you will also save yourself the headache of any potential hassle in the future. Welcome to the Beaver State!

Beautiful sand garden at the Portland Japanese Garden at Washington Park in Portland, OR
Beautiful sand garden at the Portland Japanese Garden at Washington Park in Portland, OR