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Driver Licensing > Apply for a Driver License > Classifications and Restrictions

Drivers in New Hampshire must have the proper class of license to match the type of vehicle they drive. Vehicles in New Hampshire are classified according to the manufacturers' gross vehicle weight rating and body style. The New Hampshire classified license system is broken down as follows:

Driver License Classifications

  • Class A: Commercial, CDL-A.
  • Class B: Commercial, CDL-B.
  • Class C: Commercial, CDL-C.
  • Class D: Operator License. An operator license is what most people think of as a "regular" driver license. It allows you to drive a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 26,000 pounds or less. With an operator's license, you can tow a trailer with a gross weight of 10,000 pounds or less, but you cannot transport hazardous materials or drive a bus designed to transport more than 15 persons. An operator license allows you to drive a moped but not a motorcycle, 3-wheeled motorcycle or motor-driven cycle.
  • Motorcycle License: A motorcycle license allows you to drive motorcycles, mopeds and 3 wheeled motorcycles. Most drivers with a motorcycle license also hold either an operator or commercial license, although, it is possible to hold a Motorcycle-only license which allows operation of a motorcycle but no other class of vehicle.
  • 3-Wheeled Motorcycle: This license type allows you to drive a three-wheeled motorcycle but not a two-wheeled motorcycle or motor-driven cycle. If you take a motorcycle road test on a three-wheeled motorcycle, you are restricted to operating only a three-wheeled motorcycle. If you take a motorcycle road test on a conventional, two-wheeled motorcycle you can operate a three-wheeled motorcycle.
  • Motor-driven Cycle License: This license type allows you to drive any moped, motor scooter, bicycle with motor attached and small motorcycle with no more than five (5) horsepower.
  • Moped License: This license type allows you to drive a moped only. To be classified as a "moped", a vehicle must meet all of the following:
    • Not require the driver to shift gears.
    • Have a motor not more than two (2) horsepower or 50 cc. in size.
    • Not be able to go faster than 30 MPH on level ground.
    You need a special moped license to drive a moped only if you don't hold any other class of license. If you already hold an operator, CDL, motorcycle or motor-driven cycle license you can also drive a moped.

License Restrictions

Under certain conditions, the privilege to drive a motor vehicle is restricted in specific ways. If a driver has a restriction on his or her license, it will be listed on the back of the license. Restrictions placed on a driver license include:

  • Corrective lenses.
  • Mechanical aid.
  • Prosthetic aid.
  • Automatic transmission.
  • Outside mirror required.
  • Daylight only.
  • Alcohol Interlock Device.

Restrictions for Commercial Driver Licenses are listed under CDL Classifications.

Age Restrictions

  • Youth Operators
    • A driver must be at least 16 years of age to get a New Hampshire Driver License. Drivers between the ages of 16 and 21 will be issued a Youth Operator License which will expire on their 21st birthday. Drivers 16 and 17 years old may apply for a license only if they pass an approved Driver Education Program.
    • Drivers under 18 years of age cannot get a commercial driver license and must observe the following restrictions:
      1. Shall not operate a motor vehicle between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m.
      2. During the first 6 months holding the license, shall not operate a motor vehicle with more than one passenger less than 25 years of age who is not a member of the driver's family unless accompanied by a licensed, responsible adult who is at least 25 years of age.
      3. Shall not operate a motor vehicle with more passengers than seat belts or safety restraints in the vehicle.

New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles | 23 Hazen Drive | Concord, NH 03305
TDD Access: Relay NH (800) 735-2964