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How Graduated Driver's Licensing Works by Molliie Jones

How Graduated Driver’s Licensing Works

by Mollie Jones

Getting a driver’s license is an important rite of passage as a teenager. Lately there has been much debate over the age at which teens should be eligible to drive by themselves. These debates have resulted in graduated driver’s licensing laws in many states. Though ages and restrictions can vary by state, graduated driver’s license laws share some common objectives.

  • Learner’s permit
    To obtain a learner’s permit, often a teen driver must meet specific age requirements (typically 15 or 16 years old), complete a driver’s education course and pass a written driving exam. Adult supervision may be required for 30-50 hours of driving time before the teen can earn an intermediate license.

  • Intermediate license
    An intermediate license is granted when a young driver has reached 16 or 17 years of age. At this point adult supervision is no longer required. However, other restrictions to the teen driver’s license will still apply, like nighttime driving curfews, cell phone restrictions and passenger limits. Teen drivers will also need to pass a behind-the-wheel maneuverability test.

  • Full license
    Teens qualify for a full driver’s license after successfully completing the first two phases of graduated driver’s licensing. This typically happens between the ages of 17 and 18. Restrictions on nighttime driving and number of passengers are lifted for the full teen driver license.

Remember that graduated driver’s licensing laws can vary by state. For example, some states require teens to obtain a full license in the three phases outlined above while other states only require two phases. Be sure to check with your state’s department of motor vehicles for details on getting a graduated driver’s license. Also, make sure your young driver is covered by car insurance for teenagers. Find affordable rates on car insurance quotes for coverage that fits your family’s needs.