Back To Posts
The United States is one of the few countries in the world that allows its citizens to obtain a driver’s license before they reach the age of majority. At the age of 14-16, you are issued a driver’s license and can move freely around the country when accompanied by responsible people. From 17, you can drive unattended, but with certain restrictions. It is crucial to follow all the established rules. Safety is of paramount importance here and for a good reason.
According to a CDC study, about 110 people in the United States die daily in road accidents. According to the IIHS, out of 41,000 traffic fatalities in 2020, 2,730 were young people under 19. In addition, approximately 2,100 underage drivers and passengers were involved in or caused a fatal accident.
So, for anyone who wants to get, for example, a 16 yr old driver’s license, restrictions have been introduced to help teach young drivers about traffic rules and road behavior. They include:
- The number of passengers in the car
- The presence of guardians in the car while driving
- The speed of the vehicle
- List of roads and areas where driving is prohibited
- Purpose of the trip
- Time of continuous driving
Moreover, each state has its own rules for beginners under the age of 18. Like a graduated driver’s license, the rights and restrictions are regulated by levels, experience, etc.
So what is GDL? Can you get a driver’s license at 16, and can you get your license at 17 without a permit? American REIA specialists have prepared a comprehensive guide on what does graduated driver’s license mean, where they answered all of these questions and more. Discover industry professionals’new driving license laws overview and prepare for your first license.
What Is the Distinction Between a Junior Learner Permit & a Junior Driver‘s License?
Let’s get back to the main question: What age can you get a driver’s license? As mentioned above, 14-16 years old. This is the legal age to drive when you can get a learner’s license but with some restrictions. Be prepared to drive under the supervision of a parent or guardian. This is the key difference between a junior learner’s permit and a junior (intermediate) driver’s license. The latter has these and some other restrictions removed.
What is an intermediate license? This driving permit is obtained at least 6 months after the first document is issued and upon reaching 16.5 years of age.
With the intermediate license (junior driver’s license), there are exceptions to the rules:
- In northern New York, the driving age is 16, and restrictions on travel time and supervisor presence are removed. At the same time, it is allowed to take one passenger under 21.
- At night (21:00-5:00), driving is allowed only between home and school/place of work. Proof of employment or training is also required.
- Long Island has no restrictions on driving at night, but the routes are limited to typical destinations (school, office, etc.).
Such a license is not valid in New York City itself. Therefore, even if you reach the minimum driving age and obtain all the permits, you will be fined and deprived of your license. However, if you have a guardian in the car, you can drive around the city.
An extended learner’s permit removes some restrictions; however, not in all states and not under all conditions. To avoid getting into trouble, you should check the list of GDL restrictions for a particular region in advance.
As a rule, restrictions are removed for daytime driving within certain areas, while at night, they remain unchanged. The same applies to driving under supervision. If there are any relaxations, they are not significant and are not perceived as renewals of permits.
In addition, some states, such as New York, generally equate the initial and learner’s licenses with each other without introducing any exemptions for beginners. Moreover, it is not allowed to drive unaccompanied on some streets and neighborhoods at all. This usually applies primarily to busy roads with high traffic, multiple lanes, and complex interchanges.
What Is a Graduated Driver License?
GDL is a graduated driver’s license program that allows minors to drive a vehicle with or without a supervisor at a set time. It is intended primarily to train beginners to expand their freedom of movement, get to school or work without hindrance, etc.
Accordingly, the program lowers the minimum legal driving age and the age for a driver’s license. However, it regulates at what age you can get a driver’s license and under what conditions you can move around the city on your own.
So, the question arises: how old do you have to be to get your license? That becomes possible from the age of 14. As for the transition from a junior license to an unrestricted license, it is possible only from the age of 17. Thus, the driver’s license ages are 14-18 years old, but a full-fledged license is only available from age 21. The requirements differ depending on the state.
Graduated driver’s license law clearly states the age and the necessary skills, experience, and restrictions for obtaining a license. It also includes objections to a graduated driver’s license.
Graduated driver license programs generally involve stages listed below:
- Learner: supervised driving, cumulating with a driving test
- Intermediate: limiting unsupervised driving in potentially dangerous situations
- Full privilege: a standard driver’s license
To move between the grades, a beginner must practice and reach a certain age, although these conditions vary from state to state. For example, while Intermediate usually requires 50 hours of driving during the day and 10 hours at night, Arkansas does not have such requirements. Or, in the case of Iowa, the driving time is reduced by about 2 times.
As for the transportation of passengers, only family members (even minors) are allowed in the car. In some cases, you can carry people over the age of 21. These rules depend on the region where the newcomer gains experience.
GDL License Restrictions Are Classified Into Several Types
Getting a license is only the first step to becoming a full-fledged driver, and here’s why: driving licensing laws include driving permit ages, new driver’s license laws, and requirements. Let’s look at the following examples:
|Learner – 9 months||Class 5 |
Novice 1-6 months
|Class 5 |
Novice 2-12 months
16 years of age or 15 years of age, but only for a school course
|16 years of age|
|Pass written test||Pass Class 5 road test|| |
12 months – excludes interruptions; Same period – at-fault collision, traffic conviction, and suspension free
|Nine months – excludes interruptions (non-renewal, refusal, suspension)|| |
(non-renewal, refusal, suspension)
Mandatory education – high school training (30 hours in-class, six hours in-car) or commercial training (six hours in-class, six hours in-car)
There are driving restrictions for 17-year-olds, for example:
|Class 7 |
Learner – 9 months
|Class 5 |
Novice 1-6 months
|Class 5 |
Novice 2-12 months
|A responsible person must be present||One passenger who is not part of the family |
Other passengers must be immediate family members and are limited to the number of seatbelts
|Number of passengers limited to the number of seatbelts|
|Pass written test|| |
Pass Class 5 road test
Between midnight and 5 a.m., passengers must be immediate family members.
Mandatory education – high school training (30 hours in-class, six hours in-car) or commercial training (six hours in-class, six hours in-car)
The fact of how old you have to be to get a driver’s license is quite essential. However, other requirements and restrictions imposed on beginners are of greater value for the safety of road users.
Please note that you must gain a certain number of hours of driving experience for each gradation in different conditions. Most often, it is:
- 50-100 hours in the daytime
- 10-20 hours of night driving
- Driving in dense traffic (busy streets of large cities)
- Practicing actions in dangerous or stressful situations
- Perfect knowledge of traffic rules
In addition, the frequency of re-tests of skills and knowledge of traffic rules is established. Usually, it occurs from 6 months to a year, depending on the license category and the driver’s age.
Driving in a Different State? Other State GDL Laws Can Be Found Here
The answer to your question about age, such as “Can I get my license at 17?” depends on the state. Therefore, carefully review the section that applies to your region. You will also find Michigan level 1 license rules, Michigan level 2 license rules, Alabama graduated driver’s license requirements, and more. Accordingly, this will help you better prepare for getting a license valid in any state of the United States.
In short, depending on the region, there are restrictions on movement for newcomers. Here are the most common ones young drivers should be aware of:
- The driving age for beginners varies from 16 to 18 years (in some regions, up to 21).
- Night driving (unaccompanied) is prohibited.
- The number of passengers under 21 is up to 1 person (excluding family members).
- The speed limit is set for each region.
- Insurance is mandatory in all cases.
The requirements and rules are somewhat less strict for the next levels of driver’s licenses, but they are not eliminated. So before you get behind the wheel, ensure you don’t violate state law.
Choosing a Vehicle With Teen Safety in Mind
The Graduated Driver Licensing Program sets requirements even for the vehicle that a teenager will drive. It must be equipped with modern safety systems and, even better, an additional brake for the instructor or authorized person.
The priority is for small or family cars equipped with seat belts, electronic power steering, brakes, lane-keeping systems, speed limitation, distance keeping, and automatic transmission. These include hatchbacks, station wagons, minivans, and sedans.
Electric cars and hybrids are considered one of the best solutions in 2023. Such vehicles will be useful for beginners and experienced drivers who seek travel convenience and ease of driving.
Get Good Discounts on Quality Coverage for Young Drivers
Did you know that insurance is one of the most important things a driver needs to prepare a car for use? However, its cost directly depends on the age of the driver. Moreover, the younger the driver, the higher the price, for example:
Average monthly price of the policy, USD
And the key factor in this cost is the risk of an accident. An inexperienced driver is considered a potential offender and culprit of an accident. Moreover, the payments made by insurance companies can even reach the cost of the car. Therefore, its insurance is more expensive than for an experienced driver.
But don’t worry, American REIA specialists will help you with car insurance and even provide you with a discount on the policy and company services. If you want to get insurance for your vehicle and driver quickly and without problems, book a free consultation!
Frequently Asked Questions
What age can you get your driver’s license?
It depends on the state where the driver lives. The average age in the United States is 14-16 years old, but some regions may have a different minimum threshold for driving (subject to additional conditions).
What is a GDL?
GDL is a scalable driver’s license issued in adolescence and renewed after a certain period, subject to the following conditions: passing advanced training exams, having a sufficient number of driving hours, having no violations, etc.
What restrictions does a graduated driver’s license impose?
It depends on the license gradation and the policy of a particular state. Typically, new drivers are not allowed to drive without a responsible person present, have young passengers, or drive at night.
- Navigating Homeowners Associations: Understanding How HOAs…
- Progressive Insurance 2022: Offers Review
- How To Get Cheap Car Insurance for Under-25 Drivers
- Types of Insurance You (May) Need in California: Mandatory…
- How to Obtain Car Insurance for Non-U.S. Citizens
Nighttime driving restriction begins at 11 p.m.: Even with a junior license, a young driver may not be behind the wheel between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Exceptions for employment and volunteer or charitable service will apply, but young drivers must carry proper documentation regarding their need to travel.What is the graduated license law in NYC? ›
Crashes are preventable. New York State's (NYS) Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) law is designed to prevent teen crashes by helping teens gradually and safely build their skills and gain experience behind the wheel. Need proof? The NYS GDL law is responsible for a 80% decrease in crashes for 16 and 17 year-old drivers.Can a 17 year old NJ driver drive out of state? ›
A new driver who's younger than 21 and is driving on a New Jersey probationary license can drive out of state. Drivers with a New Jersey probationary license must obey any restrictions that apply to their license. Drivers with a New Jersey learner's permit cannot drive out of state.What is the graduated driver's license law in Ohio? ›
The Ohio GDL law includes three stages: Learner's Permit Stage: Supervised driving, culminating with an on the road driving test. Probationary Stage: Limiting number of passengers and nighttime driving. Full Privilege Stage: A standard driver license.Can a 17 year old drive alone in PA? ›
Proper supervision: You must be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age or a parent, guardian, person in loco parentis or spouse who is at least 18 years of age and licensed with the same or higher class vehicle that appears on your learner's permit.What is one passenger restriction for a newly licensed 16 or 17 year old driver in CT? ›
Passenger Restrictions During the first six months the newly licensed driver may not have any passengers in the vehicle except for: A licensed driving instructor. His or her parents or legal guardian, at least one of whom holds a valid driver's license.What are the restrictions for a 16 year old driver in NY? ›
The driver can only drive unsupervised to and from work or school. Otherwise, a parent or guardian must be present as a supervising driver. The front seat passenger can only be the supervising driver, and only one passenger can be under the age of 21, unless the passengers are in the driver's immediate family.Can you drive alone at 17 in NY? ›
With a Class D license, a 17 year old may drive unrestricted anywhere in New York State.Which is a possible restriction of drivers under the age of 18? ›
Which is a possible restriction of drivers under the age of 18? Answer: ✔ They cannot drive between 12:30 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. without a parent. In which situation is a driver considered to be under the influence? Answer: ✔ The person is driving while using illegal drugs.Can I drive my friends around at 17? ›
For the first 12 months after obtaining a provisional license, a teenager is not allowed to have passengers under the age of 20 in the car unless they are accompanied by a licensed driver 25 years or older.
Only one additional passenger is allowed unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
- No driving between 11:01 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.
- You can't use cell phones, hand held video games or any other hand held electronic device.
- You must be accompanied by an Adult Supervising Driver (at least 21 years old and licensed to drive for at least 3 years) in the front seat.
Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws, like learner's permits, exist to help teen drivers develop skills and experience before receiving their official license. Allstate is committed to protecting your young driver and encourages Graduated Driver Licensing programs.Does Texas have graduated license? ›
Texas Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws are designed to prevent teen crashes by giving new drivers the chance to gain experience and improve their driving skills over time in lower-risk environments.What is a graduated license in Maryland? ›
The program requires new drivers to complete a driver education course and gain experience with a supervising driver before driving on their own. It also encourages good driving behavior by setting certain restrictions and by imposing strict sanctions during each step of the licensing process.Can an 18 year old sleep with a 17 year old in PA? ›
People ages 16 and older can legally consent to sexual activity with anyone they choose, as long as the other person does not have authority over them as defined in Pennsylvania's institutional sexual assault statute.Can you drive past 11 at 18 in PA? ›
If not, a junior license automatically becomes a graduated license upon turning 18. The following restrictions must be followed by drivers using a junior license: No driving between the hours of 11PM and 5AM is allowed unless a parent, guardian, or spouse over 17 years of age accompanies you in the vehicle.What is the youngest age to drive? ›
In the U.S., you can typically apply for your full driver's license between the ages of 16 and 18. What states can you drive at 14? You cannot get a full, legal driver's license at the age of 14 in any state. You can get a learner's permit at 14 in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota, and South Dakota.Who can 16 year olds drive around? ›
You may only drive with a licensed driving instructor, parent or legal guardian with a valid driver's license, or someone who is over the age of 20 only if they are providing you with instructions.How many passengers can a 16 year old driver have in Ohio? ›
The law states you are restricted to no more than one non-family member passenger without parental supervision until teens have held their probationary license for 1 year or turn 18.
Restrictions on the Number of Passengers
If you are under age 18, you may carry only one passenger under age 21, unless accompanied by a licensed parent, or other adult acting in place of a parent, in the front passenger seat.
Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) systems help new drivers gain skills under lower-risk conditions. Drivers are given more privileges as they move through the stages of GDL, such as driving at night or with passengers.Do you need 6 hours of driving to get your permit NJ at 17? ›
Complete 6 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction in a dual-controlled vehicle with a licensed driving instructor. The driving school, student, or parent/guardian must complete the student permit at a motor vehicle agency that offers driver testing.Can you get your license at 18 without a permit in New York? ›
How to Apply for a Class D-Operator (Adult) Driver License. Your first New York State driver license will be issued for a period not to exceed 5 years, on your month and day of birth. Before you get a license, you must apply for a learner permit regardless of your age and practice supervised driving.What are the rules for a 17 year old driver in NY? ›
- without a supervising driver between the hours of 5 AM and 9 PM.
- there be no more than one passenger under age 21 unless the passengers are members of your immediate family. ...
- every passenger wear a seat belt, one seat belt per person.
As soon as they turn 16 years old, aspiring New York drivers can apply for a learner or junior permit, which grants supervised driving privileges. In order to drive unsupervised, you'll have to wait until you turn 18, or meet a special education requirement to upgrade to a Class D or senior license at 17.How do I get my full license at 17 in NY? ›
New York does allow 17-year-old drivers to apply for a senior license if they have completed a state-approved driver education course. You must apply for the senior license at the DMV by presenting your course completion certificate in person.What are the restrictions for a 16 year old driver in Tennessee? ›
You may drive a car only when accompanied by a license driver 21 years or older who is riding in the front seat of the vehicle. You may not drive between the hours of 10 P.M. and 6 A.M.
The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among teens ages 16–19 than among any other age group. Teen drivers in this age group have a fatal crash rate almost three times as high as drivers ages 20 and older per mile driven.How many times more likely is a 17 year old driver to crash with three passengers then with one passenger? ›
3. 16 and 17 year old drivers have much higher crash risks than 18-20 year old drivers when passengers are present. For example, on average, the relative crash risk for 16 and 17 year old drivers is 1.5 times that for 18-20 year old with one or two passengers, and 1.8 times that with three or more passengers. 4.
That means 18 year olds can drive with passengers so long as they have a driver's license, just not during the 6 months they have a learning permit. It is important to remember that all driving laws still apply, but their driver's licenses will not be provisional licenses.What happens if you get caught driving friends before 6 months in Georgia? ›
The Penalty for Driving with Passengers in Georgia
The penalty for driving with non-family members in the car varies but is generally punished by a fine. However, failing to comply with the law can lead to a suspension of the license and prevent or hinder the minor from getting a full Class C license.
HAND AND VEHICLE SIGNALS
You should signal at least 100 feet before you turn so the other drivers can be ready. Check your vehicle's turn signals often to ensure they are working properly.
The State of New Jersey does not specify any appropriate, legal age to leave a child or children home alone.Can I leave home at 17 in New Jersey? ›
You need your parent's consent to move out of the home unless you're 18 years old. But if you are 16 and within a limited series of circumstances, it would be appropriate for you to be out of your home, you can seek emancipation of yourself from your parents.Is 17 a minor in New Jersey? ›
The state of New Jersey recognizes the age of majority as age 18. When a minor reaches age 18, they are considered an adult thereafter.Can a 17 year old drive past 11 in NJ? ›
GDL Rules. Once you have your GDL license: You may not drive between 11:01pm and 5:00am. You may not have more than one passenger (besides your dependents) unless you are accompanied by a parent or guardian)What is the curfew in New Jersey? ›
(1) A municipality is hereby authorized and empowered to enact an ordinance making it unlawful for a juvenile of any age under 18 years within the discretion of the municipality to be on any public street or in a public place between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. unless accompanied by the juvenile's parent or ...What does restriction 1 mean on a driver's license NJ? ›
A - Commercial Vehicle. 1 - Corrective Lenses Required. B - Commercial Vehicle.
After the third failure, you must reapply to extend your learner's permit. If you do not pass your road test after three tries or if your learner's permit expires, you may obtain an Application to Add/Extend/Replace/Change/Correct Non-Commercial Learner's Permit or DL-31 (PDF).
The major types of crashes in which new drivers (16- and 17-year-olds) in Pennsylvania are involved include: Hitting a stationary object; Crashes where roads intersect, like driveways, entrance ramps, and in intersections; Rear-end collisions; and.What are the restrictions for under 18 driving in Texas? ›
You must have a licensed adult 21 years or older in the front passenger seat when driving. You must hold this license for at least six months, unless you turn 18. You are restricted from using a wireless communications device, including a hands-free device, except in the case of an emergency.Can a 17 year old drive alone in Texas? ›
With a learner's license restricts, a teen is restricted to operating a vehicle only with licensed driver age 21 or older supervising and sitting in the front seat. Adult supervision is required. A provisional license allows a teen at the age of 16, to operate a vehicle without the need for adult supervision.How many phases are in GDL restrictions? ›
Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) programs allow young drivers to safely gain driving experience before obtaining full driving privileges. Most programs include three stages: Learner Stage: supervised driving, cumulating with a driving test; Intermediate Stage: limiting unsupervised driving in high risk situations; and.What are the laws for under 18 driving in Maryland? ›
may not drive with passengers under the age of 18, other than immediate family members, for the first 151 days, without a qualified supervising driver. may not drive between 12 midnight and 5 AM unless: a supervised, licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and has 3 years of driving is with them.What does GLS mean on a Maryland license? ›
effort is the Rookie. Driver Program, Maryland's graduated licensing system for new drivers. Maryland's Graduated Licensing System.Can you get a license without driving school in Maryland? ›
Successfully completing a certified Driver Education Program course that includes 30 hours of classroom learning and six (6) hours of behind-the-wheel training is a requirement for all new Maryland drivers, regardless of age.Can a 18 year old drive after 11PM in PA? ›
Permit holders must be accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21-years-old or a parent, guardian, or spouse at least 18-years-old and licensed. Young drivers may only drive between 11PM and 5AM if for employment or volunteer service.What are the restrictions for a learner's permit in PA? ›
You may only drive under the supervision of a licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age or a parent, guardian, person in loco parentis, or spouse who is 18 years of age or older and holds a driver's license. The supervising driver must sit in the front seat.How long do you have a junior license in PA? ›
NOTE: A Junior Driver's License shall automatically become a Regular Driver's License when you turn 18 years old. If you would like a driver's license that no longer has the “jr” you can apply for a duplicate after you turn 18.
What Is a Junior License? A junior license may be obtained by those under the age of 18 who have completed 65 hours behind the wheel with a learner's permit (including 10 hours of night driving and 5 hours of bad-weather driving), as well as the skills test for a junior license.How many passengers can a 17 year old driver have in Texas? ›
If you are between 16 -17 years of age and are transferring/presenting a provisional driver license, you will be issued a Texas provisional driver license. These individuals may not drive a motor vehicle: With more than one passenger in the vehicle under the age of 21 who is not a family member.What is the curfew for a 17 year old in PA? ›
Minors usually cannot be out by themselves between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. during the rest of the week.What does a 16 year old need to get a permit in PA? ›
Be sure to bring your completed Non-Commercial Learner's Permit Application (PDF), completed Parent and Guardian Consent form, if under the age of 18,(PDF) required proof of identification and residency, and appropriate fee.Do you need a permit after 18 pa? ›
Rule One: You Need A PA Learners Permit
The first rule is that any learner driver over 18 who goes out on a public road to practice driving must have a learner's permit and must be accompanied by an adult licensed driver.
This test needs to be successfully completed before you can receive a valid learner's permit. The knowledge test consists of 18 multiple-choice questions. You must answer 15 questions correctly to pass the test.What is the youngest you can drive in PA? ›
In the Keystone State, it's 16 and a half. You can apply for your junior driver's license after you've had your learner's permit for at least six months. You also need to log at least 65 hours of driving practice, including at least 10 at night and five during bad weather, before you can get your junior license.How many points do you need to lose your junior license in PA? ›
The driving privilege of a person under the age of 18 will be suspended if that person accumulates six (6) or more points or is convicted of driving 26 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit. The first suspension will be for a period of 90 days.What is the Lacey's law in PA? ›
A new law goes into effect Tuesday that increases the amount of behind the wheel training required for young drivers. They now must have 65 hours of behind-the-wheel practice — up from 50 hours. The new law, called Lacey's Law is named after Lacey Gallagher who died in the spring of 2007.Can you drive by yourself with a junior license in PA? ›
Remember, when driving with your learner's permit, you MUST be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age or a parent, guardian, person in loco parentis or spouse who is at least 18 years of age and licensed with the same or higher class vehicle that appears on your learner's permit.