Graduated Licenses

So, what's a graduated license?

Think of it like adolescence - the older you get, the more you're allowed to do. With a graduated driver licensing system, beginning drivers have limited driving privileges that extend to full privileges as drivers mature and develop their skills.

The three stages to a graduated system are:

  • Instructional Permit period
  • Intermediate License (after the driver test is passed) limiting unsupervised driving in high-risk situations
  • Full Privileges license.

Drivers must stay in the first two stages for a set minimum time period, after which they can earn a full privileges license.

Find out if your state has graduated licenses:

Remember: Each state has different rules regarding graduated licenses. Please contact your state's department of motor vehicles to get the specifics that apply to you.

The lowdown on the stages

Here are some key things you should know about the specific stages of a graduated license:

Instructional Permit stage:

  • Six months minimum time period
  • Must pass required written and vision tests

Intermediate stage:

  • Six months minimum time period
  • Night driving restrictions, such as late-night unsupervised driving and transporting teenage passengers
  • Instructional permit holders must have certification showing they have driven a minimum number of supervised hours
  • Must pass road test given by the department of motor vehicles

Full privileges license:

  • Must complete the other two stages first

Some states have additional requirements, including seat belt use provisions and penalty systems that allow for license suspension or extended holding periods if violations occur.

Note: The info above is derived from the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Laws and Ordinances model graduated licensing law. Each state has specific requirements that apply only in that state. Please ensure you get the proper graduated license information for the state that will issue your license.

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