Teen and Novice Drivers

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The chart below describes the statewide driver licensing law provisions related to teen or novice drivers across the country. Use the arrows below the chart to toggle through the states in alphabetical order. To advance slowly, click the single right arrow (>). To jump to the end, click the double arrows (>>). Or use the filter by state feature to jump to a specific state.
 
Scroll down for a summary overall totals of the number of states that have specific provisions.

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas
Full Privilege Minimum Age

17

Full Privilege Minimum Age

16 years, 6 months

Full Privilege Minimum Age

16 years, 6 months

Full Privilege Minimum Age

18 years

Learner Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

15

Learner Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

14

Learner Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

15 / 6

Learner Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

14

Learner Stage: Minimum Duration (Months)

6

Learner Stage: Minimum Duration (Months)

6

Learner Stage: Minimum Duration (Months)

6

Learner Stage: Minimum Duration (Months)

6

Learner Stage: Supervised Driving Hours (Night Hours in Parenthesis)

50; 0 with driver's ed.

Learner Stage: Supervised Driving Hours (Night Hours in Parenthesis)

40 (10)

Learner Stage: Supervised Driving Hours (Night Hours in Parenthesis)

30 (10); 20 with defensive driving course; 0 with driver's ed.

Learner Stage: Supervised Driving Hours (Night Hours in Parenthesis)

None

Intermediate Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

16

Intermediate Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

16

Intermediate Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

16

Intermediate Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

16

Intermediate Stage: Nighttime Driving Restriction

Midnight - 6 a.m.

Intermediate Stage: Nighttime Driving Restriction

1 a.m. - 5 a.m.

Intermediate Stage: Nighttime Driving Restriction

Midnight - 5 a.m. (secondary enforcement)

Intermediate Stage: Nighttime Driving Restriction

11 p.m. - 4 a.m.

Intermediate Stage: Passenger Restrictions (Except Family, Unless Noted)

No more than 1

Intermediate Stage: Passenger Restrictions (Except Family, Unless Noted)

First 6 months: no passengers under 21

Intermediate Stage: Passenger Restrictions (Except Family, Unless Noted)

First 6 months: no more than 1 under 18 (secondary enforcement)

Intermediate Stage: Passenger Restrictions (Except Family, Unless Noted)

No more than 1 under 21

Full Privilege Minimum Age

17

Learner Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

15

Learner Stage: Minimum Duration (Months)

6

Learner Stage: Supervised Driving Hours (Night Hours in Parenthesis)

50; 0 with driver's ed.

Intermediate Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

16

Intermediate Stage: Nighttime Driving Restriction

Midnight - 6 a.m.

Intermediate Stage: Passenger Restrictions (Except Family, Unless Noted)

No more than 1

Full Privilege Minimum Age

16 years, 6 months

Learner Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

14

Learner Stage: Minimum Duration (Months)

6

Learner Stage: Supervised Driving Hours (Night Hours in Parenthesis)

40 (10)

Intermediate Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

16

Intermediate Stage: Nighttime Driving Restriction

1 a.m. - 5 a.m.

Intermediate Stage: Passenger Restrictions (Except Family, Unless Noted)

First 6 months: no passengers under 21

Full Privilege Minimum Age

16 years, 6 months

Learner Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

15 / 6

Learner Stage: Minimum Duration (Months)

6

Learner Stage: Supervised Driving Hours (Night Hours in Parenthesis)

30 (10); 20 with defensive driving course; 0 with driver's ed.

Intermediate Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

16

Intermediate Stage: Nighttime Driving Restriction

Midnight - 5 a.m. (secondary enforcement)

Intermediate Stage: Passenger Restrictions (Except Family, Unless Noted)

First 6 months: no more than 1 under 18 (secondary enforcement)

Full Privilege Minimum Age

18 years

Learner Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

14

Learner Stage: Minimum Duration (Months)

6

Learner Stage: Supervised Driving Hours (Night Hours in Parenthesis)

None

Intermediate Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

16

Intermediate Stage: Nighttime Driving Restriction

11 p.m. - 4 a.m.

Intermediate Stage: Passenger Restrictions (Except Family, Unless Noted)

No more than 1 under 21

Teen and Novice Drivers

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
  • Full Privilege Stage: a standard driver's license.

During the 1990s, many states began enacting GDL laws. The programs and types of restrictions vary from state to state. Below are some highlights:

  • Cell Phones/Texting: 37 states and D.C. ban all cell phone use by novice drivers. (See GHSA's Cell Phone laws page for more information.)
  • Nighttime Driving Restriction: All states except Vermont restrict nighttime driving during the intermediate stage.
  • Passenger Restriction: 47 states and D.C. restrict the number of passengers during the intermediate stage.
  • Novice Driver Decal: New Jersey is the only state with a measure requiring those younger than 21 without full-privilege licenses to display a decal on their vehicle identifying them as new drivers.

NOTE: GHSA does not compile any additional data on GDL laws other than what is presented here. For more information, consult the appropriate State Highway Safety Office.

Sources: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and State Highway Safety Offices.