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.

California Colorado Connecticut Delaware
Full Privilege Minimum Age

17 years

Full Privilege Minimum Age

17 years

Full Privilege Minimum Age

Nighttime Driving: 18
Driving with Passengers: 17 years, 4 months

Full Privilege Minimum Age

17 years

Learner Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

15 / 6

Learner Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

15 with driver's ed
15 / 6 with driver awareness program
16 without driver's ed. or program

Learner Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

16

Learner Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

16

Learner Stage: Minimum Duration (Months)

6

Learner Stage: Minimum Duration (Months)

12

Learner Stage: Minimum Duration (Months)

4 with driver's ed
6 without driver's ed

Learner Stage: Minimum Duration (Months)

6

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

50 (10)

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

50 (10)

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

40

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

50 (10)

Intermediate Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

16

Intermediate Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

16

Intermediate Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

16 / 4

Intermediate Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

16 / 6

Intermediate Stage: Nighttime Driving Restriction

11 p.m. - 5 a.m. (secondary enforcement)

Intermediate Stage: Nighttime Driving Restriction

Midnight - 5 a.m. (secondary enforcement)

Intermediate Stage: Nighttime Driving Restriction

11 p.m. - 5 a.m.

Intermediate Stage: Nighttime Driving Restriction

10 p.m. - 6 a.m.

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

First 12 months: no passengers under 20 (secondary enforcement) unless accompanied by parent, guardian or other adult 25 years or older

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

First 6 months: no passengers
Second 6 months: no more than one passenger (secondary enforcement)

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

First 6 months: no passengers except parents or instructor
Second 6 months: no passengers except parents, instructor or immediate family

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

No more than 1 (law also includes a seat belt provision: if a teen driver w/ permit or their passenger

Full Privilege Minimum Age

17 years

Learner Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

15 / 6

Learner Stage: Minimum Duration (Months)

6

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

50 (10)

Intermediate Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

16

Intermediate Stage: Nighttime Driving Restriction

11 p.m. - 5 a.m. (secondary enforcement)

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

First 12 months: no passengers under 20 (secondary enforcement) unless accompanied by parent, guardian or other adult 25 years or older

Full Privilege Minimum Age

17 years

Learner Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

15 with driver's ed
15 / 6 with driver awareness program
16 without driver's ed. or program

Learner Stage: Minimum Duration (Months)

12

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

50 (10)

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 passengers
Second 6 months: no more than one passenger (secondary enforcement)

Full Privilege Minimum Age

Nighttime Driving: 18
Driving with Passengers: 17 years, 4 months

Learner Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

16

Learner Stage: Minimum Duration (Months)

4 with driver's ed
6 without driver's ed

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

40

Intermediate Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

16 / 4

Intermediate Stage: Nighttime Driving Restriction

11 p.m. - 5 a.m.

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

First 6 months: no passengers except parents or instructor
Second 6 months: no passengers except parents, instructor or immediate family

Full Privilege Minimum Age

17 years

Learner Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

16

Learner Stage: Minimum Duration (Months)

6

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

50 (10)

Intermediate Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

16 / 6

Intermediate Stage: Nighttime Driving Restriction

10 p.m. - 6 a.m.

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

No more than 1 (law also includes a seat belt provision: if a teen driver w/ permit or their passenger

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.