State laws for teen drivers

Licensing laws for teenage drivers vary from state to state. The process generally involves two stages: the learner stage and the intermediate stage. The following chart shows a state-by-state overview. It also lists the age at which teen drivers can enter each stage, time period they must hold their learner’s permit and number of hours of supervised driving required. It also shows the time periods when teens are prohibited from driving and limitations on passengers. Additional state-by-state details follow the chart.

Here's information on when to add your teen driver to your car insurance policy.

 

Learner stage

Intermediate stage

State

Min. Entry Age

Holding Period

Min. Amt. of Supervised Driving

Min.
Age

Unsuprv'd Driving Prohibited

Passenger Rules

IIHS model requirements.

16

6 mos.

30-50 hrs.

16.5

9/10 p.m.-5 a.m.

No more than 1 teenage passenger

AL

15

6 mos.

30 hrs. (none w/ driver ed.)

16

Midnight-6 a.m.

No more than 1 passenger

AK

14

6 mos.

40 hrs., including 10 at night or in inclement weather

16

1 a.m.-5 a.m.

No passengers for first 6 mos.

AZ

15.5

6 mos.

30 hrs. including 10 at night (none w/ driver ed.)

16

Midnight-5 a.m.

No more than 1 passenger under 18 for first 6 mos.

AR

14

6 mos.

None

16

11 p.m.-5 a.m.

No more than 1 passenger

CA

15.5

6 mos.

50 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night

16

11 p.m.-5 a.m.

No passengers under 20 for first 12 mos. unless immediate family

CO

15

1yr.

50 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night

16

Midnight-5 a.m.

No passengers for first 6 mos.; no more than 1 passenger for 2nd 6 mos.

CT

16

6 mos. (4 mos. w/ driver ed.)

20 hrs.

16 yrs., 4 mos.

11 p.m.-5 a.m.

First 6 mos. no passengers except parent; 2nd 6 mos. no passengers except family

DC

16

6 mos.

40 hrs. in learners stage; 10 hrs. at night in intermediate stage

16.5

Sept.-June: 11 p.m.-6 a.m. Su-Th, Midnight-6 a.m. F-Sa; July-Aug.: Midnight-6 a.m.

First 6 mos. no passengers; after first 6 mos. no more than 2 passengers

DE

16

6 mos.

50 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night

16.5

10 p.m.-6 a.m.

No more than 1 passenger

FL

15

12 mos.

50 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night

16

11 p.m.-6 a.m.(age 16); 1 a.m.-5 a.m. (age 17)

None

GA

15

12 mos.

40 hrs. including 6 at night

16

Midnight-6 a.m.

First 6 mos. no passengers; 2nd 6 mos. no more than 1 under age 21; after 2nd 6 mos. no more than 3 passengers

HI

15.5

6 mos.

50 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night

16

11 p.m.-5 a.m.

No more than 1 passenger under 18 except household members

ID

14.5

6 mos.

50 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night

15

Sunset to sunrise

First 6 mos. no more than 1 passenger under age 17 if licensee is under 16

IL

15

9 mos.

50 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night

16

10 p.m.-6 a.m. Su-Th, 11 p.m.-6 a.m. F-Sa

First yr. no more than 1 passenger under 20

IN

15.5

6 mos.

50 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night

16.5 or 16 yrs. and 9 mos. w/o driver ed.

First 180 days, 10 p.m.-5 a.m.

First 180 days:  No passengers

IA

14

6 mos.

20 hrs. including 2 hrs. at night

16

12:30 a.m.-5 a.m.

None

KS

14

12 mos.

25 hrs. for learner phase plus 25 hrs. before age 16; 10 of 50 hrs. at night

16

9 p.m.-5 a.m.

No more than 1 passenger under 18 for first 6 mos.

KY

16

6 mos.

60 hrs. including 10 at night

16.5

Midnight-6 a.m.

No more than 1 passenger under 20 except with driving instructor

LA

15

6 mos.

35 hrs.

16

11 p.m.-5 a.m.

None

ME

15

6 mos.

35 hrs. including 5 hrs. at night

16

Midnight-5 a.m.

No passengers for first 180 days

MD

15 yrs., 9 mos.

9 mos.

60 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night

16.5

Midnight-5 a.m.

No passengers under 18 for first 5 mos.

MA

16

6 mos.

40 hrs.

16.5

12:30 a.m.-5 a.m.

No passengers under 18 for first 6 mos.

MI

14 yrs., 9 mos.

6 mos.

50 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night

16

Midnight-5 a.m.

None

MN

15

6 mos.

30 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night

16

First 6 mos. midnight-5 a.m.

No more than 1 passenger under 20 for first 6 mos. No more than 3 passengers for the second 6 mos.

MS

15

12 mos.

None

16

10 p.m.-6 a.m. Su-Thu; 11:30 p.m.-6 a.m. Fri-Sat.

None

MO

15

6 mos.

40 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night

16

1 a.m.-5 a.m.

No more than 1 passenger under 19 for first 6 mos.; no more than 3 passengers under 19 thereafter

MT

14.5

6 mos.

50 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night

15

11 p.m.-5 a.m.

First 6 mos. no more than 1 passenger under 18; second 6 mos. no more than 3 passengers under 18

NE

15

6 mos.

50 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night (none with driver’s ed)

16

Midnight-6 a.m.

First 6 mos. no more than 1 passenger under 19

NV

15.5

6 mos.

50 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night

16

10 p.m.-5 a.m.

First 6 mos. no passengers under 18

NH

15.5

None

40 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night

16

1 a.m.-4 a.m. (effective 1/01/11)

First 6 mos. no more than 1 passenger under 25

NJ

16

6 mos.

None

17

11 p.m.-5 a.m.

No more than 1 passenger except dependents

NM

15

6 mos.

50 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night

15.5

Midnight-5 a.m.

No more than 1 passenger under 21

NY

16

6 mos.

50 hrs. including 15 hrs. at night

16.5

9 p.m.-5 a.m.

No more than 1 passenger under 21

NC

15

12 mos.

None

16.

9 p.m.-5 a.m.

No more than 1 passenger under 21

ND

14

6 mos.

None

16

No intermediate

OH

15.5

6 mos.

50 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night

16

Midnight-6 a.m. age 16; 1 a.m.-5 a.m. age 17

No more than 1 passenger unless supervised

OK

15.5

6 mos.

50 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night

16

10 p.m.-5 a.m.

No more than 1 passenger

OR

15

6 mos.

50 hrs.; 100 hrs. w/o driver’s ed.

16

Midnight-5 a.m.

First 6 mos. No passengers under 20; second 6 mos. no more than 3 passengers under 20

PA

16

6 mos.

50 hrs.

16.5

11 p.m.-5 a.m.

None

RI

16

6 mos.

50 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night

16.5

1 a.m.-5 a.m.

First 12 mos. no more than 1 passenger under 21

SC

15

6 mos.

40 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night

15.5

6 p.m.-6 a.m. EST; 8 p.m.-6 a.m. EDT

No more than 2 passengers under 21 except when driving to and from school

SD

14

6 mos.; 3 mos. w/ driver ed.

None

14.5 yrs.; 14 yrs., 3 mos. w/ driver ed.

10 p.m.-6 a.m.

None

TN

15

6 mos.

50 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night

16

11 p.m.-6 a.m.

No more than 1 passenger

TX

15

6 mos.

20 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night

16

Midnight-5 a.m.

No more than 1 passenger under 21

UT

15

6 mos.

40 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night

16

Midnight-5 a.m.

First 6 mos. no passengers

VT

15

1 yr.

40 yrs. including 10 hrs. at night

16

None

First 3 mos. No passengers; second 3 mos. no passengers except family

VA

15.5

9 mos.

45 hrs. including 15 hrs. at night

16 yrs., 3 mos.

Midnight-4 a.m.

First 12 mos. no more than 1 passenger under 18; thereafter no more than 3 passengers under 18

WA

15

6 mos.

50 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night

16

1 a.m.-5 a.m.

First 6 mos. No passengers under 20; 2nd 6 mos. No more than 3 passengers under 20

WV

15

6 mos.

50 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night

16

10 p.m.-5 a.m.

No passengers under 20 for first 6 mos.  No more than 1 passenger under 20 for second 6 mos.

WI

15.5

6 mos.

30 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night

16

Midnight-5 a.m.

No more than 1 passenger

WY

15

10 days

50 hrs. including 10 hrs. at night

16

11 p.m.-5 a.m.

No more than 1 passenger under 18

Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Highway Loss Data Institute

More state-by-state teen driver details

Alabama: The supervising driver must be a parent, guardian or drive instructor. At age 16, permit holders may drive with a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. Restrictions end after holding the intermediate license for at least 6 months and reaching age 17.

Arizona: A driver education instructor can authorize a student an enrolled student who is age 15 to drive only while supervised by the authorizing instructor.

Arkansas: People age 14 can drive with an instruction permit after passing a written test. If they pass it, they are eligible for a learner’s license. Unsupervised driving is not permitted by holders of either the instruction permit or learner’s license. The combined holding period for the permit and restricted license is 6 months. Applicants for an intermediate license must be 16 and must be crash/violation free for 6 months. Licensees younger than 18 are prohibited from transporting passengers who are unrestrained.

California: Students enrolled in driver education may drive while supervised by an instructor. License applicants who do not take driver education must wait until age 18 for a license. They are not required to go through an intermediate license stage.

Colorado: The minimum permit age varies. Fifteen-year-olds who are enrolled in driver education may apply for an instruction permit. Their supervising driver must be a parent, stepparent, grandparent, guardian or driving instructor. A person age 15.5 may apply for an instruction permit which allows driving while supervised by a parent, stepparent, grandparent or guardian. Although driver education is not required at this age, applicants for this permit must have completed a 4-hour driver -awareness program. At 16, young drivers may apply for a permit that allows driving while supervised by a licensed driver age 21 or older.

Connecticut: Either driver education or home training is required for license applicants younger than 18. Permit holders may not carry any passengers aside from the person providing instruction, parents or guardians. Time spent practice driving with a professional instructor counts toward the 40-hour certification requirement. Before an applicant who is less than 18 years of age may take the driver’s test, parents or guardians must attend two hours of instruction regarding teen driving laws and related issues.

Delaware: A student does not need a permit to drive with a driver education instructor. After completing the on-road requirements of driver education, a driver education student who is at least age 15 years, 10 months may apply for a Driver Education Learner's Permit, which allows the student to drive while supervised by an experienced driver. Upon completion of driver education, and if the student passes both the road and written tests, the student receives a Level 1 permit that for the first 6 months allows driving only while supervised. There also is a passenger restriction during the first 6 months of the Level 1 permit. No more than 1 passenger (family members excepted) is permitted in addition to the supervising driver. The Level 1 permit for the second 6 months is the equivalent of an intermediate license. During that period, holders may drive unsupervised between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. and may only carry 1 passenger. Applicants for a driver's license who are younger than 18 must have held a Driver Education Learner's Permit and/or a Level 1 permit for at least 12 months. Driver education is required for all license applicants younger than 18.

District of Columbia: The learner’s stage is mandatory for all license applicants, regardless of age. A nighttime restriction  (9 p.m.-6 a.m.) applies in the learner stage. License applicants younger than 21 must go through the intermediate stage until they have completed it or until age 21.

Florida: For the first three months, learner’s permit holders may not drive after sunset and thereafter may not drive after 10 p.m.

Georgia: In Georgia, license applicants younger than 17 must have completed driver education.

Hawaii: License applicants younger than 18 must have completed driver education.

Idaho: In Idaho, license applicants younger than 17 must have completed driver education. There are three classes of learner's permits: a training instruction permit for persons age 14.5 taking driver education; a supervised instruction permit for practice driving with a nonprofessional supervisor; and an instruction permit for persons younger than 17 who have completed driver education and supervised driving or for persons 17 and older without either driver education or supervised driving.

Illinois: Enrollment in driver education is required for permit applicants age 15 in Illinois; without driver education, a permit applicant must be age 17 years, 3 months. License applicants 18 and older are not required to have driver education or to go through an intermediate license stage.

Indiana: Driver education determines the minimum age for permits and the intermediate license in Indiana. People enrolled in or who have completed driver education must be age 15 to have a permit; otherwise, they must be age 16. The minimum age for an intermediate license is 16.5 years with driver education and 16 years and 9 months without.

Iowa: In addition to the certification in the learner stage, Iowa requires a certification of 10 hours of supervised driving, two of which must be at night during the intermediate stage. Driver education is required for an intermediate license and for an unrestricted license if applicant is younger than 18. Restrictions end after holding an intermediate license for at least 1 year and reaching age 17.

Kansas: Drivers who are 15 years old but not yet 16 may be granted a restricted license if they complete driver training. Restricted license holders younger than 16 may not drive unless supervised other than to and from school or work via the most direct route and may not carry minor passengers other than siblings. To get a restricted license, applicants must have driven at least 25 of the 50 hours required for a full license and must have held an instruction permit for 12 months.

Kentucky: The Kentucky law prohibits learner's permit holders from driving between midnight and 6 a.m. or from carrying more than 1 passenger younger than 20 unless supervised by a driving instructor. License holders younger than 18 must complete a driver education course or a state-sponsored traffic school.

Louisiana: Driver education is required in Louisiana for a permit and an intermediate license if the applicant is younger than 17. People 17 and older must have completed an educational program that does not require a behind-the-wheel component.

Maine: In Maine, driver education is required for a permit and a license if the applicant is younger than 18. The learner's permit holding period and the certification of practice driving apply to license applicants younger than 21.

Maryland: The nighttime driving restriction only applies to intermediate license holders younger than 18.

Massachusetts: The night driving restriction for permit holders younger than 18 is midnight to 5 a.m. unless they are accompanied by a licensed parent or guardian. The requirement for supervisied driving is 30 hours for applicants who have successfully completed a driver -skills development program in a closed, off-road course licensed by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles. Driver education is required of license applicants younger than 18.

Michigan: Permit applicants younger than 18 in Michigan must have completed the first segment of driver education; license applicants younger than 18 must have completed the second segment of driver education. Neither driver education nor an intermediate license is required for license applicants 18 and older.

Minnesota: Permit applicants younger than 18 must be enrolled in driver education. The permit holding period applies to license applicants 18 and older unless they have completed driver education. License applicants younger than 18 must have completed driver education. Provisional license holders must be crash free to qualify for a full license.

Mississippi: License applicants 17 and older are exempt from the 12-month learner's permit holding period. License applicants 17 and older are exempt from the requirement to get an intermediate license.

Montana: Enrollment in or completion of driver education is required for permit applicants younger than 15 in Montana. License applicants younger than 16 must have completed driver education.

Nebraska: In Nebraska, 14-year-olds who live 1.5 miles or more from school and who either live outside or attend school outside a metropolitan area may be issued a learner's permit (called an "LPE permit") and a limited license (called a "school permit"). The LPE permit authorizes supervised driving for the purpose of preparing for the school permit, which allows driving to and from school or anyplace while supervised by a parent or guardian.

Nevada: Driver education is required of all licensed applicants younger than 18 unless there is no driver education program offered within a 30-mile radius of the applicant's residence.

New Hampshire: New Hampshire does not issue learner's permits. At age 15.5 a person can drive while supervised by a licensed driver 25 or older.

New Jersey: In New Jersey, the permit becomes an intermediate license after 6 months. The graduated licensing law applies to adults, except that the night driving and passenger restrictions are waived for new drivers 21 and older. If the applicant has not completed driver education, the minimum permit age is 17 and the minimum intermediate license age is 17 years, 6 months. Learner's permit holders may not drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. and may not carry more than 1 passenger in addition to the supervising driver.

New Mexico: Permit applicants younger than 18 must be enrolled in driver education. License applicants younger than 18 must have completed driver education.

New York: The minimum age for an unrestricted driver's license is 18 (age 17 if the applicant has completed driver education). The exception is New York City where driving is prohibited unless the driver is 18 or older. New York enacted a passenger restriction that applies to permit holders and license holders younger than 18 (age 17 if the applicant has completed driver education).

North Carolina: Driver education is required for permit and license applicants younger than 18. Learner’s permit holders may not drive between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. for the first 6 months.

Ohio & Oregon: Driver education is required of license applicants younger than 18.

Oklahoma: Fifteen-year-olds may drive in Oklahoma but only while supervised by an instructor.

Rhode Island: Driver education is required of permit and license applicants younger than 18.

South Dakota: Learner's permit holders may not drive between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless under the supervision of their parent or guardian who is occupying a seat beside them.

Tennessee: Learner's permit holders in Tennessee may not drive from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Texas: People who are 15 or older but less than 18 must pass the classroom phase of an approved driver education course to be issued a permit. The minimum license age is 18 for applicants who have not completed driver education.

Utah: Permit holders younger than 18 may only drive under the supervision of a drive instructor, a parent or guardian, or a responsible adult who accepts liability for the permit holder's driving by signing the permit application. Regardless of age, permit applicants in Utah must be enrolled in driver education. Supervised driving in the learner stage may include up to 5 hours in a driving simulator. Regardless of age, license applicants must have completed driver education. Passenger restrictions in Utah end when a driver has been licensed for 6 months or when the driver turns 18, whichever occurs first.

Vermont: Driver education is required for license applicants younger than 18.

Virginia: Driver education is required for license applicants younger than 19 (18 if applicant holds a valid license from another state). The night driving restriction and passenger restriction (no more than 1 passenger younger than 18) apply to learner's permit holders.

Washington: Permit applicants in Washington must be enrolled in driver education; otherwise, the minimum permit age is 15.5. Driver education is required for license applicants younger than 18. Intermediate license holders with a crash or violation history are ineligible for an unrestricted license until age 18.

West Virginia: Learner's permit holders younger than 18 may not drive from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and may not carry more than two passengers in addition to the supervising driver.

Wisconsin: Enrollment in driver education is required in Wisconsin for permit applicants younger than 18. Driver education is required for license applicants younger than 18. During the learner's stage, licensees may carry three passengers if supervised by a driving instructor in a dual-control vehicle. Permit holders 16 and older may carry one passenger 25 or older who has been licensed at least two years.

Wyoming: All applicants for an unrestricted license who are younger than 17 must have completed driver education and must have held an intermediate license for at least 6 months.

 

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