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Authorized Driving Age by State

State Learner’s Allow Restricted License Full License
Alabama 15 16 17
Alaska 14 16 16, 6 mos.
Arizona 15, 6 mos. 16 16, 6 mos.
Arkansas 14 16 18
California 15, 6 mos. 16 17
Colorado 15 16 17
Connecticut 16 16, 4 mos. 18
Delaware 16 16, 6 mos. 17
District of Columbia 16 16, 6 mos. 18
Florida 15 16 18
Georgia 15 16 18
Hawaii 15, 6 mos. 16 17
Idaho 14, 6 mos. 15 16
Illinois 15 16 18
Indiana 15 16, 3 mos. 18
Iowa 14 16 17
Kansas 14 16 16, 6 mos.
Kentucky 16 16, 6 mos. 17
Louisiana 15 16 17
Maine 15 16 16, 9 mos.
Maryland 15, 9 mos. 16, 6 mos. 18
Massachusetts 16 16, 6 mos. 18
Michigan 14, 9 mos. 16 17
Minnesota 15 16 17
Mississippi 15 16 18
Missouri 15 16 18
Montana 14, 6 mos. 15 16
Nebraska 15 16 17
Nevada 15, 6 mos. 16 18
New Hampshire 15, 6 mos. 16 17, 1 mos.
New Jersey 16 17 18
New Mexico 15 15, 6 mos. 16, 6 mos.
New York 16 16, 6 mos. 18
North Carolina 15 16 16, 6 mos.
North Dakota 14 15 16
Ohio 15, 6 mos. 16 18
Oklahoma 15, 6 mos. 16 17
Oregon 15 16 17
Pennsylvania 16 16, 6 mos. 18
Rhode Island 16 16, 6 mos. 17, 6 mos.
South Carolina 15 15, 6 mos. 16, 6 mos.
South Dakota 14 14, 6 mos. 16
Tennessee 15 16 17
Texas 15 16 18
Utah 15 16 17
Vermont 15 16 16, 6 mos.
Virginia 15, 6 mos. 16 18
Washington 15 16 17
West Virginia 15 16 17
Wisconsin 15, 6 mos. 16 16, 9 mos.
Wyoming 15 16 16, 6 mos.

Learner’s Permits

Analysis suggests many dad and mom miss necessary alternatives to show children to turn into protected drivers. As an alternative, they rely an excessive amount of on driver’s education schemes.

As soon as your teen has a learner’s allow, do not consider your self as a passenger when your teen is behind the wheel. Consider your self as a instructor.

Assist your teen be taught to acknowledge potential issues of safety whereas driving.

Give directions to assist your teen enhance and present loads of constructive suggestions.

Every state has totally different legal guidelines about learner’s permits and what number of hours a teen must be behind the wheel. Take these legal guidelines significantly and be sure to’re serving to your teen acquire the expertise they should turn into a protected driver.


Whereas an absence of sleep impairs everybody’s efficiency, research present sleep deprivation takes probably the most critical toll on teenagers. Teenagers usually tend to make errors when driving later into the night.


Amongst 16- and 17-year-olds, roughly one-third of deadly automotive crashes happen between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. So, many states have enacted curfews to stop teenagers from driving through the in a single day hours. For instance, Alabama would not enable newly licensed teenagers to drive between midnight and 6 a.m. North Carolina would not enable teenagers to drive between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.


Researchers have discovered that for every passenger a teen has within the automotive, the chance of a automotive crash will increase. Buddies can function a critical distraction, and so they could encourage your teen to take pointless dangers. Consequently, many states have determined to limit passengers in vehicles pushed by teenagers.

Whereas some states do not enable newly licensed teenagers to have passengers for a number of months, others limit the variety of minor passengers that may be in a automotive. Exceptions are often made for siblings. 


Speaking on the telephone whereas driving serves as a significant distraction that will increase the chance a teen will make driving errors. So many states have adopted particular cellphone restrictions for younger drivers.

Sadly, some research recommend cellphone restrictions may very well improve the possibilities {that a} teen will try and ship textual content messages whereas behind the wheel. In an try to hide cellphone use, teenagers could turn into much more distracted by attempting to kind messages on the sly.

It is vital for fogeys to speak to teenagers concerning the dangers of distracted driving.

If a teen is caught sending messages or utilizing a cellphone whereas driving, there ought to be clear penalties. 


On the subject of letting your teen drive, do not rely in your state legal guidelines to maintain your youngster protected. Create your personal guidelines and restrictions to your teen’s particular wants.

Take into account that simply because your teen is sufficiently old to drive legally, it does not imply they’re mature sufficient to deal with the accountability. 

In case your 16-year-old recurrently acts aggressive, impulsive, or irresponsible, do not allow them to behind the wheel simply but.

With a view to be protected drivers, teenagers want to have the ability to assume clearly, make good choices, and resist temptations.

As soon as your teen has a driver’s license, improve their freedom slowly. Bear in mind, you do not have to grant new privileges simply because the graduated licensing legal guidelines enable them to drive at evening or use a cellphone within the automotive. You’ll be able to proceed to impose restrictions of your personal.

A Phrase From Verywell

In case your teen violates the legislation or breaks your guidelines, give them penalties. Take away their keys for some time or limit the hours or locations your teen drives.

And think about enrolling your teen in packages that train driver security past driver’s schooling. You would possibly get a reduction on automotive insurance coverage, however extra importantly, extra driver coaching might save your teen’s life.

Verywell Household makes use of solely high-quality sources, together with peer-reviewed research, to assist the info inside our articles. Learn our editorial course of to be taught extra about how we fact-check and maintain our content material correct, dependable, and reliable.
  1. WISQARS. Main Causes of Demise Experiences, 1981 – 2019. Up to date February 20, 2020.

  2. Romer D, Lee Y-C, Mcdonald CC, Winston FK. Adolescence, consideration allocation, and driving security. J Adolesc Well being. 2014;54(5 Suppl):S6-15. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.10.202

  3. Teen and novice drivers. Governors Freeway Security Affiliation.

  4. Williams AF. Graduated driver licensing (GDL) in the US in 2016: a literature evaluation and commentary. J Security Res. 2017;63:29-41. doi:10.1016/j.jsr.2017.08.010

  5. Goodwin AH, Foss RD, Margolis LH, Harrell S. Father or mother feedback and instruction through the first 4 months of supervised driving: a chance missed?. Accid Anal Prev. 2014;69:15-22.  doi:10.1016/j.aap.2014.02.015

  6. Martiniuk AL, Senserrick T, Lo S, et al. Sleep-deprived younger drivers and the chance for crash: the DRIVE potential cohort research. JAMA Pediatr. 2013;167(7):647-55. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.1429

  7. Shults R, Williams A. Graduated driver licensing evening driving restrictions and drivers aged 16 or 17 years concerned in deadly evening crashes — United States, 2009–2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016;65(29):725–730. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm6529a1

  8. Ouimet MC, Pradhan AK, Brooks-Russell A, Ehsani JP, Berbiche D, Simons-Morton BG. Younger drivers and their passengers: a scientific evaluation of epidemiological research on crash danger. J Adolesc Well being. 2015;57(1):S24-S35. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2015.03.010

  9. McCartt AT, Kidd DG, Teoh ER. Driver cellphone and texting bans in the US: proof of effectiveness. Ann Adv Automot Med. 2014;58:99-114.

Extra Studying

  • Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention: Teen Drivers: Get the Details.
  • Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security: Shopper Security Brochures.

By Denise Witmer

Denise Witmer is a contract author and mom of three youngsters, who has authored a number of books and numerous articles on parenting teenagers since 1997.

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