What are the Benefits Of NJ’S Graduated Driver License Program for First-Time Drivers?

Getting that first driver’s license is an exciting turning point in the lives of most teens. In New Jersey, getting that first license is a bit more complicated than in other states.

For first-time drivers, the good news is they can get behind the wheel of a car as young as 16, but the bad news is they must complete a multi-phase Graduated Driver License program. For parents, it is all good news because the program is designed to keep teens and their passengers safe.

The first step is to obtain a student learners permit. This process involves passing a knowledge and vision test at a Motor Vehicles Commission (MVC) location offering these tests, and showing proof of enrollment in a driver training course as well as a signed letter from a parent or guardian giving their teen permission to drive.

The next step is to practice supervised driving for six months and respect rules such as the following:

  • Display a reflectorized decal on front and back license plates
  • No driving from 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.
  • An adult supervising driver at least 21 years old with a valid driver’s license and three years of experience driving must sit in the front passenger seat
  • Parents, guardians or dependents are allowed as passengers
  • Only one additional passenger is allowed unless accompanied by a parent or guardian

Once this phase is completed and the first-time driver reaches 17 years of age or older, he or she must pass the road test to obtain a probationary license. After a period of unsupervised practice driving for one year, the first-time driver can obtain a basic driver license. NJ drivers must satisfy the six-point ID verification requirements to obtain drivers licenses.

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