What is a Graduated Driver’s License (GDL)?
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What is a Graduated Driver’s License?

what is a graduated driver’s license?

Driving for the first time can be daunting – for teens and their parents. To help ease that fear, many states have developed a graduated driver’s license (GDL). A GDL allows young drivers to develop good driving habits through three stages:  

  1. Learner’s permit, which requires up to 50 hours of driving with an experienced driver
  2. Intermediate license, which restricts nighttime driving and driving with other teens in the car
  3. Full license, which includes all driving privileges

Night driving restrictions

Nighttime driving equals high-risk driving. Besides fatigue, factors contributing to nighttime crashes include:

In many states, restricted hours are in place in the early morning hours, such as between midnight and 6 a.m. Check in with your state’s DMV or BMV for specific laws around GDL restrictions. Depending on where you live, your teen may be able to get a restricted license that limits unsupervised night driving, if they’ve had a learner’s permit for at least six months. It’s also a good idea to set personal expectations with your teen about when they should and shouldn’t drive, and make them aware of the risks of nighttime driving.  

GDL Passenger restrictions

Passenger restrictions limit the number of passengers teen drivers may have in their vehicle. Why limit passengers? 

Graduated Driver’s License Levels

In many states, advancing to the next licensing level depends on having a violation-free driving record. Get familiar with your state‘s laws, available on the Governors Highway Safety Association's website. You may also include elements of a GDL in a parent / teen driving agreement.

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