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Frequently Asked Questions - Delaware Teen Driver

The DMV approves driver education courses that meet the State of Delaware’s criteria. Upon successfully completing the course, you will be issued a Delaware Driver Education Certificate, also known as a “Blue Certificate”. The Department of Education will consider transferring your out-of-state course if you completed the course and were not a resident of Delaware at the time. You can mail the completion certificate to:

Education Associate for Driver Education
Safety and Physical Education
Townsend Building
P.O. Box 1402
Dover, DE 19903

The State of Delaware has the following restrictions for a Level One Learner’s Permit holder:

• The permit must be in your possession when operating a motor vehicle.
• A licensed instructor must accompany you during the first year of driving.
• Your supervisor must be a licensed parent, legal guardian or a licensed driver approved by your sponsor who is 25 years or older and has had a Class D license for five years.
• You are not allowed to drive between 10 pm and 6 am unless:

o You are going to or coming from your place of employment
o You are going to or coming from a school activity held on school property
o You are going to or coming from a church activity

• You can only drive with the supervisor and one passenger.
• Seat belts must be worn at all times.
• You can drive at night without a supervisor after six months but with only one passenger.
• Passenger limit does not apply to members of your immediate family if an adult supervisor is in the vehicle.
• You are not allowed to use a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle.

If you violate any of the above restrictions, the DMV will suspend your learner’s permit for two months for a first offense and four months for each subsequent offense.

All newly licensed drivers in Delaware must ensure they have the proper amount of insurance. The requirements include the following:

• Liability for bodily injury or death of one person—$15,000
• Liability for bodily injury or death of two people—$30,000
• Property damage—$10,000
• Personal injury protection—$15,000

Drivers who fail to carry proper insurance will have their driver’s license and registration suspended if they are stopped by a police officer during a traffic stop or an auto accident.

Applicants will need to do the following at the DMV when applying for a learner’s permit:

• Complete a driver’s license application, which is available at any Delaware DMV office. Drivers who are under 18 must apply for a Class D license. This will allow you to drive a car, pick-up truck, station wagon and van. The vehicle must weigh less than 26,000 pounds when loaded.

• Your sponsor must sign the application in the presence of a DMV official or have their signature notarized on the application.

• Pay an application fee of $25 which will cover you through the graduated license program.

Remember that your sponsor can withdraw his or her endorsement at any time during the 12-month period that you have your permit. If they choose to withdraw their signature, you will not be eligible to obtain a Class D operator’s license.

The DMV requires all applicants to provide proof of full legal name, date of birth, citizenship or legal presence in the United States by submitting one of the following documents:

Legal Presence Documents
• An original or certified copy of a United States birth certificate issued by the Office of Vital Statistics or State Board of Health. The certificate must include the names of the birth parents if you are under 18.
• Consular report of birth abroad
• Certificate of Naturalization (N-550, N-570m or N-578)
• Certificate of Citizenship (N-560, N-561 or N-645)
• Northern Mariana Card (I-551)
• American Indian Card (I-551)
• Valid U.S. passport or foreign passport with the appropriate INS documents.
• Resident Alien Card (I-515, I-551, AR-3 or AR-103)
• Temporary Resident Identification Card (K-688)
• Non-Resident Alien Canadian Border Crossing Card (I-185 or I-586)
• Record of Arrival and Departure in valid foreign passport, I-94 or I-94 visa waiver program
• Record of Arrival and Department with attached photo stamped “Temporary Proof of Lawful Permanent Resident” (I-94)
• Refugee Travel Document (I-571)
• Employment Authorization Card (I-688A, I-688B or I-766)
• Canadian Immigration Record and Visa of Record of Landing (IMM-1000)
• Federally Compliant State issued driver’s license*
• Federally Compliant State/Territory/Province issued photo identification card*
• Court order containing full name, date of birth along with court seal* **
• State issued driver’s license with photo * **
• Certified copy/microfilm of driver’s license or identification card * **
• Official letter issued by the Office of Vital Statistics verifying full name and date of birth * **
• Certified school transcripts or records verifying full name and date of birth * **

Proof of Social Security Number (Provide one of the following documents)
• Social Security card
• Letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA) verifying Social Security number
• Ineligibility letter from the SSA **

Delaware Residency (Provide two of the following documents)
• Utility bill
• Credit card statement
• Auto of life insurance policy
• Voter Registration card
• Bank account records
• Employment records
• Rental agreements
• United States Postal Service change of address confirmation postmarked with forwarding address label
• Non-personal mail postmarked within the past 60 days

Legal Name Change (Provide all of the following documents)
• Valid marriage license issued by a government agency with raised seal.
• Court-ordered name change document
• Final divorce decree with your legal name

* Must be accompanied by a United States citizenship document or valid proof of legal presence in the U.S.

** Not acceptable documentation to be eligible for a federally compliant identification document. Applicants may be eligible for a non-compliant identification document.

The Delaware DMV requires teen drivers to pass the following tests:

Written Test
• The written exam is designed to test the applicant/s knowledge about the rules of the road, vehicle safety, equipment inspection and road signs. The Delaware Drivers Manual has most of the information you need along with resources obtained from the Delaware Driver Educational Course. There will also be questions about driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you fail the written exam, you must wait ten days before taking it again.

Eye Screening Exam
• You must be able to pass the test with a minimum of 20/40 vision in both eyes. If you need glasses or contact lenses, your license will have the corrective lenses restriction on it. This means that you must wear your glasses or contact lenses when driving.

To apply for a Delaware Level One Learner’s Permit, applicants must do the following:

• Successfully complete an approved Delaware Driver Education Course.
• Submit a valid passport-size photo.
• Provide proper identification that proves you are a resident of Delaware.
• Present a Social Security card or your Social Security number.

The State of Delaware has a graduated driver’s license program with the following requirements:

Level One Learner’s Permit
• You must be between 16 and 18 years of age

• You must submit a Delaware Driver Education Certificate proving that you have successfully completed a certified Delaware Driver’s Education Course. If you have an out-of-state certificate, it must be approved by the Department of Education and submitted to the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

• All driver’s license applications for a minor must be signed by a sponsor who will be held jointly liable for any damages that result due to the minor’s negligence. The sponsor is tasked with determining if the minor driver is ready to handle the responsibility of driving and may designate who will supervise the minor. The sponsor can choose to withdraw his or her endorsement at any time until the minor turns 18. The Delaware DMV prefers sponsors in the following order:

1. The mother or father of the minor if both parents are living in Delaware and the minor resides with them. The minor’s birth certificate will be required for verification.

2. The father of the minor if he lives in Delaware and the child resides only with the father.

3. The mother of the minor if she lives in Delaware and the child resides only with the mother.

4. The mother or the father if they live in Delaware and the minor does not reside with either parent and has no legal guardian in Delaware. Stepparents are not allowed to act as a sponsor unless the minor has been legally adopted or appointed by the legal guardian of the minor.

5. The minor’s court-appointed custodian or legal custodian (must be duly appointed under Delaware State laws).

6. By any person who is found acceptable by the Chief of Driver Services or the Secretary of Transportation.

The sponsor is required to sign the application in the presence of a DMV employee or have their signature notarized on the application.

When applying for a Delaware provisional driver’s license, you will need to do the following:

• Complete 50 hour of practice driving and 10 of these must be done at night
• Complete an approved Delaware Driver Education Course
• Have a valid Delaware learner’s permit for at least 12 months
• Your sponsor must certify you have completed all of the above requirements
• Pass the written exam with a score of at least 80 percent
• Pass the vision test with or without glasses (20/40 in both eyes)

The Road Test
You must be able to pass a road test which is a 30-minute ride with a licensed official who will be checking your driving skills. You will be tested on the following:

• Parallel parking
• Passing and making lance changes
• Turning, signaling and intersections
• Speed
• Following distance
• Vehicle safety inspection

You must also provide proof of insurance.

Make sure that your parents follow all of the rules and restrictions that come with your permit. Any parent or sponsor who knowingly allows you to drive unsupervised will be subject to the following penalties:

• Pay a fine of up to $575
• Sentenced to 30 days in jail

Your parents should coach you on maintaining the proper speed, following distance, coming to a complete stop, using turn signals and checking your blind spots.