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Navigating the Graduated Licensing Process

A graduated driver's license program has been introduced by many states as a way to make the process of getting a driver's license a little more involved for teenagers. The reason for this is because young drivers are much more likely to have an automobile accident than any other age group. According to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle accidents are the main cause of death for people between 13 and 19 years old. If you are a young driver, the GDL program gives you more time to study, take DMV practice tests and learn safe road practices before acquiring full driving privileges.

Three Stages

In 2011, the U.S. established minimum federal requirements for GDL laws that are enacted by state governments. Most states impose a three-stage process. The first stage is the supervised learner's period. The second stage is called intermediate or provisional and limits unsupervised driving in very high-risk situations such as expressways. The final stage is a full-privilege driver's license. This process is designed to allow your judgment to mature in the hope that you will develop proper driving practices by the time you are 18.

Requirements for a GDL

The District of Columbia and 47 states have adopted a GDL program. The characteristics include:

  1. • You must be 15.5 years old for a learner's permit.
  2. • You must wait at least three months before applying for an intermediate license and be 16 years to obtain an intermediate license.
  3. • You should have at least 30 hours of supervised driving.
  4. • You must be at least 17 years old to obtain a full license.
  5. • There are restrictions on nighttime driving, expressway driving and carrying passengers.

Prepare to Drive

You can take driver training courses from professional instructors to prepare to earn a permit or license. You can also take a DMV practice test to get an idea about the written test you will have to pass. The GDL program provides enough driving practice to help you develop the required driving skills to drive safely for years to come.