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What is a Graduated Driver's License or GDL?
The GDL is a three-step licensing system that helps new drivers gain experience before becoming fully licensed.  The steps consist of the learner's permit, provisional license and full, unrestricted or basic license.

Why is a GDL needed?
Novice drivers, particularly teen drivers have higher crash rates.  Traffic crashes are the leading killer of new drivers.  Last year in U.S., 5,749 teens died in motor vehicle crashes ( that's nearly 16 each day) and another 600,000 were injured.  To put this in perspective, the worst single plane disaster ever (520 deaths) would have to occur about once a month to equal the number of young people killed in motor vehicle crashes.

When will New Jersey's GDL go into effect?
 The GDL will go into effect January 1, 2001.

Who will be impacted by the GDL?
All novice drivers, regardless of age, who wish to obtain a driver's license in New Jersey must do so under the GDL system.  However, novice drivers who currently hold a permit issued  under the "old system" (prior to December 31, 2000), are not required to follow the steps mandated under the GDL.  You will continue under the old licensing system unless you allow your permit to lapse.  If you apply for a new permit, it will be under the GDL system.

Does a GDL really work?
When driving privileges are phased in gradually, responsible driver behavior is fostered and strengthened.  In Florida, the number of 16 year-old drivers killed or seriously injured dropped 9% the first year after the GDL went into effect.  Teen passenger deaths and injuries involving 16 year-old drivers dropped 21% statewide from 1998 to 1999 in California as a result of GDL. Similar reductions are occurring in other states with a graduated licensing system.
 
 

Requirements under New Jersey's Graduated Driver's License System

Step One- learners permit

  • You must be at least 16 years of age for a  special student permit or 17 years of age for an examination permit (a parent or guardian's signature is required on either permit) which carries a $10 fee.
  • You must pass vision and written tests, and following completion of six months of supervised driving, a road test.
  • All driving must be supervised by an adult who is at least 21 years of age and has held a valid New Jersey driver's license for at least three years.
  • If you're 16, your permit can only be validated for practice driving after successfully completing a state-approved, 6 hour, behind-the-wheel driving course.
  • If you're 17, the behind-the-wheel driving course is waved, but you must practice driving with an experienced adult (who is at least 21 years of age and has held a valid New Jersey driver's license for at least three years) for a minimum of six months (three months if you're 21 or older).
  • You may not drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. except if a waiver has been issued for work and/or religious activities. (If you or your passenger is 21 or older, the nighttime restriction does not apply).
  • You may only have passengers from your shared residence, plus one additional person, in the vehicle. (If you or your passenger is 21 or older, this restriction does not apply).
  • Everyone riding in the vehicle must wear a safety belt.
Step Two-Provisional License 
  • You must be at least 17 years of age and have successfully completed the permit stage with a minimum of six months driving experience (3 months if you're 21 or older) and passed the road test.
  • You may not drive between midnight and 5 a.m., except if a waiver has been issued for work and/or religious activities. (If you're 21 or older, the nighttime restriction does not apply).
  • Adult supervision is not required.
  • You may only have passengers from your shared residence, plus one additional person, in the vehicle. (If you or the passenger is 21 or older, this restriction does not apply).
  • Everyone riding in the vehicle must wear a safety belt.
  • The license looks very different than an unrestricted or basic license.
Step Three-Full, Unrestricted or Basic License 

  • You must be at least 18 years of age and have met all the requirements under the provisional license.
  • You must have a minimum of one year of driving experience (excluding any suspensions or postponements) and have no more than two motor vehicle points or you may not have been convicted of a serious motor vehicle violations.

* There's a $100 fine for violation of any of the conditions of the learner's permit or provisional license phases.









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