Saving Teenage Lives

Appendix B

Characteristics of Selected U.S. Licensing Laws

As Compared With Graduated Driver Licensing Model Law Developed by the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Laws and Ordinances

Many states now are considering changes in their licensing laws for young drivers. Some have introduced graduated systems in which driving privileges are phased in, allowing initial experience to be gained in situations of lower risk. The popularity of graduated licensing has brought with it some confusion about what are the components of a graduated system and which states have graduated licensing and which do not.

In an effort to clarify this situation, the National Transportation Safety Board, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have agreed to classify the licensing systems of the 50 states and District of Columbia according to the specifications of a widely accepted model graduated licensing law developed by the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Laws and Ordinances (NCUTLO). NCUTLO's model law specifies core provisions for graduated licensing, although it does not include a variety of other important features that can enhance a graduated system. The following chart lists the states that include one or more of the NCUTLO core provisions. Licensing laws highlighted with a star (*) include all of the core provisions and thus are graduated licensing laws under the NCUTLO model.

The core provisions of the NCUTLO model are a learner's phase of at least six months followed by an intermediate phase of at least six months and a prohibition of unsupervised driving at night for young drivers during the intermediate phase. The NCUTLO model requires applicants for intermediate and full licenses to have no safety belt or zero tolerance violations and to otherwise be conviction free during the mandatory holding periods. The model recognizes that states may define "conviction free" to include only serious violations and may suspend offenders or provide lesser penalties. In most states with graduated licensing, violations by young drivers result in license suspension or extension of the holding periods.

The NCUTLO model recommends a minimum age of 16 for a learner's permit and prohibits unsupervised driving from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. However, failure to include these provisions does not disqualify a state from satisfying NCUTLO's core provisions. The model does not include two-stage driver education to coincide with the phases of graduated licensing, as recommended by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Neither does it impose passenger restrictions during the intermediate phase nor does it require parents or others to certify completion of minimum number of hours of supervised driving in the learner's phase. However, the NCUTLO model recommends certification of supervised driving in states that do not mandate any driver education.

All of these elements of graduated licensing are included in the table on the following page in the "other features" column. Please direct any questions or comments to: Michele Fields or Shelley Martin at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 1005 North Glebe Road, Arlington, VA 22201-4751; 703-247-1500, 703-247-1586 FAX.


States with One or More NCUTLO Core Provisions
(Learner's phase of six months, Intermediate phase of six months, and prohibition of unsupervised driving at night).

 Graduated Licensing Systems

 Learners

 Intermediate Phase

 State

 Minimum Entry Age

 Mandatory Holding Period

Minimum Amount of Supervised Driving

 Minimum Age

 Duration of Nightime Restriction

 Unsupervised Driving Prohibited

 Passenger Restiction

 Minimum Age Unrestricted License

 *California (eff. 7/1/98)

 15

 6 mo.

 50 Hr., 10 of which must be at night

 16

 12 mo.

 Midnight - 5 a.m.

 First 6 mo.: No passengers younger than age 20

 17

 *Delaware (eff. 7/1/99))

 15, 10 mo.

 6 mo.1

 None

 16, 4 mo.1

 6 mo.

 9 p.m. ­ 6 a.m.1

 No more than 2 passengers1

 16, 10 mo.

*Florida (eff. 7/1/96)

 15

 6 mo.

 None

 16

 Until age 18

 11 p.m. ­ 6 a.m. (age 16); 1 a.m. ­ 5 a.m. (age 17)

 None

 18

*Georgia (eff. 1/1/98)

 15

 12 mo.

 None

 16

 Until age 18

 1 a.m. ­ 5 a.m.

 No more than 3 passengers younger than age 21 (family members excepted)

 18

Illinois (eff. 1/1/98)

 15

 3 mo.

 25 hr.

 16

 Until age 17

 11 p.m. ­ 6 a.m. Sun-Th; Midnight ­ 6 a.m. F-Sat

 Until age 18: No more than one passenger in front and no more passengers in the rear than there are available belts

 17

Indiana (eff. 1/1/98)

 15

 2 mo.

 None

 16, 1 mo.

 Until age 18

 1 a.m. ­ 5 a.m. Sat-Sun; after 11 p.m. Sun-Th

 First 90 days: No passengers unless supervised by 21-year old driver

 18

*Iowa (eff. 1/1/99)

 14

 6 mo.

 20 hr., 2 of which2 must be at night

 16

 12 mo.

 12:30 a.m. ­ 5 a.m.

 None

 17

 Louisiana (eff. 1/1/98)

 15

 3 mo.

 None

 16

 Until age 17

 11 p.m. ­ 5 a.m.

 None

 17

 Maryland (eff. 7/1/98

 15, 9 mo.

 4 mo.

 40 hr.

 16, 1 mo.

 18 mo.3

 Midnight ­ 5 a.m.3

 None

 17, 7 mo.

*Massachusetts (eff. 11/4/98)

 16

 6 mo.

 12 hr.

 16, 6 mo.

 Until age 18

 Midnight ­ 5 a.m.

 First 6 mo.: No passengers younger than age 18 unless supervised by 21-year old driver (family members exempt)

 18

*Michigan (eff. 4/1/97)

 14, 9 mo.

 6 mo.

 50 hr., 10 of which must be at night

 16

 6 mo.

 Midnight ­ 5 a.m.

 None

 17

New Hampshire (eff. 1/1/98)

 16

 3 mo.

 None

 16, 3 mo.

 Until age 18

 1 a.m. ­ 5 a.m.4

 None

 18

*New Jersey

 16

 6 mo.

 None

 17

 12 mo.

 Midnight ­ 5 a.m.

 Limit one passenger (except household)

 18

*North Carolina (eff. 12/1/97)

 15

 12 mo.

 None

 16

 6 mo.

 9 p.m. ­ 5 a.m.6

 None

 16, 6 mo.

*Ohio (eff. 1/1/99)

 15, 6 mo.

 6 mo.

 50 hr., 10 of which must be at night

 16

 Until age 17

 1 a.m. ­ 5 a.m.

 None

 17

*Rhode Island (eff. 1/1/99)

 16

 6 mo.

 None

 16, 6 mo.

 12 mo.

 1 a.m. ­ 5 a.m.

 None

 17, 6 mo.

South Carolina (eff. 7/1/98)

 15

 3 mo.

 None

 15, 3 mo.

 12 mo.

 6 p.m. ­ 6 a.m. EST;7
8 p.m. ­ 6 a.m. EDT

 None

 16, 3 mo.

South Dakota (eff. 1/1/99)

 14

 6 mo. (3 mo. with driver education)

 None

 14, 6 mo. (14, 3 m o. with driver education)

 Until age 16

 8 p.m. ­ 6 a.m.

 None

 16

Partial Graduated Licensing Systems

Connecticut (eff. 1/1/97)

 16

 6 mo.8

 None

       

 16, 6 mo.8

Kentucky (eff. 10/1/95)

 16

 6 mo.

 None

       

 16, 6 mo.

Maine (eff. 8/1/98)

 15

 3 mo.10

 35 hr., 5 of which must be at night

       

 16

Minnesota11 (eff. 1/1/99)

 15

 6 mo.

 30 hr., 10 of which must be at night

       

 17

Nebraska (eff. 1/1/99)

 15

 

 50 hr., (driver education graduates are exempt)

 16

 12 mo.

 Midnight ­ 6 a.m.

 None

 17

Virginia (eff. 7/1/98)

 15

 6 mo.

 None

       

 16