A driver’s license is a legal authorization to operate a motor vehicle on public roads. It serves as a form of identification that almost everyone stores in their wallet.
The minimum age to obtain a driver’s license varies from 14 years, three months in South Dakota to 17 in New Jersey. Most states have graduated licensing laws that apply to teenage drivers, including restrictions on driving activities.
A driver’s license is a legal authorization to operate a motor vehicle on a public road.
A driver’s license (also known as a driver’s certificate or driving permit) is a legal authorization to operate one or more types of motor vehicles—including cars, trucks and buses—on a public road. They are issued by various governmental entities in the United States and most other English-speaking countries.
Typically, it is a plastic document about the size of a credit card that carries an identification number and a photograph. It is used for proof of identity and age as well as a means of transporting passengers, and can be presented when requested by law enforcement officers.
In the United States, a driver’s license is issued by most states, but not all. Some jurisdictions, such as New York, require a learner’s permit prior to granting a full license.
For a learner’s permit, the applicant must be at least 16 years old and have a parent or guardian’s consent, and successfully complete an accredited driver education program. Applicants must also pass a driver skills test.
Once the permit is issued, the learner can only drive during daylight hours. They must also log 50 practice hours. They cannot have any passengers under 21 for six months, and may not drive between midnight and 5 a.m.
After 6 months, the learner can drive unsupervised but must be accompanied by an adult who is licensed to drive. During this time, the learner can only have one passenger under 21, unless the passenger is an immediate family member.
While the exact details of the licensing process vary from state to state, a driver’s license is usually granted after passing an exam and taking a written and practical test. Most states require a driver’s education course to obtain a license, although some allow a person to drive unsupervised by age 16.
A driver’s license is typically issued for three to five years. It may be extended based on the driver’s age, violation history and other factors. In some cases, a driver’s license can be converted to a commercial driver’s license. Alternatively, the driver may be eligible for a special hardship license.
Restricted driver licenses
If you have a driver’s license that has been suspended or revoked, it can be frustrating to miss work, get stuck without a car, or not be able to drive your children to school. Depending on the situation, you may be eligible to apply for a restricted driver’s license or “hardship license.”
These limited driving privileges allow you to drive to and from your job, school, drug or alcohol treatment programs, or medical appointments as long as you meet certain criteria. Many states also allow parents to use these limited driving privileges for transporting their children to and from school and other important appointments.
A restricted license is usually issued when a motorist is convicted of a serious moving violation (such as DUI or a DUI-related offense). These driving restrictions often specify what can and cannot be done.
In a hardship case, a court will sometimes issue a restricted license to an individual who has been convicted of a serious moving violation such as DUI or drug related driving. The restricted license is typically given to an individual who is required by the court to complete a drug treatment program, perform community service, attend religious services, or travel to and from court-mandated appointments such as child care and fueling and grocery requirements.
This type of license is available in certain cases and can be obtained through a lawyer. In most cases, this restricted license is only available for a limited period of time.
After the limited period, a driver must visit an MVD office or Authorized Third Party Driver License provider to have this restriction removed. This process is usually free, but may be subject to a fee in some cases.
Having a suspended or revoked driver’s license is an inconvenience that most drivers can’t afford to deal with. It can lead to missed work, lost wages, and a loss of a vehicle, as well as fines and jail time.
If you have been charged with a serious driving violation, obtaining legal help to fight for your rights can be the most important thing you do to avoid future license complications. Contact our law firm today for more information about your case and how we can help.
Intermediate driver licenses
After holding a learner’s permit for 180 days, you can apply for an intermediate driver license. This is the second step of the Graduated Driver License (GDL) program.
The GDL program aims to help teens develop driving skills and maturity in safer conditions. It includes a series of restrictions during the first few months of independent driving to reduce their exposure to known risk factors, such as nighttime driving and riding with other peers.
For instance, the majority of states restrict the number of passengers in a vehicle during this period, as well as the hours when teens can drive. This approach has proven to lower fatalities among new drivers.
In addition, most states require that teens hold their permit for six months and log 50 hours of practice driving before they are eligible to apply for a full license. During this time, they are also prohibited from driving between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., except for commuting to and from school or work.
However, some states allow a learner to drive with one passenger between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., provided he or she has received at least 40 hours of training from a qualified person, grandparent or driving instructor, and passed the standard written tests.
Despite these restrictions, most new drivers are able to safely meet these requirements and obtain an intermediate driver’s license. A 2016 study in Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia showed that 92% of newly licensed teens who were allowed to drive with peer passengers did so without incident.
If you have a driver’s license from another state, you can get an intermediate license in Georgia by completing the required state driver education course and passing the Georgia road test. You must also submit a hardship approval letter that notifies the DDS office of authorized driving routes and times and a motor vehicle record from the issuing state.
The state’s Graduated Driver Licensing law requires all teenagers to go through a series of stages before they can receive their full driver’s license. This process usually involves passing the vision, road sign and driving tests at an age of 16.
Full driver licenses
Most people are familiar with the driver’s license that serves as their personal identity card and legal authorization to operate a motor vehicle on public roads. Almost every state requires the driver to have one of these documents to drive legally.
A driver’s license identifies a driver and provides information about their physical characteristics and age. It also contains a number or alphanumeric code that uniquely identifies the driver, along with information about their driving history and a list of endorsements and restrictions.
Typically, the license shows a photograph of the bearer and a copy of their signature. It also indicates the state where the license was issued, the type of driver’s license, and the driver’s name, date of birth and driver’s license number.
Driver’s licenses are designed to be safe and secure. They include features such as fingerprints, bar codes, magnetic strips and tamper-proof designs. These additions are intended to reduce identity theft and tampering with IDs, especially by criminals.
Many states have a specialized type of license called an enhanced driver’s license. This type of license was designed as part of the Federal REAL ID and Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), and it combines a driver’s license with the specifications of a new federal passport card. It establishes a US citizen’s nationality and is acceptable for re-entering the United States via land or sea crossings from Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean.
Some states, such as Washington and Vermont, issue an enhanced driver’s license that is WHTI compliant. This license combines a driver’s license with a specialized RFID chip that is able to be used as a US passport for land or sea travel.
This license is a step up from a limited provisional driver’s license and requires the learner to have a minimum of 40 hours of driving training including ten hours at night before receiving full privileges. The license also has specific requirements, such as a restricted time of day and a passenger restriction.
A teen driver can obtain this restricted license after holding a learner’s permit for six months without accidents or points added to their license. The teen driver must be sixteen years old and have a completed driver’s education course as required by law.