Just about everyone remembers what it’s like to get behind the wheel for the first time. For a teenager, it often represents an exhilarating experience. For the parents, it may mean a cause for anxiety. All things considered, the concept of probationary driver licenses doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. However, it helps to understand the law – and the types of violations that can result in a license suspension, fines or court costs.
Meanwhile, you should know that the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission has special rules for all first time drivers. Under the Graduated Driver License (GDL) program, prospective motor vehicle operators are phased into driving behind the wheel on their own. Age is the determining factor as far as the procedure as follows:
- Early Bird Drivers: 16 years old may obtain a Learner’s Permit after passing a written test. They must be enrolled in Driver’s Education classes with a licensed driving instructor for at least six hours in a dual-controlled vehicle. They must then practice driving for at least six months until they reach the age of 17. At that time, they may take a road test.
- Young Adults: Those between the ages of 17 and 18 must secure parental permission to apply for a license. The Young Adults classification applies to anyone under the age of 21. Prospective drivers are not required to take lessons from a professional instructor. However, they are expected to take a road test after six months after issuance of a Learner’s Permit. There are specified restrictions for drivers under the age of 21.
- Adults: Anyone over the age of 21 may schedule a road test within after three months of practice driving. This happens after successful completion of the procedures necessary for the Learner’s Permit.
Probationary Drivers’ Licenses
According to NJSA 39:3-13.4, drivers under the age of 21 are required to follow certain rules. Their licenses are considered probationary – and the failure to obey the laws can result in severe penalties.
For example, provisional drivers may drive unsupervised but must follow certain restrictions before getting a basic driver’s license. These include no driving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. (this condition may be waived for an emergency, employment, or religious reasons; no more than one additional passenger unless accompanied by a supervising parent or guardian; a decal indicating probationary status to be affixed to the car; no cell phones, hand held video games, or any other hand held electronic device; and seat belts.
New Jersey courts do not accept a plea to a no-point violation on a provisional license. New or provisional drivers who are convicted of two or more moving violations with a total of four or more points will be required to enroll and complete a Probationary Driver School Program of not less than four hours. Failure to complete, or conviction for a second violation, will results in the license getting suspended. In addition, a license suspension will result in higher insurance rates.
Also, if a teen has been convicted of any alcohol or drug-related offense unrelated to driving, the license will be suspended for six months.
Contact a New Jersey Traffic Ticket Lawyer
If you or a loved one is a probationary driver and has received a traffic ticket, contact the Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo. We are happy to help you!