Indiana Graduated Driver’s License System
Indiana has implemented many of the optimal safety laws recommended by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety including the three-stage licensing program for new drivers. By adopting these recommendations and enhancing enforcement techniques, the state has realized a decrease of fatal accidents involving drivers under the age of 21 from a ten-year high of 180 in 2006 to a low of 87 in 2014.
If you are enrolled in a driver’s ed course, you can take the test for a learner’s permit at the age of 15. Without the course, you will have to wait until you are 16 to get your permit, and will have to be supervised when you drive by your spouse if they are older than 21 or a family member who is licensed and over the age of 25. You will have the permit for three months while you acquire 50 hours or more of driving experience, making sure that at least ten of those hours are at night.
Be aware that the state has stipulations that if you are truant, suspended, expelled, or if you withdraw from school, you will not be able to get your learner’s permit until you are 18 years old.
If you have completed the driver’s ed course, you can get a restricted license when you turn 16 years and 90 days old. Without the course, you will have to wait until you are 16 years and nine months.
You will hold the restricted license until you receive full driving privileges at age 21. While you are in this probationary period, you-
- are banned from using a cell phone for calls or texting unless it is an emergency
- cannot drive between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. for the first 180 days if you are under age 21
- cannot drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and Saturday and Sunday between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. if you are aged 18 or younger
- cannot drive with passengers unsupervised until you are 21
One month after you turn 21, the restrictions on your license are automatically lifted, and you can drive unsupervised at night and with passengers.
Be aware that as a driver, you are required to ensure that all your passengers are buckled into their seat belts or approved child restraint system.
Indiana Drunk Driving Laws for Minors
Drivers under age 21 are held to a higher standard than older drivers when it comes to drinking and driving. In fact, if you are under the age 21 and you drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .02, you will lose your license for up to one year and be fined up to $500. Your school may also impose a punishment such as exclusion from athletics and other extracurricular activities or even in-school suspension.