What You Should Know About the Minnesota Graduated Driver’s License Program

What You Should Know About the Minnesota Graduated Driver’s License Program

More states are adopting the Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) system for new drivers because it allows you more time to learn and practice the skills you need to be safe and defensive on the road. The GDL is a three-stage system begins when turn 15 and ends with an unrestricted license at age 18.

Stage 1: You can get a learner’s permit when you are 15, provided –

  • You have finished the classroom segment of an approved driver’s education program
  • You pass the eye exam
  • You pass the written knowledge test

You will have the permit for at least six months while you practice driving. During this time, you must be supervised at all times when you are behind the wheel by a driving instructor, your parent, or a licensed driver over the age of 21 and this person must be seated in the front passenger seat.

You have to get at least 25 day-hours and 15 nighttime hours of driving experience while you have your permit plus an additional 10 hours if your driving supervisor does not have a supplemental parental curriculum certification. Your supervisor will need to keep track of your driving hours in an approved driving log and submit it when you apply for your provisional license.

Stage 2: You can apply for your provisional/intermediate license at age 16, provided –

  • You had your learner’s permit for at least six months, and
  • You fulfilled the driving experience requirements, and
  • Your driving supervisor submits a driver’s log as proof of those hours

For the first six months of having the provisional license, you are not allowed to drive between Midnight and 5 a.m. unless you have a driver over the age of 25 with you, or you are going to or from your place of employment or a school event. During this time, you cannot have more than one non-family passenger under the age of 20 with you. For the second six months, you can have up to three passengers who are under the age of 20.

Stage 3: Full driving privileges are granted at 17, provided –

  • You have held the provisional license for at least 12 months
  • You have not received more than one non-crash related moving violation
  • Your parent or guardian approves
Be Aware: If you are under 18, you cannot use a hand-held or hands-free cell phone while you are driving unless you are calling 911 for an emergency. No driver in Minnesota is allowed to text.

The state has a “not one drop” policy that makes it illegal to have any alcohol in your system when you drive. If you are under 21 years old and have alcohol in your system, you may be charged with a misdemeanor and lose your license for at least 30 days. If you have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, you will be prosecuted under adult drunk driving laws, even if you are under age 21.

WordPress Lightbox Plugin