Charles E. Tempio
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Attorney at Law

Graduated Driver’s License Program in New Jersey

To obtain a special learner’s permit in New Jersey, you must be at least 16 years old and take 6 hours of behind the wheel training. The learning driver must be in good standing for at least 6 months before taking New Jersey’s standard road test, which becomes available once they are 17 years of age. The test is approximately 10-15 minutes and tests the driver's ability to reverse, yield, steer, park, and stop. If the student fails the road test, they must wait two weeks to retake the test. However, if they fail 3 or more times, there must be a 6-month period before taking the test again. If the test is successfully completed, they are granted a probationary license. However, a probationary license differs from a regular driver’s license as it contains more restrictions and regulations. These include:

  • There must be a GDL decal on both license plates of the car they are driving. 
  • They are only allowed to drive with one another passenger who is under the age of 21, unless the passengers are household members. This restriction is lifted when the driver is accompanied by a parent/guardian or if the passengers are the driver’s children.
  • They are not allowed to drive between 11:00 PM and 5:00 AM. The only exceptions (with written proof of its existence) are religious activities and work purposes. Emergencies are also permitted. 

If the GDL driver receives a ticket, it is imperative they do everything they can to have it dismissed or at least reduced. However, prosecutors are typically not expected to downgrade tickets with points to no point tickets. If the GDL holder receives more than two points with a probationary license, their license is at risk of being suspended. Furthermore, the prosecutor is not allowed to plea bargain. For all of these reasons, it is best for GDL drivers to follow the imposed rules and restrictions.

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