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Alabama Learners Permit Restrictions - AL Driving Permit Rules

Alabama Learners Permit Restrictions - AL Driving Permit Rules

When you receive a learners permit in Alabama, it does not grant you full driving privileges right away and comes with numerous learners permit restrictions. These limitations were designed to keep you safe while you are acquiring the essential driving experience and you should make sure to observe them at all times. The Alabama permit restrictions depend on the age of the learners permit holder, so when you receive a learners permit at the Department of Public Safety, make sure to inquire about the restrictions that are applicable to you.

Many first time Alabama drivers license applicants why these permit restrictions needed and what is the whole purpose of having them. The answer is very simple - these permit restrictions are an important part of traffic safety. Inexperience is a number one risk factor for new drivers, as the driver doesn't yet have the skills required to avoid a situation that can potentially be dangerous. Learners permit restrictions do the job of helping you stay out of trouble as they prohibit driving in challenging environments.

The situation is even more dire when teenage drivers are in questions. Teenagers frequently overestimate their driving skills and are prone to taking risks, which frequently leads to a traffic accident. According to the national statistics, traffic accidents is a number one cause of deaths for people between 15 and 20 years of age. In order to address the problem, the DPS developed a graduated drivers license system which targets specifically teenage drivers. The Alabama graduated driver license program is a number of restrictions and additional licensing steps teen drivers have to go through before they can be issued with an unrestricted driver license.

Alabama Drivers Permit Restrictions - Over 18 Years of Age

If you are over 18 years of age, there is only one restriction that applies to your Alabama drivers permit and that is no driving alone. Whenever you are behind the wheel, you must have another licensed driver seated in the front seat next to you. The supervising driver is there to guide you and to help you deal with any unforeseen situation you may get into. There is no minimum holding period for the learners permit if you are over the age of 18, but you should allow yourself enough time for mastering safe driving techniques before you take an Alabama drivers test.

Even though the graduated license restrictions don't apply to you, you will still have to take the same tests as any other license applicant, starting with an Alabama permit test. The permit exam covers the state driving rules, road signs and safe driving practices. Even though the test is not hard, more than a half of all first time license applicants fail the test the first time they take it. If you want to pass the test on your first try, make sure you start preparing for it well in advance. Once done with the study materials, take a few Alabama permit practice tests to get accustomed to the wording used by the drivers testing centers.

Alabama Permit Restrictions - Under 18 Years of Age

If you are younger than 17 years, 6 months, you are subject to the graduated license laws and you have to observe additional permit restrictions and meet additional permit requirements. Just like older drivers, you are not allowed to drive alone and must have a supervising driver accompany you.

For learners permit holders who are under the age of 16, the supervising driver must be at least 21 years of age and hold a valid drivers license or be a state-licensed driving instructor.

For drivers permit holders who are between 16 and 18 years of age, the supervising driver must be at least 18 years of age and hold a valid Alabama drivers license.

The main reason why you were issued with a learners permit is to allow you to practice driving and get ready for taking an Alabama drivers license test. Under no circumstances you are allowed to drive without a supervising driver seated next to you, there are no exceptions to this rule. Failure to abide to this restriction may see you lose your driving privileges.

If you are under 18 years of age, the learners permit must be held for at least six months before you can take a drivers test and apply for a drivers license. During this stage, you are also required to complete an Alabama drivers education class or at least 30 hours of supervised driving with parents. Although most students choose to complete the supervised driving hours, we advise that you consider taking a drivers ed class and then getting as many hours of driving experience as possible. Drivers ed classes can help you get prepared for the permit test and also make you a safer driver.

Alabama Restricted Drivers License

Drivers license applicants under the age of 18 who have successfully met the Alabama learners permit requirements and passed the drivers test are issued with a drivers license that still has some restrictions for the first six months following the issuance date.

Curfew. No driving between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. unless:
the driver is accompanied by a parent or legal guardian
the driver is accompanied by a licensed driver 21 years of age or older who has written consent from the driver's parents
the driver is traveling to or from school, work, a religious activity or in case of an emergency

Passenger restrictions. The driver who has a restricted license cannot have more than four passengers in the vehicle, excluding the driver's parents.

If you observe these license restrictions for six months, your drivers license gets upgraded to a full unrestricted drivers license. If you are caught breaking these rules, the waiting period is extended for another six months.

Alabama Permit and License Restrictions - Exceptions to The Rules

All Alabama permit and license restrictions outlined above is what most of the drivers license applicants have to go through on their way towards a full drivers license, but there are many exceptions to these rules. We are outlining the most common exceptions below and urge you to check out the Alabama drivers handbook for more details regarding learners permit restrictions.

You don't have to observe the graduated drivers license restrictions if:

  • you are 17 years of age or older and have held a valid drivers license for six months or longer
  • you are 16 years of age or older and are married or the head of household
  • you are a teenager who has been legally emancipated