Connecticut Graduated Driver License
Although there is a graduated drivers license system in Connecticut, its meaning is somewhat different from what is commonly known as graduated drivers license laws in other states. The official Connecticut graduated drivers license program concentrates on restrictions that are placed onto drivers according to their physical and mental conditions, while graduated driver license programs in other states are the laws that govern the licensing procedure for teenage drivers. In this publication, we will talk about the restrictions and regulations that must be observed by teenage drivers, if you are interested in the information regarding the official Connecticut graduated drivers license, please contact the Department of Motor Vehicles directly.
By now, most of the states recognize the fact that teenage drivers face many more threats on the road than drivers of any other age group. Studies conducted throughout the nation revealed a number of astonishing fact. According to the statistics, one in every five teenagers have a traffic accident during their first year of driving. One in every four teenagers either have a traffic ticket or are involved in an at-fault accident. Traffic accidents is a number one cause of death for people between 15 and 20 years of age. Judging by this information, driving is probably one of the most dangerous activities you are likely to be involved in during the early years of your life.
So what are the reasons that could explain this data? Why do teenagers have so many accidents? The answer this is simple - they lack driving experience and don't know how to deal with dangerous on road situations. Drivers who have years of driving experience usually apply defensive driving techniques and tactics that allow them to avoid most of the potentially dangerous situations. Furthermore, an experienced driver usually has enough skills to be able to deal with a dangerous situation if it could not be avoided. Unfortunately, teenagers who just got a Connecticut drivers license lack these skills, which leads to the results that we see. The graduated drivers license program consists of a number of additional requirements and restrictions that were designed to prevent young drivers from getting into the traffic situations they can't deal with.
You may be asking yourself why not apply the same measures to all newly licensed drivers, why target teenage drivers only? It should not matter how old you are, if you got licensed one month ago, that means you have one month of driving experience, no matter how old you are. The reason why older drivers don't have to observe the Connecticut graduated driver license rules is because statistics show us that older drivers are usually much more careful when it comes to driving and, unlike teenagers, they tend to take many safety precautions when they are out on the road. Thus, teenagers are known to be less likely to use seat belts and pack the vehicle with friends, at the same time they are more likely to speed and take risks. That's why the graduated drivers license requirements apply only to drivers who are under 18 years of age.
Connecticut Graduated Drivers License Stages
The graduated drivers license program is a complex combination of restrictions and requirements. Teenage drivers license applicants have to go through a number of stages, each stage presenting the applicant with certain tasks. Once these tasks are completed, the drivers license applicant can proceed to the next level, gaining additional driving privileges. At the moment, the Connecticut graduate driver's license program has the following stages:
- Learners permit
- Restricted drivers license
- Full drivers license
If you are 18 years of age or older, you don't have to follow this procedure and you are not required to apply for a learners permit, but you must still go through the same testing procedures as younger drivers. Before you can be issued with a drivers license, the state requires you to pass a Connecticut permit test that will assess your knowledge of the state driving rules and road signs. You can take a practice permit test for Connecticut if you want to see what kind of questions you will get on the real permit test.
Connecticut Learners Permit
The minimum age for applying for a Connecticut learners permit is 16. At this age, you can visit one of the DMV offices, take the permit exam and receive your learners permit. The main purpose of the learners permit is to provide you with a chance to practice driving and you must observe all Connecticut permit restrictions at this stage.
During this stage, you are not allowed to drive alone and must have a supervising driver seated next to you at all times. The supervising driver must be at least 20 years of age, have no less than four years of driving experience and his license must have not been suspended within four years prior to the instruction. The supervising driver must be prepared to take control of the vehicle at any time.
Your learners permit does not allow you to carry any passengers, unless there is a professional driving instructor is seated next to you and you are currently receiving instruction as per your drivers education program. An exception to this rule may be made if the passengers are your parents and one of them holds a valid drivers license.
The graduated driver license law also mandates that you are to complete a Connecticut drivers education class and at least 40 hours of supervised driving. If you are taking a drivers ed class through a commercial driving school, the supervised driving hours are usually included in the course curriculum. Those who take drivers ed as a home-study program will need to complete an additional 8 hour Safe Driving Practices course, with one of the parents being present during at least two hours of the class. The certificate of completion for a drivers education program and the 8-hour safety course will be required when you will be taking a Connecticut drivers test.
The type of the drivers education class that you choose also dictates how many days you must hold your learners permit for before you can apply for a Connecticut drivers license. Those who chose to take the class through a commercial driving school must hold a learners permit for at least 120 days prior to applying for a license, for those who took a home-study class the holding period is 160 days.
Intermediate Drivers License
Once the above requirements are met and the drivers test is passed, you can be issued with a drivers license. According to the Connecticut graduated drivers license law, driver license applicants under 18 years of age are issued with a provisional drivers license that allows unsupervised driving but still comes with the following restrictions:
- Passenger restrictions. During the first six months following the issuance of a license, the newly licensed driver may not have any passengers in the vehicle except for a licensed driving instructor, a supervising driver who meets the state requirements or the driver's parents, one of whom must hold a valid drivers license. During the second six months, the driver is allows to carry only members of his/her immediate family.
- Curfew. You are not allowed to drive between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless for employment, school or religious activities. An exception can also be made in case of a medical emergency.
- You cannot use a cell phone or other electronic device while driving.
- Seat belts must be worn by everyone present in the vehicle.
The provisional license restrictions are lifted once you reach the age of 18.
Teen Final Exam
Everyone who applies for a drivers license before the age of 18 must take an additional knowledge test after passing the drivers license exam. This test is called Teen Final Exam and it covers safe driving practices, permit and license restrictions and general information on the state driving rules. Just like the learners permit test, the Teen Final Exam has 25 questions and you will need to answer at least 20 of them correctly. If you fail the exam, you will have to wait at least seven days and pay the fee of $40 for retaking it. You are strongly advised to read the Connecticut drivers handbook before attempting to pass the Teen Final Exam, this may save you both time and money.