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Connecticut Learners Permit Restrictions - CT Driving Permit Rules

Connecticut Permit Restrictions

In Connecticut, a learners permit can be issued to drivers license applicants who are under 18 years of age and who successfully passed a permit test. Although the permit allows students to start driving, it comes with numerous permit restrictions that must be observed at all times. Connecticut permit restrictions were designed to keep young drivers safe until they gain the essential driving experience and prove that they have good control over motor vehicles. Connecticut learners permit restrictions are part of the graduated drivers license program and are lifted once the driver passes the drivers license test.

If you are reading this and you are over 18 years of age, you have to know that the Connecticut permit restrictions don't apply to you. If you are applying for a Connecticut drivers license, you are not required to go through the learners permit stage, you can complete the required tests and get a drivers license right away.

The permit restrictions were developed as a response to the high crash rates among teen drivers. In addition to the lack of driving experience, teenage drivers display a number of behavioral flaws that may lead to a disaster. For example, statistics show us that teenagers are less likely to use seat belts than drivers that belong to other age groups. Teenage drivers are also more likely to take risks on the road, another factor that leads to the high accident rates.

Traffic accidents is a number one cause of death for people between 15 and 20 years of age. For some reason, teenagers seem to ignore this fact, as if it does not apply to them. In order to lower the mortality among young drivers, a graduated drivers license program was devised. The Connecticut graduated drivers license program is a set of restrictions and additional requirements that are presented before teenage drivers. All these requirements were tailored to one goal - to provide teenage drivers to practice driving in a safe driving environment before they are allowed to get out on the road alone.

Driving Permit Restrictions

The minimum age for applying for a learners permit is 16. At this age, you are required to take a Connecticut permit test to prove that you are no stranger to the state driving laws and safe driving practices. You can prepare for the test by reading the drivers license handbook and taking Connecticut practice permit tests.

Once you have your Connecticut learners permit, you can start driving, provided you observe the following permit restrictions:

  • No driving alone. You must have a supervising driver seated next to you at all times. The supervising driver must be at least 20 years of age, have at least four years of driving experience and have no suspension for the last four years before the instruction.
  • Passenger restrictions. You cannot carry any passengers in the vehicle, unless you are accompanied by a driving instructor and are currently receiving instruction as per your drivers education course.
  • Seat belts. Seat belts must be worn by everyone present in the vehicle.
  • No cell phones. You cannot use a cell phone or any other communication device while driving.

If you fail to observe these learners permit restrictions, your driving privileges may be suspended or canceled.

Apart from these restrictions, you must also meet additional permit requirements. Thus, the DMV requires every drivers license applicant under 18 years of age to complete a Connecticut drivers education class, an 8-hour Safe Driving Practices course and at least 40 hours of supervised driving. If you are taking a drivers education program through a commercial driving school, it will most likely include both the required driving time and the 8-hour traffic safety course. However, if you go through one of the home-study drivers education courses, you would have to complete the 8-hour class and 40 hours of driving separately as home study programs usually include just the classroom portion of drivers ed.

Depending on the type of the drivers education course that you choose, you must hold your learners permit either for 120 days, if you completed the course through a commercial driving school, or 160 days, if you completed the class through one of the home study programs.

Provisional License Restrictions

Once the above requirements are met and you pass the Connecticut drivers test and the Teen Final Exam (you can get more information about the teen driving exam in the Connecticut drivers handbook), you can be issued with an intermediate drivers license. Although the intermediate license allows you to drive alone, you must still observe 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.

These restrictions are lifted once you turn 18.