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Delaware Learners Permit Restrictions - DE Driving Permit Rules

Delaware Permit Restrictions

The main purpose of a learners permit is to allow drivers license applicants to gain some driving experience before they take a drivers test. Hence all Delaware learners permits have a number of permit restrictions that must be observed until a full license is issued. There are a few different types of permits available in Delaware, depending on the age of an applicant and you will need to observe all permit restrictions that are specific to your permit type. Although these Delaware permit restrictions may seem as a nuisance right now, they significantly lower your chances of being involved in a traffic accident and coming out of that accident alive, should it happen anyway, so observance of all permit restrictions is in your best interest.

Many people wonder why do they even need to apply for a Delaware learners permit and why can't they pass all of the required tests and receive a full drivers license right away? We agree, the procedure does look somewhat cumbersome and unnecessarily complicated for those who are just going through it. However, statistics show us that this approach significantly reduces a number of traffic accident among first time drivers, which proves its usefulness.

Although traffic accidents happen for a number of reason and you can blame many environmental factors, such as bad weather conditions, animals and other people on the road, most accidents are caused by lack of driving experience and inability to correctly predict and deal with the ever changing traffic conditions. That's why one in every five drivers has a traffic accident during the first year of driving. There is simply no substitute for the actual hands-on driving experience, no matter how many hours you spend in a classroom or on a simulator, nothing beats driving in the real world conditions.

Having a learners permit allows you to gain that driving experience while being subjected to less risks than if you were driving alone with a full Delaware drivers license. Your learners permit holds a number of restrictions that were tailored to today's driving conditions and were designed to exclude most of the potential dangers. Having another experienced driver in the car, one of the primary conditions of a learners permit, adds another degree of safety by reducing the stress experienced by a new driver and minimizing the chances of making a mistake.

As mentioned previously, there are a few types of drivers permits available in Delaware, a Temporary Instruction Permit for applicants 18 years of age and older and a Level One Learners permit for those who are under 18 years of age. The level one learners permit is part of the Delaware graduated drivers license system and it has more restrictions than a regular temporary permit.

Temporary Learners Permit Restrictions

In order to be eligible for this type of a permit, you must be at least 18 years of age. You can apply for a temporary drivers permit by visiting any DMV office and taking a Delaware permit test that covers the state driving laws and road signs. Keep in mind that more than a half of the first time test takers fail, so you may want to test yourself with a free Delaware permit practice test before you go in for the real thing. Once you got the test nailed and have your temporary permit on your hands, you can start practicing driving, provided you have another driver seated next to you at all times. The supervising driver must hold a valid drivers license and be at least 21 years of age.

Your learners permit is valid for 60 days and you are expected to pass a Delaware driver test within this period. Keep in mind that you have to hold a temporary permit for at least 10 days before taking a road test. If you think that you did not acquire enough driving experience within these 60 days, you may visit the DMV and have your permit renewed and extended for another 60 days.

Try to avoid using a cell phone while driving as it is a very distracting activity and you should pay as much attention as possible to the road ahead of you and other drivers that surround you. If you need to make a phone call, pull over and stop.

Level One Learners Permit Restrictions

The minimum age for applying for a level one learners permit is 16 years. By this time, you must already have completed a Delaware drivers education course and obtained a Blue certificate of completion as part of the state graduated driver license program. If you want to learn more about graduate licensing, please refer to the official Delaware driver's manual that is available for download from the DMV website.

Once you receive a learners permit, the following drivers permit restrictions will apply to you while you are driving:

  • Supervised driving. For the first six months, you have to have a supervising driver accompany you at all times while you are driving. The supervising driver must be at least 25 years of age, hold a valid Delaware drivers license and have at least five years of driving experience. The supervising driver must be seated in the front seat next to the permit holder.
  • Curfew. During the second 6 months, unsupervised driving is allowed between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. During curfew hours, only supervised driving is allowed.
  • Cell phones. Usage of cell phones and other communication devices is strictly prohibited.
  • Seat belts. Seat belts must be worn by everyone in the vehicle, no exceptions.
  • Passenger restrictions. During the first six months, no more than one passenger other than the supervising driver, who is not related to the driver, is allowed to be in the vehicle. During the second six months, no more than three passengers who are not related to the driver are allowed to be in the vehicle.

These Delaware permit restrictions must be observed throughout at least 12 months. At the end of this period, you can take a drivers test and receive a class D drivers license.

If you are caught breaking these restrictions, the punishment can be anything from a mandatory suspension of your driving privileges to a complete revocation of your learners permit until you are at least 18 years of age. At that point, you would have to apply for a regular Delaware drivers license just like any other adult.