Idaho Graduated Drivers License
Although the graduated drivers license system in Idaho is a little outdated and has not been updated for quite a while, it is still better than no graduated license system at all. Just like other graduated license programs in many states, the Idaho graduated drivers license law includes mandatory drivers education classes for those who are under 17 years of age and a multi-step licensing procedure. The downside of the current Idaho graduated license process is the minimum age for obtaining a learners permit or drivers license - a student can obtain a learners permit at the age of 14 years, 6 months and an unrestricted drivers license at the age of 16.
The graduated license system aims at reducing the number of traffic accidents by providing new drivers with a chance to gain some driving experience in a relatively safe driving environment. If you think about this, lack of driving experience is probably the number one cause of traffic accidents. Experience is what allows seasoned drivers to make correct choices and avoid any potentially dangerous situation before it has a chance to happen.
If lack of driving experience is to blame for all the troubles, you may ask a reasonable questions why does the Idaho graduated license system apply only to teen drivers and not everyone who is applying for an Idaho drivers license? Does it really matter how old is the applicant if he or she has the same number of hours behind the wheel under the belt?
This is a reasonable question, but it turns out that younger drivers display a number of behavioral trends that significantly raise their risk of being involved in a traffic accident. Statistics show us that traffic accidents is a number one cause of death for people between 15 and 20 years of age. Many studies conducted to decipher the reasons behind these statistics show that teen drivers are more likely to take risks on the road and are less likely to take safety precautions, such as wearing a seat belt. Hence, additional measures were developed to address these behavioral flaws.
Please remember that the Idaho graduated driver's license program applies only to those who choose to apply for a drivers license before the age of 17. If you are 17 years old or older, you may obtain an Idaho learners permit or drivers license through a simplified procedure and don't need to meet the GDL requirements and restrictions.
Idaho Graduated License Stages
Dividing the licensing procedure into a number of separate phases or stages is probably the greatest thing that every happened in the world of licensing. Instead of issuing license applicants with full driving privileges right away and letting them lose on public roads, the Department of Motor Vehicles started utilizing a system where driving privileges would be awarded over a certain period of time, as the applicant gains additional driving skills. This is definitely a much more reasonable approach to licensing as the driver has some time to get accustomed to this new activity and to absorb the new knowledge from more experienced drivers. At the moment, the Idaho graduated license program consists of the following stages:
- Driver training permit
- Supervised instruction permit (SIP)
- Restricted drivers license
- Full drivers license
You can enter the program and apply for a drivers training permit when you are at least 14 years, 6 months old. The drivers training permit can be obtained from a county sheriff's office, where you will need to present certain documents that prove your age and identity and where you will take a vision test. Please note that you do not need to take a written Idaho permit test at this point.
Drivers Training Permit
The drivers training permit is issued only for the purpose of completing a mandatory Idaho drivers education class. The class consists of 30 hours of classroom time, 6 hours of in car observation and 6 hours of in car driving. Under the Idaho graduated license requirements, your drivers training permit is only valid if there is a professional driving instructor present in the vehicle and you are currently receiving driving instructions. You cannot drive alone or with your parents.
Supervised Instruction Permit - SIP
Once you complete a drivers education class, your permit becomes what is known as a Supervised Instructions permit, SIP, which is the second stage of the graduated license program. No additional testing is required for graduating to this stage, you just need to complete your drivers ed class. While operating under the supervised instruction permit, you must have a licensed drivers at least 21 years of age seated in the front seat next to you, you cannot operate a vehicle alone. Your SIP must be held for at least six months from the date when you completed your drivers training program and during this period, you must do at least 50 hours of supervised driving, with 10 hours done at night. Idaho permit restrictions must be observed immaculately during this stage.
Safe and violation free driving is very important during this stage. If you are convicted of a moving violation while operating under the supervised instruction permit, your driving privilege will be suspended for 30 days and after the suspension period is over, you will have to start the application procedure from the beginning. The official Idaho drivers handbook contains more information on consequences of traffic violations that are committed by drivers who are currently going through the graduated license program.
In order to continue on to the next stage of the Idaho graduated drivers license program, you will be required to take a written knowledge test and an Idaho drivers test. Although the drivers ed class that you have completed should have given you a sound base when it comes to the state driving laws, you should probably sit down and revise everything you've learned so far before attempting to pass the tests. Idaho permit practice tests may help you identify the rules you may have problems with.
Restricted Drivers License
The minimum age for obtaining a restricted Idaho drivers license is 15. By this time, you must have already fulfilled the GDL requirements of all previous stages and have passed both the permit and the license tests. The restricted drivers license is the first license that allows you to get behind the wheel without a supervising driver seated next to you, but it still comes with certain restrictions and limitation, which are as following:
- Curfew. If you are under 16 years of age, there is a nighttime driving restrictions. You can only drive during daylight hours, unless you are accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21 years of age.
- Passenger restrictions. For the first six months of driving, no more than one passenger under the age of 17 who is not a member of driver's immediate family is allowed in the vehicle. This restriction may be lifted if there is a supervising driver at least 21 years of age present in the vehicle.
- Seat belts. Seat belts must be worn by everyone in the vehicle.
Class D Drivers License
Obtaining a full unrestricted drivers license is the final stage of the Idaho graduated license program. At this point, all restrictions are lifted from the license and the driver can drive unsupervised any time with any number of passengers. Although this is a great achievement, we urge young drivers to be especially careful at this stage as overconfidence is a dangerous thing when it comes to driving.