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Changes to the New York Graduate License Laws in 2010

This year, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles is taking additional steps to ensure the safety of teenage drivers and those who surround them on the road. Additional restrictions were introduced to the New York graduated license (GDL) system.

Contrary to the common belief, the graduated license restrictions target not only the New York learners permit holders but also those who currently possess the junior license. Both of these categories feature young inexperienced drivers who have high crash rates. The graduated license system is trying to counteract the factors that cause these drastic statistics.

Passenger Restrictions

The new laws that went into effect on February 22, 2010, mandate that junior license holders cannot carry more than one passenger under the age of 21 who is not an immediate family member, unless supervised by a licensed parent or legal guardian. This law addresses the issue of young drivers being distracted by peers, which often results in a traffic collision.

Increased Number of Supervised Driving Hours

With the new rules in effect, teenage drivers will have to spend at least 50 hours driving under the supervision of a parent or legal guardian. Previously the New York state required for teens to complete just 20 hours of supervised driving, which is significantly less than the supervised driving hours in most other states.

The new laws also abolished the limited use junior driver license. Right now, all teenagers are required to take the permit test and wait at least 6 months prior to taking the drivers test and receiving the drivers license.

On a side note, drivers of all ages must be reminded that since November 1, 2009, texting and usage of any hand-held communication devices while driving has been banned throughout the whole state.