According to the United States CDC, teenagers aged 16 to 19 are three times as likely to be involved in an accident versus their adult counterparts. Many states have placed restrictions on younger drivers to keep them safe and secure on the road, while still allowing them to gain practical, real-life driving experience prior to obtaining their driver’s license.
New Jersey is one of these states. As part of the Graduated Driver’s License program, all drivers, regardless of age, will face certain limitations before they are able to receive full driving privileges statewide. If you are under 21 or you have never held a driver’s in any US state, be sure to read this blog carefully to identify which restrictions will apply to you as part of the GDL.
New Jersey is a little bit different than other states, because the special learner’s permit, examination permit, and probationary license all carry the same driving restrictions. You’ll want to follow them rigidly in order to avoid difficulties with local law enforcement.
Here are the basic requirements to qualify for the different licenses:
You may feel like you need to remember an awful lot of restrictions, but it’s fairly straightforward as we will show you. Here’s what you need to know.
New Jersey permit holders are not allowed to operate a motor vehicle between the hours of 11:01pm and 5am throughout the week. Drivers over the age of 21, however, are exempt from this limitation. If you are under 21 and require work or religious exemption, you must carry documentation signed by your employer or religious institution stating the reasons in which you must be exempt. This letter must include a signature, title, address, and telephone number of the designated official.
You are not allowed to carry more than one passenger unless accompanied by a parent or guardian, or the passengers are your own children. This restriction is also waived for permit holders who are 21 years of age and older.
Permit holders are required to place a GDL decal on the front and rear license plate of any vehicle they drive. These decals are available at all Motor Vehicle Commission locations across the state of New Jersey for $4 a pair.
Electronic devices, including cell phones, iPads, GPS systems, etc. are not allowed to be used while driving with a permit. Both hands-free and handheld devices are restricted, regardless of age.
A seat belt must be worn at all times while driving.
If you’re caught disobeying the permit restrictions, you may end up receiving a ticket from your local law enforcement officer. Receiving multiple tickets while holding a permit can lead to heavy consequences down the line. You’ll want to be very careful to avoid racking up excessive violations throughout this period.
Understanding the NJ permit restrictions can be confusing, but it’s incredibly important in order to continue progressing through the state’s Graduated Driver License program. We hope this guide has made all of the restrictions clear, and that you now know what to do (and what not to).
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