Receiving your learner's permit shows that you studied hard enough to pass the permit exam and that you're ready for your first taste of the open road. You may want to practice driving as much as you can, but you need to follow the permit restrictions in your state. Curious what those restrictions are? Follow these basic rules to safely get your hours in for your behind-the-wheel test. But to be safe and follow the law, always double-check your state's learner's permit guidebook before hitting the road.
Is There a Time of Day When I Can't Drive With My Permit?
Every state has certain hours where learner's permit drivers are not allowed to operate a motor vehicle. In most states, this time period starts around midnight and runs until the early morning hours of 5 to 6 a.m., but it varies depending on the state. For example, Illinois doesn't let its permit drivers drive between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., but in Alaska, you can't drive between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.
Some states do have exceptions where if you are traveling from work or a school event, you can drive during these hours with proper documentation.
How Many Passengers Can Be in the Car With Me?
Most states limit the number of passengers you can have in the car with you on your learner's permit to keep you in a safe state of mind. If you have too many people in the car, they can all distract you in different ways, causing you to get into an accident.
In Ohio, permit drivers can have one passenger under the age of 18 in the car with them besides their supervisor. This restriction doesn't apply if the passengers are your siblings. Some other states allow as many passengers as there are seatbelts in the car.
Does Anyone Need to Be in the Car With Me While I'm Driving?
All states require a supervisor to be with you in the car at all times while you are still on your learner's permit. The instructor is there to teach you and make sure you are following all driving laws. This supervisor must be licensed and over 18 or 21 years of age depending on the state. Some states say this can only be your parent, guardian, or driving instructor as well.
In the state of Washington, your supervisor must have their driver's license for at least five years to be with you, but in Wyoming, your co-pilot only has to be over 18 years old and have a valid license.
Can I Drive in Other States With My Learner's Permit?
Each state has its own set of rules regarding learner's permits and reciprocal agreements with other states. The biggest issue when determining this is the age at which you can get your permit. States that allow drivers to get their permits at 16 may not allow permit drivers from states where they can legally get their permit at 14 or 15 to have driving privileges. The inverse is usually true, too, where permit drivers above the other state's permit age can usually drive there. Call the DMV of the state you plan on driving in to confirm if it is legal or not before entering.
Get on the Road With Your Permit
If you follow all of the rules in this guide plus any additional restrictions your state may have, you will be able to practice both safely and legally. If you need additional help practicing, sign up for a DriversEd.com in-car driving lessons course. This course will prepare you for the in-car exam and teach you safe driving skills from a certified instructor.