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  • Drivers Permits in Delaware

    Delaware offers a graduated driver's license program for teens. The Level One Learner's Permit is for teens aged 16 or 17 years old who have passed a certified driver's education course.

    When you receive your certificate of completion, visit your local Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office with your parent or legal guardian who will sign as your sponsor.

    You'll need to provide a certified copy of your birth certificate and your Social Security card. You'll also need two documents proving your residency in Delaware, or your parent or guardian may show their Delaware driver's license with your same address. Delaware provides an extensive list of approved documents.

    Once you present the required documents and pass a routine vision test, you'll receive your Class D Level One Permit for $40, which also covers the cost of the Class D Operator's License when that time comes.

    Information about Sponsors

    Delaware requires your parent or legal guardian to sign as a sponsor on your permit. This sponsor is held liable with you for any damages resulting from negligence on your part. The sponsor has the final authority on whether you are fit to drive, and can revoke your permit at any time and for any reason.

    Delaware specifies that either of your parents may sign if you live with BOTH of them, or the parent you live with must sign. Stepparents may not sign as sponsor unless they have legally adopted you. If you do not live with either parent, and a legal guardian has not been appointed, then either parent may sign as sponsor.

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    Permit Restrictions

    The Level One Learner's Permit carries certain restrictions with it.

    During the first 6 months:

    • You must have your permit in your possession at all driving times.
    • You must drive accompanied by a parent, guardian, or other adult 25 years or older who has been licensed for at least 5 years, sitting in the front seat beside you while you drive. No one else can be in the front seat.
    • The sponsor must certify that you've driven a minimum of 50 hours, with 10 of those hours driven at night. Turn this certification in to the Department of Education after the first six months.
    • You must wear a seatbelt at all times.
    • You're only allowed to have one supervisor and one passenger in the car with you. This restriction does not apply to immediate family members.

    After the first six months, some of the restrictions are lifted or changed:

    • You can drive unsupervised between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
    • You can drive with supervision only between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
    • Without supervision, you may have only one passenger in the car with you. This restriction does not apply to immediate family members.

    Using your cell phone while driving is also against the law.

    If you violate any of these restrictions, the DMV will suspend your permit for 2 months for the 1st offense and 4 months for the 2nd and subsequent offenses.

    Class D Operator's License

    As long as you're at least 17 years old under the age of 18, your permit will automatically become a valid Class D Operator's License after you've held your Level One Permit for 12 months. However, your permit must not have been suspended, revoked, cancelled, surrendered, or denied during that period.

    Lost Permits

    If your permit is lost, stolen, or destroyed, you can apply for a replacement at your local DMV office. You'll need to provide three forms of ID―the state provides a list of approved documents. The cost to replace the license is $10.

    Practice Tests wants to help you prepare for your written exam. Study the Delaware Driver's Manual, then check out our practice tests before you head to the DMV. You'll be on the road in no time!

    More Information

    For more information about teen driving, or for details on getting your official license, see our other helpful pages: Teen Drivers,
    Driver Education, Drivers Training, Driver's License & ID, and Applying For a New License.

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