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  • Drivers Permits in New Jersey

    New Jersey offers a graduated driving license program to first-time drivers. This graduated license is divided into categories according to the new driver's age: Early Bird Road, Young Adult, and Adult. Each category starts with getting a permit, which we'll cover in detail here.

    To get complete details about the graduated license program and how to get your license, see our pages on Teen Drivers, Driver Education, Drivers Training, and Applying For a New License.

    Early Bird Road―Student Learner's Permit

    To get a student learner's permit, you'll need to visit your local Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) Agency. You must:

    • Be 16 years old.
    • Pass a knowledge (written) test and a vision screening.
    • Present a primary ID, such as a certified birth certificate, passport, or adoption or citizenship papers.
    • Show proof of enrollment in a driver's education course.
    • Have your course instructor with you.
    • Have written consent of your parents or legal guardian.
    • Pay the $10 student permit fee.

    With this permit, you will have the following restrictions:

    • You must be accompanied in the front seat by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and has at least 3 years of driving experience.
    • You may NOT drive between the hours of 11:01 p.m. and 5 a.m.
    • You may only have 1 passenger from another household in the vehicle while you are driving, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. You are allowed to transport parents, guardians and dependents.
    • No use of any electronic device while driving, including cell phone or video games.
    • Seatbelts must be worn at all times.

    You must hold this permit in good standing for a minimum of 6 months before graduating to the next level. The permit is valid for 2 years.

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    Young Adult Drivers―Examination Permit

    If you're 17 years old or over, you can skip the student learner permit and apply for an examination permit at your local New Jersey MVC agency. The requirements are:

    • Be at least 17 years old.
    • Pass a knowledge (written) test and a vision screening.
    • Present a 6-point ID, such as a certified birth certificate, passport, or adoption or citizenship papers.
    • Pay the $10 examination permit fee.

    Valid for 2 years, this permit also comes with restrictions:

    • You may NOT drive between the hours of 11:01 p.m. and 5 a.m., while accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21 years of age who has held a valid driver's license for at least 3 years. This supervisor must ride in the front seat beside you while you drive.
    • You may only have 1 passenger from another household in the vehicle while you are driving, unless you're accompanied by a parent or guardian. You are permitted to transport parents, guardians or dependents.
    • No use of any electronic device while driving, including cell phone or video games.
    • Seatbelts must be worn at all times.

    Adult Drivers―Examination Permit

    If you're 21 years old and over, you'll apply for an examination permit at your local MVC Agency. The requirements are similar to those for young adult drivers:

    • Be at least 21 years old.
    • Pass a knowledge (written) test and a vision screening.
    • Present a 6-point ID, such as a certified birth certificate, passport, or adoption or citizenship papers.
    • Pay the $10 examination permit fee.

    Your examination permit doesn't come with restricted driving hours, but the following limitations still apply:

    • You must always accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21 years of age who has held a valid driver's license for at least 3 years. This supervisor must ride on the front seat beside you while you drive.
    • No use of any electronic device while driving, including cell phone or video games.
    • Seatbelts must be worn at all times.

    Restriction Penalties

    You will be fined $100 if caught violating any driving restriction.

    Graduated Driver License (GDL) Decal

    All GDL drivers (learners permit, examination permit, probationary license) must display a red reflectorized decal on the upper left corner of each license plate (front and back). Failing to abide by this rule will result in a $100 fine.

    Studying for the Tests

    We recommend getting a copy of the MVC Driver's Manual and study it. Then, take DMV.org's practice tests online until you ace them. You'll be ready to receive your permit in no time!

    Lost Permit or License

    If you've lost your permit or license, or it has been stolen, you'll need to report it right away to your local New Jersey MVC agency. If it was stolen, first notify your local law enforcement. They'll make a report, so be sure get a copy to take with you to the NJ MVC. The cost to replace the license or permit is $3.

    If you are under 17 years old, your parent or legal guardian will need to accompany you to the NJ MVC agency, and you'll need to present the proper ID requirements.

    Replacement permits are granted on a "case-by-case" basis.

    Expired Permits

    All graduated license permits are valid for 2 years. If you need a renewal, you'll need to go through the same steps as applying for a new permit.

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