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  • Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in New Jersey

    Applying for a Teen Driver’s License in New Jersey

    If you’re a teenager or young adult applying for your first driver’s license, you’ll need to satisfy the requirements of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) graduated driver licensing (GDL) program.

    The phases of the GDL program will help you gain driving experience and practice the skills necessary to pass your DMV road test and get your unrestricted driver’s license.

    On this page you’ll find information about the New Jersey GDL program and the steps you’ll need to take to get your first driver’s license.

    New to New Jersey?

    If you are younger than 18 years old and have recently moved to New Jersey, you cannot transfer your out-of-state driver’s license or learner’s permit.

    You’ll need to complete each step of the New Jersey MVC GDL program to get a NJ driver’s license. See below for details.

    New Jersey GDL Program & Restrictions

    If you’re a new driver younger than 21 years old, you are required to complete the New Jersey MVC GDL program.

    The GDL program is broken down into the following steps and restrictions:

    • Special student learner’s permit, which requires:
      • Completion of a Driver’s Education course with a certified driving instructor.
      • A reflectorized license plate decal to be displayed when you drive.
      • The permit to be validated to begin supervised driving.
      • Supervised driving at all times with a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old and has been driving for at least 3 years.
      • No driving between 11:01 p.m. and 5 a.m.
      • Your only passengers to be parents, legal guardians, or dependents.
      • Parent or guardian supervision, if you have more than 1 passenger.
    • Examination permit, which requires:
      • A reflectorized license plate decal when you drive.
      • Supervised driving at all times with a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old and has been driving for at least 3 years.
      • No driving between 11:01 p.m. and 5 a.m.
      • Your only passengers to be your parents, legal guardians, or dependents.
      • Parent or guardian supervision, if you have more than 1 passenger.
    • Probationary driver’s license, which requires:
      • A reflectorized license plate decals to be displayed when you drive.
      • No driving between 11:01 p.m. and 5 a.m., unless you have a written statement for religious or work reasons.
      • Your only passengers to be your parents, legal guardians, or dependents.
      • Parent or guardian supervision, if you have more than 1 passenger.
    • Full, unrestricted driver’s license.

    Depending on your age, you’ll need to apply for either your student learner’s permit OR examination permit. You do not need to obtain both.

    NOTE: Visit your local New Jersey DMV office to obtain a reflectorized license plate decals for $4.

    Age Requirements

    The minimum age requirements to begin each step of the New Jersey MVC GDL program are as follows:

    • Student learner’s permit: 16 years old.
    • Examination permit: 17 years old.
    • Probationary driver’s license: 17 years old.
    • Unrestricted driver’s license: 18 years old.

    New Jersey Learner’s Permit

    Depending on your age, you will start the GDL process by applying for either your student learner’s permit OR examination permit.

    • If you are 16 years old, you must enroll in driver’s education and obtain a student learner’s permit. See “Student Learner’s Permit” below.
    • If you are 17 years old, you won’t need to complete driver’s education, but you will need to obtain an examination permit. See “Examination Permit” below.

    Student Learner’s Permit

    If you are 16 years old, visit your local NJ MVC office with your driver’s education instructor to obtain your student learner’s permit. You’ll need to:

    • Provide a primary form of identification, such as your:
      • Birth certificate.
      • U.S. passport.
      • Certificate of citizenship or naturalization.
    • Provide proof of enrollment in a Driver’s Ed course.
    • Provide a signed letter of consent from your parent or legal guardian.
    • Pass a vision exam.
    • Pass the DMV written test.
    • Pay the $10 student learner’s permit fee.

    When you complete the minimum of 6 hours of driver’s training, you’ll need to return to your local New Jersey MVC office to get your student learner’s permit validated.

    You must complete driver’s education and get your permit validated to begin your supervised driving practice.

    Driving Restrictions

    While on your student learner’s permit, you must:

    • Not drive between 11:01 p.m. and 5 a.m.
    • Be accompanied by a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old and has been driving for at least 3 years.
    • Have a parent or guardian supervising you, if you have more than 1 passenger.
    • Only have your parents, guardians, or dependents as passengers.
    • Have a reflectorized decal on each of your license plates.

    Examination Permit

    If you are at least 17 years old, you can begin the GDL process by obtaining an examination permit. You do not need to obtain your student learner’s permit.

    Visit your local New Jersey DMV office and:

    • Satisfy the NJ MVC 6 Point ID verification requirements. Use the MVC online document selector or ID brochure to help select your documents.
    • Pass a vision exam.
    • Pass the DMV written knowledge test.
    • Pay the $10 examination permit fee.

    Driving Restrictions

    While you have your examination permit, you must:

    • Not drive between 11:01 p.m. and 5 a.m.
    • Be accompanied by a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old and has been driving for at least 3 years.
    • Have a parent or guardian supervising you, if you have more than 1 passenger.
    • Only have your parents, guardians, or dependents as passengers.
    • Have a reflectorized decal on each of your license plates.

    Behind-the-Wheel Experience

    To move on to your probationary driver’s license, you must at least 17 years old and have practiced driving for at least 6 months.

    Provisional Driver License

    Once you turn 17 years old and have practiced supervised driving for a minimum of 6 months, you’ll be able to obtain your probationary New Jersey driver’s license.

    You’ll need to visit your local NJ MVC office and:

    With a probationary driver’s license, you can drive unsupervised.

    Behind-the-Wheel Practice & Driving Restrictions

    To move on to your unrestricted driver’s license in New Jersey, you must:

    • Be at least 18 years old.
    • Have practiced driving for at least 1 year with your provisional license.

    While you have your examination permit, you must:

    • Not drive between 11:01 p.m. and 5 a.m.
      • Exceptions are made for religious, medical, or employment purposes. See the MVC’s GDL Exemptions page.
    • Have a parent or guardian supervising you, if you have more than 1 passenger.
    • Only have your parents, guardians, or dependents as passengers.
    • Not use your cell phone at any time while behind the wheel.
    • Have a reflectorized decal on each of your license plates.

    Full Unrestricted NJ Driver License

    You’ll be eligible for your unrestricted driver’s license after you:

    • Turn 18 years old.
    • Have practiced unsupervised driving with your probationary license for at least 1 year.

    To apply, visit your local New Jersey MVC office and provide:

    • Your provisional driver’s license.
    • Documents to satisfy the NJ MVC 6 Point ID verification requirements. The New Jersey MVC provides an online document selector and an ID brochure to assist you.
    • Payment for the $24 driver’s license fee.

    Follow the new license checklist to keep track of your major steps along the way.

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