Graduated driver’s license
Connecticut follows the majority of other US states by imposing restrictions on 16 and 17 year old drivers. With a learner’s permit, the only passengers allowed are a parent, legal guardian, or a qualified trainer working for a driving school or as a freelance. Given that all driving must be supervised, there’s no express curfew and the supervisor is expected to enforce the absolute ban on the use of any hand-held device.
With a driver’s license, the same passenger rule applies for the first six months, but can include a person who is at least 20 and has held a license for at least four years with no suspensions in driving privileges. Until the magic age of 18, there’s a curfew between 11 pm and 5 am unless the driving is for:
• a medical necessity,
• an activity connected with school or church, or
• required as part of employment.
The ban on hand-held technology remains in place and all passengers must wear seat belts.
To acquire a learner’s permit, the young person must have celebrated their 16h birthday and have passed a written test. Applicants will need their parent or legal guardian to attend to give consent. The alternate is a notarized certificate of consent which is not inexpensive and requires effort to find an attorney. Between the learner’s permit and the driver’s license, the young person is required to go through a course of training. These are offered by some secondary or high schools, and through driving schools. Both routes require the young driver to go through 30 hours of formal classroom learning, plus 40 hours of behind-the-wheel practice. As an alternate, a parent, legal guardian, or family member who has held a license for at least four years can train the young driver at home. Before this can begin, the family member must go through a 2 hour training program. If this does not happen, the young driver cannot apply for a driver’s license until he or she is 18. The home training must be certified as including not less than 22 hours of directed study, plus 40 hours of actual supervised driving.
Once the magic of age of 18 has arrived, the young adult can apply for an adult learner’s permit. After completing the 8 hour Safe Driving Practices course and holding this license for 90 days, he or she can apply for a driver’s license by taking the knowledge exam.
Whether the age of 18 has been reached, the application for a driver’s license must be accompanied by proof of a valid car insurance policy. There is a choice:
• the teen’s name can be added to the parent’s policy, or
• the teen can hold a policy in his or her own right.