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news release

Contact: Dana Sullivan
RELEASE: November 20, 2000

Regulations Establishing Graduated
Driver License Program Published Today

The New Jersey Department of Transportation today announced that amendments were published in the New Jersey Register regarding the licensing of new drivers.

The proposed regulatory amendments are the first in a series planned to implement the Graduated Driver License (GDL) law signed by Governor Whitman in September 1998. The GDL is a new licensing system to ensure young and inexperienced drivers are given adequate training prior to receiving full driving privileges and to reduce the number of driving fatalities among teenage and first-time drivers and their passengers.

The GDL law, which becomes effective Jan. 1, 2001, includes provisions that:

  • extend the amount of time between the granting of a permit and eligibility for a license,
  • institute an intermediate, or "provisional" license for new drivers,
  • place restrictions on the driving hours and number of passengers on first-year drivers under age 21.

The regulatory amendments focus on the special learner’s permit issued to 16-year-olds enrolled in driving schools or behind-the-wheel driver education programs in their high schools. They will be prohibited from practice driving from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. (formerly midnight to 5 a.m.), and their supervising driver will have to be at least 21 years of age, have a New Jersey driver’s license, and have three years of driving experience. (Currently they just have to have had a license for three years.)

The statute also provides that drivers with provisional licenses may drive between midnight and 5 a.m. if they need to get to or from work or a religious activity during those hours. The regulation amendments state that they must carry a letter from their employer or religious organization indicating such a need.

The public has until Dec. 20, 2000, to comment on the proposed amendments. Comments should be submitted in writing to Albert B. Ari, Acting Director, Motor Vehicle Services, Attention Legal Staff, 225 E. State. St., PO Box 162, Trenton, NJ 08666-0162.

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