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How old do you have to be to start driving in the state of New Jersey?


According to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC), you can obtain a moped license at the age of 15 in New Jersey however to start the graduated driver's licensing process for other motor vehicles, such as an automobile, you will need to be at least 16 years old.

In 2001, New Jersey sought to enhance driver preparation and safety by implementing a multi-stage driver licensing system. Known as the Graduated Driver License (GDL) Program, the system gradually introduces driving privileges to first-time drivers, extends their practice driving time and requires a minimum age of 18 in order to receive an unrestricted, basic driver license. GDL restrictions placed upon first-time drivers must be strictly adhered to. Failure to do so may result in a fine of $100 or a possible suspension of a motorist's driving privilege. (N.J.S.A. 39:3-10 and 39:3-13 through 39:13.8)

Depending on the applicant's age, there are three different ways to complete the GDL program. There is the Early Bird Road for applicants that are 16 years of age or older. The Young Adult Road is for applicants for those that are 17 years of age or older. The last way in which to go through the GDL process is the adult road for applicants that are 21 years of age or older.

The early bird road process to obtain a NJ driver's license is done in the steps listed below.

Step 1 - Get a special learner permit

  • Must be at least 16 years old
  • Must have signed parent or guardian consent
  • Must be enrolled in approved behind-the-wheel driver training course through the N.J. Department of Education or commercial driving school
  • An approved instructor must purchase the permit
  • Must pass MVC's knowledge and vision tests
  • Must pay required fee
  • Permit may not be used for practice driving until validated at an MVC Driver Testing Center
  • MVC will validate Special Learner Permits ONLY after training course completion

Step 2 - Practice with an adult supervising driver

  • Must observe special learner permit driving restrictions
  • Must practice at least six month

Step 3 - Get a provisional license

  • Must have completed six months of supervised driving without any suspensions or postponements
  • Must pass MVC's road test
  • Must be at least 17 years old

Step 4 - With a provisional driver license

  • Must practice unsupervised driving for at least one year
  • Must observe provisional driver license restrictions

Step 5 - Get the basic driver license

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must have completed one year of unsupervised driving with provisional driver license restrictions
  • Must pay required fee

If you are interested in driving a vehicle before turning 16 you can get a moped permit. A moped (motorized bicycle) is defined by law as a pedal bicycle with a "helper-motor" capable of a maximum speed of no more than 25 miles per hour on a flat surface. A moped has a maximum displacement of less than 50 cubic centimeters (no more than 1.5 brake horsepower).

To get a NJ moped license you must:

  • Be at least 15 years old
  • Visit an MVC Agency to complete an application for a moped permit.
  • Pass the 6 Point ID Verification
  • Pay $5 examination permit fee
  • Pass the knowledge and vision tests to validate your permit.
  • Practice with a permit for at least 20 days before being eligible to take the road test

If you pass the road test, take your permit, ride slip and score sheet to an MVC Agency to receive your license and pay the $6 license fee.

For more information on the minimum age at which you can drive in New Jersey and about the different types of licenses they issue, contact the NJ MVC directly. Once you are driving and in need of auto insurance, you can get low cost car insurance rate quotes here with us.


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