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Q

How many people (non- family members) are allowed in the car with me if I have a limited junior license? I completed drivers education and I am 16 years old in New York State.


A

In New York learner permits, limited-use junior driver licenses (Limited Class DJ or MJ), and full-use junior driver licenses (Class DJ or MJ) allow limited driving privileges for people learning to drive.

The NY Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) notes that if you are a junior driver in NYS if you have a junior learner permit or junior driver license. Pertaining to passenger restrictions, as a junior driver:

  1. You may not drive with more than two passengers under the age of 21 unless they are members of your immediate family, or your accompanying driver is your licensed parent, guardian, person "in loco parentis," driver education teacher or driving school instructor.
  2. You and each passenger must wear a seat belt: one per person. All children under age 4 must ride in federally-approved child safety seats, or if also over 40 pounds in weight use an appropriate child restraint system such as a booster seat. Children under age 7 must use an appropriate child restraint system. Children more than four feet nine inches tall are allowed to use a seat belt and shoulder harness.
  3. The only passenger allowed in the front seat is your accompanying driver.

As you know a limited junior license is an intermediate step between a learner permit and a "full" junior license, allowing young drivers (16 and 17-year olds) time to gain driving experience before obtaining unsupervised driving privileges.

NYS law provides for a 6 month waiting period (starting when the learner permit is issued) before these drivers can obtain a full junior driver's license. A junior learner permit holder who passes a road test within this 6 month waiting period is issued a "limited" junior license. A junior learner permit holder, who passes a road test after six months of holding the permit, will receive a full junior license - and thus skip the "limited" junior license step since the 6 month waiting period is over.

Besides the restrictions listed above limited junior license holders are also subject to restrictions, which vary by geographic area within the state. The regional restrictions are divided into the following areas: New York City (5 boroughs), Long Island (Nassau & Suffolk), Westchester, Putnam and Rockland Counties and Upstate NYS (all other counties).

You can read through the NYS DMV's New Driver Brochure for specific information on the regional restrictions for limited junior licensed drivers. None of them have any extra passenger restrictions.

So with your NYS limited junior license you can drive with no more than two passengers under the age of 21 unless they are members of your immediate family. This restriction however does not apply if the accompanying driver is your licensed parent, guardian, person "in loco parentis," driver education teacher or driving school instructor.

A "limited" junior license will automatically turn into a "full" junior license when the 6 month waiting period (combined junior learner permit time and limited junior license time) is over. At that time the NYS DMV should automatically send you a full-use junior license (Class DJ or MJ) by postal mail they state.

Get information on teen car insurance here.


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