Understanding the Connecticut laws for teen drivers

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2020 | Firm News |

Teen drivers in Connecticut are subject to learner’s permit and driver’s license restrictions. The state passed these laws to limit serious auto accidents involving teens with new licenses.

Help your child become a safe driver by adhering to these restricted license laws.

Learner’s permit restrictions

When a driver has a learner’s permit, he or she may drive only with:

  • A licensed driving instructor and his or her other students
  • Person age 20 or older providing driving instruction, who has had a continuous driver’s license for four or more years
  • Parent or legal guardian

The law does not permit any other passengers to accompany this driver. In addition, the learner’s permit prohibits the use of mobile devices, cell phones, hands-free devices such as Bluetooth and interactive vehicle touchscreen displays.

Minor driver’s license restrictions

When a person has a driver’s license at age 16 or 17, he or she must follow the Connecticut restricted license rules. The passenger restrictions are the same as with a learner’s permit for the first six months. After six months, the driver may also travel with passengers who are his or her siblings.

Drivers younger than 18 also have a curfew. Driving from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. becomes legal only when the teen is traveling to or from work, school, a religious activity or a medical appointment. Volunteer first responders are exempt from these rules in an emergency. The mobile device restrictions also apply to drivers who are not yet 18. After age 18, drivers can use devices only with Bluetooth or hands-free functionality.

A teen aged 16 or 17 with a motorcycle license may not ride with passengers for the first six months. For 18-year-olds, the passenger limit for motorcycles is three months. Teens are not permitted to operate vans, rideshares or public service vehicles.

In 2018, Connecticut celebrated the 10th anniversary of these new license laws. In that decade, fatal crashes involving teen drivers had decreased by 150% according to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Prevent serious auto accidents by enforcing these rules for your teens.