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Graduated driver’s license programs and safety

For many teenagers in North Carolina, turning 16 means access to transportation and freedom. To acquire a driver’s license at this age, certain state requirements must be met. According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, a teen who is younger than 18 years old must first complete 12 months with a limited learner permit, and cannot have received a traffic citation in the previous six months.

The limited learner permit may be earned by someone as young as 15 years old, and up to the age of 18. It involves the completion of driver’s education through an approved course, followed by tests to verify that the driver understands how to drive safely, knows traffic laws, and can identify traffic signs. If a person needs to wear glasses or contacts in order to see clearly, he or she must wear them at all times while behind the wheel. This permit does not allow a teen to drive without supervision. A teen under the age of 18 who has completed six months with a limited license without citations may be eligible for a full provisional license, which lifts the requirement for supervision.

AAA notes that some teens are waiting to get their driver’s license until after they turn 18. As a result, these young people do not have to undergo the training and practice that younger drivers do. Therefore, they may completely miss out on the benefits of having an adult provide feedback while they are behind the wheel, as well as the other advantages that the graduated driver license program provides. 

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