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What Teens Need To Know

Individuals who are under the age of 18 and obtain a Learner Permit or Junior Operator License are subject to Vermont’s Graduated Driver License law. The key provisions of this law are indicated below:

LEARNER PERMIT

  1. If you are fifteen (15) years of age or older you may operate a motor vehicle if you hold a valid Learner Permit and are accompanied by one (1) of the following people in the vehicle, who is riding beside you:

♦ A licensed and unimpaired parent or guardian,
♦ A licensed or certified and unimpaired driver education instructor, and/or
♦ A licensed and unimpaired person at least twenty-five (25) years of age.

  1. To apply for a Learner Permit, you must have maintained a ‘clean’ driving record in the previous two (2) years
  2. You must possess a Learner Permit for at least one (1) year prior to obtaining a Junior Operator License.
  3. A Learner Permit is considered to be a ‘provisional license’, which is recallable. Any of the following actions will result in the recall of your Learner Permit (for more detail, see 23 VSA § 607a, §614a):

♦ Carrying passengers for hire
♦ Driving for employer/employment
♦ Recommendation from a Diversion/Reparative Board
♦ Points accumulation
♦ Texting/Use of a portable electronic device
♦ Driving when not accompanied by one of the people listed above
♦ Complaint to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and (after investigation) finding that you are mentally or physically unfit, or have poor/unsafe driving habits
♦ Withdrawal of parent/legal guardian permission

  1. While a recall is in effect, you are ineligible for a Junior Operator’s License or an Operator License.
  2. When a recall is issued, you have the right to a hearing.
  3. When a Learner Permit is recalled, it will be restored upon the expiration of a specific term, and, if required, when you have passed a re-examination.
  4. No reinstatement fee is due when a Learner Permit recall is restored.

JUNIOR OPERATOR LICENSE

  1. Prior to obtaining a Junior Operator License, you must complete an additional forty (40) hours of practice behind the wheel, with at least ten (10) hours being nighttime driving, while accompanied by one of the following individuals who is riding beside you:

♦ A licensed and unimpaired parent or guardian,
♦ A licensed or certified and unimpaired driver education instructor, and/or
♦ A licensed and unimpaired person at least twenty-five (25) years of age.

The forty (40) hours of practice is in addition to the six hours of behind the wheel instruction time required for successful completion of a driver-training course. Proof of this additional practice must be submitted to DMV at the time of application for a Junior Operator License on form TA-VN-210 ~ Driving Practice Log Sheet (PDF document 112.32IB), and certified by one of the individuals indicated above. NOTE: ‘Nighttime driving’ is defined as driving during the period of thirty (30) minutes after sunset, to thirty (30) minutes before sunrise.

  1. You must have maintained a ‘clean’ driving record without any Learner Permit recalls, suspensions or revocations for a six (6) month period prior to obtaining a Junior Operator License.
  2. While holding a Junior Operator License, you may not operate a vehicle in the course of your employment for one (1) year following the issuance of the Junior Operator License. For example, you cannot act as a pizza delivery driver until having had a Junior Operator License for one (1) year, or until reaching the age of eighteen (18), whichever comes first.
  3. While holding a Junior Operator License, you may not carry passengers for hire.
  4. During the first three (3) months of operation under a Junior Operator License, you are restricted to driving alone. Passengers are permitted only if there is a licensed and unimpaired parent or guardian, or a licensed or certified unimpaired driver education instructor or a licensed and unimpaired individual 25 years of age or older riding in the front seat. If one (1) of those individuals is in the vehicle, there are no restrictions on the number of passengers. However, you are not allowed to transport more passengers than there are safety belts.
  5. During the second three (3) months of operation under a Junior Operator License, you may begin transporting immediate family members; siblings and parents only.
  6. After holding a Junior Operator License for six (6) months, there is no restriction on the number of passengers you can transport in the vehicle. However, you are not allowed to transport more passengers than there are safety belts.
  7. An individual who holds a Vermont Junior Operator License must be eighteen (18) years of age and must not have any recalls, suspensions or revocations during the previous six (6) month period, to be eligible to obtain an Operator License. This six (6) month period commences the date of their most recent reinstatement.
  8. Any Junior Operator License may be renewed. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, a renewed Junior Operator License will be issued without a photograph or imaged likeness. Any person to whom a renewed Junior Operator License has been issued will, while operating a motor vehicle, carry upon his or her person the last license issued to him or her as well as the renewed license certificate.
  9. When an individual who has a Junior Operator License from another state applies for a Vermont Junior Operator License, he or she will be required to provide proof they have successfully completed a state approved driver education course. They will also be required to pass an eye, written and road test. They will also be subject to the Graduated License Law unless they have held the other state's license for a period of at least six months.
  10. A Junior Operator License is considered to be a ‘provisional license’, which is recallable. Any of the following actions will result in the recall of your Junior Operator License (for more detail, see 23 VSA § 607a, §614a):

♦ Carrying passengers for hire
♦ Driving for employer/employment
♦ Recommendation from a Diversion/Reparative Board
♦ Points accumulation
♦ Texting/Use of a portable electronic device
♦ Violation of passenger restrictions
♦ Complaint to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and (after investigation) finding that you are mentally or physically unfit, or have poor/unsafe driving habits
♦ Withdrawal of parent/legal guardian permission

  1. While a recall is in effect, you are ineligible for a Junior Operator’s License or an Operator License.
  2. When a recall is issued, you have the right to a hearing.
  3. When a Junior Operator’s License is recalled, it will be restored upon the expiration of a specific term, and, if required, when you have passed a re-examination.
  4. No reinstatement fee is due when a Junior Operator’s License recall is restored.