Delaware Driver Licensing Law
Obtaining a Delaware Level One Learner's Permit
The graduated driver license program in Delaware is designed to reduce the high accident and fatality rate of minor drivers. Minors will receive additional supervised driving experience and reduced exposure to high-risk driving situations. The parent or sponsor will actively participate in training the minor and determining when the minor is capable of increased driving authority.
To apply for a Level One Learner's Permit, the applicant must:
- Be between 16 and 18 years old
- Present a Delaware Driver Education Certificate as proof of passing a certified Delaware Driver Education Course. Courses passed in other states must be approved by the Department of Education.
- Have their applications signed by a sponsor, typically a parent or guardian, who will be jointly liable with the minor for any damages resulting from the minor's negligence. The sponsor may revoke their endorsement at any time.
- Provide documentation proving the applicant's name, date of birth, Social Security number, and two proofs of Delaware residency
- Pay a $40 Class D license fee and pass an eye screen
After being issued a Level One Learner's Permit, the following restrictions will apply:
- The permit must be in possession of the permit holder when driving.
- The first six months after the issuance of the permit, the hold may only drive when supervised.
- During the mandatory supervision period, the supervising driver must sit beside the permit holder in the front seat.
- The supervisor must be a licensed parent, guardian, or sponsor-approved licensed driver who is at least 25 years old and has held a Class D license for at least five years.
- The sponsor will certify the holder has driven 50 hours, ten at night. This will be submitted to the Department of Education after the first six months.
- The permit holder and all passengers under 18 must wear seat belts.
- Following the initial six-month period, the permit holder may not drive unsupervised between 10 PM and 6 AM unless going directly to and from church, work, or school activities. Further, no passengers other than the adult supervisor and one other may be in the vehicle in the first year. This restriction does not apply to members of the permit holder's family, if the supervisor is present.
- Drivers may not use a celluar, text messaging, or similar device.
- Drivers who violate the above restrictions are considered driving without a license, which will result in a two-month suspension for the first offense and a four-month suspension for the second offense.
Obtaining a Class D Operator's License
A permit holder at least 17-years-old but less than 18-years-old may obtain a Class D operator's license once the driver has held a Level One Learner's Permit for at least a year without the sponsor withdrawing endorsement and the applicant's driving privileges suspended, revoked, canceled, denied, or surrendered. A Level One Learner's Permit will automatically convert to a Class D license once the year has passed.
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