How long must teens and new drivers hold permits before applying for a drivers license?

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Check the grid below to find out how long your state requires you to hold a learners permit, but keep in mind that although we’ve tried to include as many details as possible in the grid, each state has its own unique requirements.

For example, most states require teens to hold permits longer than they require new drivers who are adults to hold them, but this isn’t the case with every state. Too, after you meet your state’s time requirement, whether you move on to a different drivers permit or your full drivers license depends on your state’s graduated driver licensing (GDL) program.

Also, the grid doesn’t include additional requirements your state might set, such as completing a drivers education course before you can move to the next permit or license, nor does it include the kinds of helpful steps you should take to make sure you’re fully prepared for each step, such as taking a practice permit test.

So, once you check your state in the grid think about grabbing a copy of your state’s driver handbook to flesh out any extra requirements your state might have.

Alabama 6 months if younger than 18; drivers 18 and older can take the driving test the following day.
Alaska Hold the permit for 6 months and then apply for your provisional license if you're younger than 18.
Arizona 5 months.
Arkansas Keep the permit until you turn 16, and then appy for your intermediate license; drivers 18 and older must hold a permit for 30 days.
California If you're younger than 18, hold the permit for 6 months and then apply for your provisional license.
Colorado A year, if you're younger than 18.
Connecticut 16- and 17-year-old drivers must hold a permit for 120 days if they complete drivers ed and 180 if they don't.
Delaware Your permit turns into a full license after a year of infraction-free driving if you're younger than 18; if older, you hold the permit for 60 days.
Florida A year, if you're younger than 18.
Georgia Drivers younger than 18 keep a permit for a year and a day before getting a provisional or full license; drivers 18 and older can take the road test the day after passing the written test.
Hawaii 180 days, if younger than 18.
Idaho If younger than 18, hold the Supervised Instruction Permit for 4 months and then take the road test.
Illinois Drivers younger than 16 hold the permit for 6 months; drivers who are 16 or 17 keep the initial license until they turn 18.
Indiana All new drivers hold the permit for 60 days.
Iowa At 16, apply for your intermediate license and hold it for 12 infraction-free months; then, apply for the full license (as long as you’re 17).
Kansas Drivers younger than 18 hold the permit for 6 months before getting the restricted license.
Kentucky If younger than 18, hold the permit for 180 days before getting the provisional license.
Louisiana 16 and younger: 180 days, then get an intermediate license. 17: move to the full license after completing drivers ed and passing the road test. 18 and older: no time requirements.
Maine 6 months if younger than 21; 3 months if 21 or older.
Maryland 9 months, if younger than 18.
Massachusetts 6 months.
Michigan Drivers younger than 18 keep a Level 1 permit for 90 days, then apply for a Level 2; drivers 18 and older keep the temporary permit for 30 days.
Minnesota 6 months, if younger than 18.
Mississippi 6 months if you're younger than 17; no time requirements if you're 17 or older.
Missouri 6 months if you're younger than 18; if you're 18 or older there are no time requirements.
Montana 6 months if you're younger than 18; if you're 18 or older there are no time requirements.
Nebraska A year, if you're younger than 18; then you must keep the provisional until you turn 18.
Nevada If younger than 18, the permit is valid for year and you must complete 50 hours of driving practice before apply for your full license.
New Hampshire No permit; apply for your license at 16.
New Jersey 6 months if you're younger than 21; 3 months if you're 21 or older.
New Mexico 6 months if you're younger than 18; after that, keep your provisional for a year.
New York If younger than 18, hold your permit for 6 months and then get your junior license; once 17, you can get your full license after completing drivers ed.
North Carolina 12 months if you're younger than 18.
North Dakota If younger than 17, hold the permit for 6 months and until you're 16.
Ohio 6 months.
Oklahoma Drivers younger than 18 hold the permit for 6 months and then the intermediate license for 6 months.
Oregon If younger than 18, apply for the provisional license after you've held a permit for 6 months.
Pennsylvania 6 months, if younger than 18.
Rhode Island 6 months, if younger than 18; then get your provisional license.
South Carolina 180 days, no matter your age.
South Dakota If younger than 18, hold the permit for 90 days if you complete drivers ed; 180 if you don't.
Tennessee If younger than 18, keep the permit for 180 days, then get the intermediate restricted license; hold that for a year, then get the intermediate unrestricted; hold that until you’re 18.
Texas 6 months. If you’re younger than 18, you can’t move to the next phase until you’re 16.
Utah 6 months, if younger than 18.
Vermont A year, if younger than 18.
Virginia 9 months, if younger than 18.
Washington 6 months, if younger than 18.
West Virginia If younger than 18, keep your Level 1 permit for 6 months and your Level 2 until you turn 18; if 18 or older, keep the permit for 30 days.
Wisconsin 6 months if younger than 18; a week if 18 or older.
Wyoming The instruction permit is good for 1 year, and you can apply for your full license once you’re 16 1/2.
Washington DC 6 months if you're younger than 21; you can schedule the road test immediately if you're 21 or older.

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