What is the Driving Age in Connecticut?

You need to be at least 16 years of age to get your Learner’s Permit in Connecticut, 16 and 4 months to obtain a restricted license, and 18 years old to receive an unrestricted license.
Written by John Pickhaver
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
background
Like a number of states,
Connecticut
uses the Graduated Drivers License program (GDL) to provide teen drivers—at least 16 years old—with the relevant steps to gradually work toward obtaining an unrestricted driver’s license by the age of 18. 
Ah, the open road at your fingertips. For
teen drivers
, there’s nothing much more exciting than getting behind the wheel for the first time. Each state, however, sets its own legal driving age and it can be a tad bit confusing. Thankfully, we put together this guide to the driver’s license process in the Constitution State.

What is the driving age in Connecticut?

In Connecticut, you must be at least 16 years old to obtain a Learner’s Permit or a Graduated Drivers License. At age 18, drivers are eligible to apply for a standard unrestricted driver’s license

What is the Graduated Drivers License program in Connecticut?

Connecticut, like many states, adopted the Graduated Drivers License program (GDL) to help combat high rates of car crashes involving teenage drivers. According to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC), car accidents are the second leading cause of death for teens in the U.S. 
The GDL program empowers young drivers to get experience at the wheel before being granted full driving privileges. In general, most programs involve the following three steps:
  • Instruction permit stage: supervised driving
  • Provisional license stage: limited unsupervised driving
  • Full license stage: unrestricted standard driver’s license
MORE: Connecticut license plates
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How to get your instruction permit in Connecticut

In Connecticut, drivers younger than 18 are required to follow Connecticut’s GDL program through the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The program lays out phases for young drivers as they work to obtain an unrestricted driver’s license. But before going to a
Connecticut DMV location
, you’ll need to
make an appointment
and compile all relevant paperwork and documents to apply for a learner’s permit.
Here are the requirements to obtain an instructional permit:
Remember to study the
Connecticut Driver Handbook
ahead of the test. Keep in mind that to pass the knowledge test, you cannot answer more than 4 of the 25 questions incorrectly. Should you fail the test, you’ll have to wait seven days before you are eligible to retake it. You’ll also need to pay the $40 test fee again. 
Upon passing the knowledge test, a provisional instruction permit will be issued to you. 

Provisional instruction permit restrictions

During this period, you may only drive when supervised. You are allowed no passengers except for a licensed driving instructor, licensed guardians, or an individual instructing you who is a licensed driver at least 20 years of age (obtained and maintained a license for 4 years without any suspension in that period)
MORE: How to choose the best car for a teenager
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How to get your restricted/provisional driver’s license in Connecticut

Obtaining a restricted driver’s license in Connecticut requires that you have a learner’s permit for a minimum of 120 days if you’re enrolled in driving school or 180 days if you were taught from home.
You must also have completed 30 hours of classroom instruction and 40 hours of on-the-road training. Finally, you must pass a
Road Skills Test
at the DMV.
In the case of failing, you must wait two weeks before retaking your driving test. You will have three chances to pass your driving test. Going beyond this limit would require you to reapply for your provisional driver’s license.  
Don’t forget to bring your instruction permit, proof of driver's education and training, and come ready to ace your driving test before getting your provisional DL. 

Restrictions driver’s license limitations

Congratulations on earning your driver’s license! But before you hit the road with your friends, you might want to take a look at the restrictions you’ll face as a new driver: 
  • Curfew: No driving from 11pm to 5am, unless for school, job, religious, medical necessity, or Safe Ride Program
  • No Cell Phone: Not even hands-free cell phone use is permitted 
  • No Passengers: During the first six months the newly licensed driver may not have any passengers (the same exceptions from the learner’s permit apply: licensed driving instructor or parents/legal guardian – at least one of whom holds a valid driver's license – or a person providing instruction who is at least 20 years old, has held a license for at least 4 years with no suspensions. For the second six months, may drive with the above people or may also drive with immediate family
  • Seatbelts: Until your 18th birthday, all passengers in a vehicle must use permanently installed seat belts.
Should you be found to violate any of these restrictions, you may be issued a 48-hour suspension. This suspension can also be handed down if you are ticketed for going over 20 mph over the speed limit. You can even have your license seized immediately by police and have your car towed if you are pulled over for reckless driving

Exceptions

As with most rules and regulations, there are some other exceptions. In the case of the provisional license, the passenger and curfew restrictions do not apply to:
  • active members of a volunteer fire company/ambulance service or department/responding to, or returning from, an emergency or carrying out duties.
  • active members of a volunteer ambulance service or company who are responding to, or returning from, an emergency or carrying out duties.
  • active members of medical service organizations who are responding to, or returning from, an emergency or carrying out duties.
  • assigned driver in a Safe Ride program.

How to save on car insurance in Connecticut

Getting your license is exciting and comes with a lot of new responsibilities both on and off the road. One of the biggest is finding the right insurance coverage, especially for a teen driver. Fortunately for you,
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FAQs

In Connecticut, you may get your restricted driver’s license at the age of 16 and 4 months provided that you have held your instructional permit for four months, completed 30 hours of classroom instruction, and 40 hours of on-the-road training. And of course, pass your driving test.
For the first 6 months after obtaining a driver's license, you may only drive with: parents or legal guardians at least one of whom holds a valid driver's license. The earliest age you can drive by yourself in Connecticut would be 16 years and 10 months. Just remember until you turn 18 years old, you are not allowed to drive alone between the hours 11pm and 5pm, though certain exceptions may apply.
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