What counts as night driving hours?

I just got my learner’s permit and I’d like to paint the town red tonight—what counts as night driving hours?

Jason Tushinski · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Congrats on getting your permit! Unfortunately, if you only have a learner’s permit, most states bar new drivers from driving between midnight and 5:00 am, unless you’re driving with a licensed adult over 21 years of age in the front passenger seat, or you’re going to or from work or school.
Granted, these restrictions vary from state to state, so check with your state’s DMV to be sure about what times you are permitted to drive at night while holding a learner’s permit.
Here are some examples of time restrictions for learner’s permit drivers in some of the most populous states:
  • California: Driving with a learner’s permit, you cannot drive between 11:00 pm and 5:00 am.
  • Texas: Driving with a learner’s permit is not allowed between midnight and 5:00 am.
  • Florida: After holding a learner’s permit for three months, you can drive until 10:00 pm.
  • New York: With a learner’s permit, you cannot drive between the hours of 9:00 pm and 5:00 am.
  • Illinois: You cannot drive between the hours of 10:00 pm and 6:00 am with a learner’s permit.
Of course, if you’re wondering what counts as night driving hours for curiosity, technically night driving hours count as 30 minutes after the sun has set until 30 minutes prior to the sun rising. Again, this may differ from location to location, but a half-an-hour before and after sunset and sunrise is generally considered “night driving hours”.
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