North Carolina

North Carolina Senate reduces wait for unsupervised driving | WFAE 90.7

RALEIGH, NC — More young drivers in North Carolina wouldn’t have to hold a learner’s permit for as long before moving to unsupervised driving in legislation approved by the state Senate on Thursday.

The bill essentially expands and changes state law approved during the COVID-19 pandemic that shortened the time a teenager had to hold the license before getting what is called from 12 months to six. a limited provisional license. This law, which was designed to help children with delayed driving lessons, expired on January 1.

The measure, which passed 38-5 and is now heading to the House, would reinstate the six-month minimum for the rest of 2023 before settling permanently at nine months. The measure would not eliminate other requirements for obtaining the limited provisional license, such as being at least 16 years old, logging 60 hours behind the wheel with a supervising driver – usually a parent – and passing a road test.

Senator Vickie Sawyer, Republican for Iredell County and sponsor of the bill, said the legislation responds to the demands of young drivers and will also align the waiting period more closely with that of young drivers in Virginia and North Carolina. South.

The bill would also slightly ease the passenger constraints for a limited provisional license holder. Current law states that when an unsupervised driver is transporting family members under the age of 21, no unrelated person under the age of 21 can also be a passenger. The bill states that the driver could carry an unrelated passenger under the age of 21 at the same time, but only to and from school.

North Carolina has a three-step graduated licensing system for teen drivers that can start at age 15. A child can receive a full provisional license from the age of 16.5.

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