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  • NJ A1901
  • Expands education requirements for special learner's and examination permits.
In Committee
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill adds new education and practice requirements for applicants and holders of special learner's permits and examination permits. Under the State's current graduated driver licensing system, persons who are at least 16 years of age can obtain a special learner's permit for the purpose of preparing to qualify for a probationary license by operating a motor vehicle while taking a required course of behind-the-wheel automobile driving education. Upon successful completion of a six-hour course of behind-the-wheel automobile driving education, a special learner's permit holder may engage in supervised practice driving. A person who is at least 17 years of age can obtain an examination permit for the purpose of supervised practice driving but is not required to enroll in, or complete, the behind-the-wheel course to obtain the examination permit. Drivers who satisfy the requirements of the special learner's permit or examination permit, including driving under supervision for six months and passing a road test, move on to a probationary driver's license pursuant to which they are authorized to practice unsupervised driving with certain passenger, hourly, and other restrictions. Under the bill, an applicant for a special learner's permit or examination permit who is under 18 years of age cannot obtain the permit unless the applicant, and at least one of the permit applicant's parents or guardians, has first completed a teen driver orientation program approved by the Division of Highway Traffic Safety in the Department of Law and Public Safety, in consultation with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC). The teen driver orientation program may be completed by the applicant's parent or guardian through an on-line provider approved by the Chief Administrator of the MVC. In the event that a parent or guardian is unable to complete the teen driver orientation program, the bill permits a relative or supervising adult who is at least 21 years of age and who has been licensed to drive a passenger automobile or motorcycle for at least three years to complete the course. Under the bill, the teen driver orientation program is also available to, but not required of, the parent or guardian of an examination permit applicant who is at least 18 years of age but less than 21. The bill requires all permit applicants to submit to the MVC a certificate issued by an approved teen driver orientation program indicating that the applicant and the applicant's parent or guardian, if required, completed the teen driver orientation program. The chief administrator is to suspend or postpone the driving privileges of any applicant who submits a fraudulent certificate of completion. This bill further changes the graduated driver licensing law by requiring holders of examination permits and special learner's permits under the age of 21 to complete a minimum number of hours of certified practice driving. Persons with a special learner's permit and persons 17 to 20 years of age who have been issued an examination permit are required to complete at least 50 hours of practice driving, at least 10 hours of which are to be completed during hours of darkness. The parent or guardian, or the supervising driver, of a permit holder certifies that these hours of practice driving were completed. The chief administrator is to suspend the driving privileges of any permit holder who submits a fraudulent certification. The bill provides that the six-hour, behind-the-wheel automobile driving education course required pursuant to the State's graduated driver licensing law must be one-on-one instruction. However, the bill provides that a public, parochial, or private school or a licensed driver's school may permit additional students in the course, or the parents of the students, to be present in the rear seat of the vehicle, provided that the time a student spends in the rear seat of the vehicle is not to be considered behind-the-wheel automobile instruction for the purposes of the course. The bill requires the MVC to adopt standard, up-to-date guidelines to be implemented by public, private, and parochial schools and licensed drivers' schools offering courses of behind-the-wheel automobile driving education. The bill requires the guidelines to be developed by the MVC in consultation with the Division of Highway Traffic Safety, the State Department of Education, and licensed drivers' schools in this State. The bill increases from six months to 12 months the amount of time that a permit holder is required to hold a permit before becoming eligible for a probationary license. The bill requires the distribution of informational brochures to the parents and guardians of beginning drivers under the age of 18 at approved teen driver orientation programs. Under current law, these brochures are submitted at the time a permit is issued to a beginning driver. The bill also requires a sample practice driving log, in addition to other required information, to be included in the brochure.
Transportation and Independent Authorities
Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Hearing (10:00 1/19/2017 Committee Room 11, 4th Floor)  (on 1/19/2017)

Date Chamber Action Description
1/19/2017 Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Hearing (10:00 1/19/2017 Committee Room 11, 4th Floor)
1/27/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified