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A Personal GDL Plan for Older Novice Drivers

So you have decided to delay getting your driver's license until you're ready to take on that responsibility. It's a very sensible and practical decision to wait until you're ready to begin the process of learning-to-drive and can afford the costs. We estimate that one in three novice drivers wait until after they turn 18, mostly for reasons related to opportunity, cost and motivation. In most states, Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) provisions end by age 18. If you decide to get licensed after your 18th birthday, you will need to create a Personal GDL Plan.

Remember that all novice drivers have a higher risk of crashing no matter what their age when first learning to drive. Take ownership of your learning-to-drive process to reduce your risk of crashing. Here is how to own the process of creating a Personal GDL Plan if you are an older novice driver:

  • Be sure to prepare as if you are getting a learner permit. Read up on your state's traffic laws and know the stages of GDL. Learn more.
  • Consider getting behind-the-wheel training with a professional. Learn how to  choose a driving school.
  • Designate an experienced licensed adult driver or two to supervise your early driving until both of you feel comfortable. CHOP researchers have developed an evidence-based practice guide to help parents effectively supervise the learning-to-drive process. supervised practice. Learn about planning practice driving. 
  • Follow supervised practice with independent driving under less risky conditions before you drive in high risk conditions and continue to enlist an adult to ride along as a passenger to provide guidance in remaining difficult driving situations. Learn more.

Help Others: Advocate for Extending GDL Requirements to Higher Ages

Support advocacy efforts to extend the minimum age requirements of GDL in your state to protect older novice drivers and others with whom they share the road. Now that you understand the potential risks and challengers with getting licensed without a state-mandated GDL, help others be safe older novice drivers as well. Learn more.

Learn about the research behind the advocacy.

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Practice Guide

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Goal Guide

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