- Victim / Survivor
- Careless / Distracted
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- Teens / Parents
- Just the facts
- Traffic Safety
Graduated Driver License (GDL) System Law in Minnesota
After more than 6 years of trying, Minnesotans For Safe Driving’s main legislative initiative finally passed the Legislature and this law became effective August 1, 2008. The first parts of the GDL system have been in law since 1999, but the further safety measures for teens with new provisional licenses were the most controversial and took longer to pass. These new safety measures are affecting newly licensed drivers ages 16 and 17. They will have new restrictions to their driving for the first year of driving on their provisional license. During the first six months the new licensee cannot operate a vehicle carrying more than one passenger under age 20 who is not a member of their immediate family. That increases to allow three non- family passengers for the second 6 months.
Also during the first six months of provisional licensure, a person under age 18 is prohibited from driving between midnight and 5 a.m., except when the driver is driving due to a job; or the driver is accompanied by a licensed driver or state identification card holder who is at least age 25.
Minnesotans For Safe Driving would like to thank the two authors of this bill, Sen. Steve Murphy (DFL-Red Wing) and Rep. Kim Norton (DFL –Rochester). We would also like to thank Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL-Mpls) and Rep. Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) for all of their support on making sure that this bill made it through committee and the floor.
The complete Graduated Driver License Law in Minnesota including changes in 2014, is as follows:
Stage 1- Instruction Permit
Stage 2 – To Obtain a Provisional License
While driving with a Provisional License
Stage 3 – Full License
For the Instructional Permit holder, a conviction for using a cell phone or texting extends for six months from the date of the conviction the ability to test for a provisional license. For a Provisional License holder, if the incident was crash related or the driver has a previous moving violation, it extends the ability to apply for an “under 21 year license, or a full license” for one year or until they are 18. Since a ticket will be given, a fine up to $100 can be received for this violation.
Teen Driver Laws
This page tells about the Graduated Driving laws and all other laws for teens that are different than for adults
This page tells about the new changes in driver education programs and what parents need to do differently
In May 2004, a law went into effect referred to as “Vanessa’s Law” in memory of Vanessa Weiss, who was killed in May 2003 just days before her 16th birthday. She was a passenger in a vehicle driven by an unlicensed 15-year-old. Provisions of this law apply to drivers under age 18.
o Fulfill all reinstatement requirements, including the payment of fees which can be up to $680 depending on circumstances;
o Complete the classroom portion of a formal driver education course;
o Pass the driver’s license knowledge test;
o Obtain an instruction permit and hold it for three months;
o Complete a driver’s behind-the-wheel class.
Not a Drop.
In Minnesota, it is illegal for a person under the age of 21 to drink alcohol. If an underage person drinks and drives, they face penalties under Minnesota’s “Not a Drop” law in addition to DWI laws.
Under “Not a Drop,” if an officer observes an underage person operating or in physical control of a motor vehicle and determines they have been drinking; they can lose their license for 30 to 180 days. The length of suspension will depend on the driver’s prior record.