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Upstate New York junior learner permit restrictions

As you are learning the rules of the road and practicing your basic driving skills, it is important that you understand and comply with the restrictions for driving in this region. You must also comply with the general restrictions for learner permit holders of any age.  


DAYTIME DRIVING (5 AM to 9 PM)

If you have a junior learner permit, you may drive in upstate New York between the hours of 5 AM and 9 PM only under the direct supervision of a person who is at least age 21 and has a license valid for the vehicle you are driving.

It is also required that

  • the only passenger in the front seat be your supervising driver
  • there be no more than one passenger under age 21 unless the passengers are members of your immediate family. You can have more than one passenger under age 21 only if your supervising driver is your
    • parent
    • guardian 1     
    • a person "in loco parentis" 2      
    • driver education teacher or driving school instructor
  • every passenger wears a seat belt, one seat belt per person
  • all children under age four ride in federally-approved child safety seat
    • if the child is more than 40 pounds in weight, they must use a proper child restraint system such as a booster seat
    • until their 8th birthday, children must use a proper child restraint system
    • children more than four feet nine inches tall are allowed to use a seat belt and shoulder harness

 
NIGHTTIME DRIVING (9 PM to 5 AM)

If you have a junior learner permit, you may drive in upstate New York between the hours of 9 PM and 5 AM only under the direct supervision of a

  • parent
  • guardian 1   
  • person "in loco parentis"  2  
  • driver education teacher or a driving school instructor


It is also required that

  • the person who supervises your driving be at least age 21 and have a license valid for the vehicle you are driving
  • the only passenger in the front seat be your supervising driver
  • there be no more than one passenger under age 21 unless the passengers are members of your immediate family. You can have more than one passenger under age 21 only if your supervising driver is your licensed parent, guardian, person in a position of "in loco parentis," driver education teacher or driving school instructor
  • every passenger wears a seat belt, one seat belt per person
  • all children under age four ride in federally-approved child safety seat
    • if the child is more than 40 pounds in weight, they must use a proper child restraint system such as a booster seat
    • until their 8th birthday, children must use a proper child restraint system
    • children more than four feet nine inches tall are allowed to use a seat belt and shoulder harness

After you have a valid permit for six months, you may take a road test. When you pass the road test, DMV will issue you a junior license (Class DJ or MJ).

With your junior license you may begin driving unsupervised in certain situations.  During this time it is strongly recommended that you continue supervised driving whenever possible.  The first six months of unsupervised driving are by far the most dangerous.  It is important to ease into unsupervised driving to allow for proper experience.

 

What are the penalties for conviction of a traffic violation as a junior driver?

Your junior permit, license, or privileges will be suspended for 60 days if you are convicted of one serious traffic violation or two other violations that were committed while you held a junior permit or license.

Your junior permit, license, or privileges will be revoked for 60 days if you are convicted of one serious traffic violation or two other violations within the first six months after your permit, license or privileges are restored after a suspension or revocation.

A "serious traffic violation" is normally a violation that carries three or more driver violation points.

 

What are the penalties for conviction of cell phone use or texting as a junior driver?

If you have a Class DJ or MJ driver license or learner permit, the first conviction of a cell phone use or texting violation will result in a suspension of your driver license or permit for 60 days. (For texting/cell phone violations committed between July 1, 2013 and October 31, 2014)

 A second conviction within six months will result in

  • a revocation of at least 6 months of a probationary license, or
  • a revocation of at least 60 days for a Class DJ or MJ driver license or learner permit

Effective November 1, 2014, the first conviction of a cell phone use or texting violation will result in a suspension of the driver license or permit for 120 days.

A second conviction within six months of the restoration of the license or permit (after the 120 day suspension is terminated) will result in

  • a revocation of at least one year of a probationary license, or

  • a revocation of at least one year for a Class DJ or MJ driver license or learner permit
  • 1. a. b. "guardian" means a person who has, on a regular and extended basis, assumed the character of your parent and is discharging parental duties as the result of the death, disability, or absence of your natural parent.
  • 2. a. b. "in loco parentis" means a person who has, on a regular and extended basis, assumed the character of your parent and is discharging parental duties as a result of the death, disability, or absence of your natural parent.