How to get a driver's license

March 13, 1997


Beginning drivers younger than 18 years old must complete an approved driver education course. Fifteen-year-olds may take driver education, and may obtain a Learner's Instructional Permit at the age of 15 years and 9 months, with proper identification, permission from a parent or guardian and by passing the Maryland law and vision tests.

After successfully completing the road test, all new drivers younger than 18 years of age will receive a Provisional Driver's License which requires that the teen maintain a good driving record for a 12-month period or until the age of 18, after which he or she can apply for a new photo driver's license. The provisional license permits the teenager to operate a vehicle unaccompanied, between the hours of 5 a.m. and midnight.


Although a driver education course is not required, it is encouraged, according to Anne Patterson, Community Relations Coordinator for Pennsylvania's Department of Transportation.


Sixteen-year-olds may obtain a Temporary Learner's Permit with proper identification, permission of parent or guardian and successful completion of either vision screening or signs and knowledge test. Within 60 days, the applicant will receive a valid Learner's Permit. Upon successful completion of the knowledge and road tests, drivers younger than 18 will receive a Junior Permit/License which restricts the teenager from driving between midnight and 5 a.m. if unaccompanied by a parent or spouse 18 years old or older. This license automatically will become a regular license when the driver turns 18. Seventeen-year-olds who have passed an approved driver training program, have a clean driving record and parental permission may get a regular license.

West Virginia

Fifteen-year-olds may obtain an Instruction Permit with proper identification, permission of a parent or guardian and successful completion of a vision and written test. The permit will allow the learner to drive when accompanied by a licensed driver of at least 21 years of age. Applicants younger than 18 must establish proof of enrollment in school, a GED program or present an excuse from this requirement. After successful completion of a road test, a Junior Operator's License will be issued for drivers ages 16 through 18.

Alcohol restriction

Drivers younger than 21 driving with a blood alcohol level of .02 percent or more face revocation of their driving permits in all three states. This amount of alcohol may be as little as one drink and is a lower than the level for adult drivers.

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