What You Need to Know Before Your Teen Gets a New Jersey Driver’s License

Posted on: November 12th, 2020 by

Learning how to drive and getting a shiny new driver’s license is one of the major milestones in life. It’s also a huge step toward independence for teens and higher insurance costs for mom and dad. The process of obtaining a basic driver’s license in New Jersey is not especially difficult, but it isn’t exactly easy either. It’s pulling up the rear on the top 20 hardest licenses to get, so it’s somewhere in the middle. Since it’s slightly complicated, here is a quick guide to give you everything you need to ensure your teen’s success at the MVC agency. Here are the steps for getting a New Jersey driver’s license and the rules to follow.

female stands in front of a car as part of earning driving hours for getting a Driver's License in New Jersey

How to Get a Driver’s License in New Jersey

To get a New Jersey driver’s license, your teen must first take a high school driving course or enroll in a licensed driving school.

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Need an online driver’s ed course?

With school closed, your teenager may not be able to take a traditional driver’s ed course. Or maybe the high school offers one but the schedule isn’t convenient for you. I know for my own soon-to-be driver, driver’s ed courses are offered after school at the same time as his sports practice.

There are now ways to take driver’s ed courses online. Driversed.com provides one of those options.

Your teen can start earning their license now. Driversed.com’s state-approved online drivers ed is fun and easy to follow. Learn at your own pace and get everything you need to become a safe, confident driver. Click here to learn more.

After the Driver’s Ed course, then what?

After completing a driver’s ed course, teenagers can begin the three-step process of obtaining a basic license. This takes over a year to do, so encourage your teen to apply for a student learner’s permit as soon as they become eligible at the age of 16.

The path to becoming a driver in New Jersey includes lots of practice, written tests, and identification proof. You will also need to pay a fee with each upgrade starting with a $10 permit fee.

To pass the written test, you will need to study the driving manual, which covers the safe driving rules in New Jersey. Before you take the formal knowledge exam, take this sample test to help you check your knowledge level. The full test consists of 50 multiple choice questions, and you are allowed to miss 10. If you get fewer than 40 questions correct, you are able to reschedule to retake the exam.

The best time to schedule your exam is in the morning while your brain is the most active. But that advice only helps you beat the test and get your New Jersey driver’s license if you have the knowledge, to begin with.

Before you get your basic license, you need to begin with a permit so you can start putting in your time toward the other two stages. Each stage has its own set of specific requirements, so make sure you follow each one carefully. Before you go to the MVC, make sure you have proof of address and your social security number. You will also need 6 points of Identification.

Black female teenager gives the thumbs up after getting her driver's license in New Jersey.

How to get 6 points of ID for a New Jersey driver’s license

There are primary and secondary forms of ID. You will need to bring at least one primary ID to obtain your permit. Each type of ID has a point value. Birth certificates and US passports each have a 4 point value. There are accepted forms of ID for both US citizens and non-US citizens. You can use no more than two secondary forms of ID.

3 Stages From Permit to New Jersey Driver’s License

To Get a Driving Permit in NJ

Bring your 6 points of ID, proof of address, $10, and completed application to the MVC. There you will submit a BA-412D form, which they provide at the office. You will also take a vision test and a written test.

After the written test, you will need 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training with a licensed instructor in a dual controlled vehicle. After that, you can do driver testing at a participating MVC agency to finally get your permit.

white female in car learning to drive

To Get a Probationary New Jersey Driver’s License

To get a probationary license, you must have 6 months of supervised driving experience. Check out these scenic drives in New Jersey, beautiful to see and great for driving experience. It’s worth noting that you cannot get a New Jersey driver’s license until you are 17 years of age. After you put in 6 months, you can take a road test. You will need your permit and a completed road test to get to the next level: probationary license.

Grab one of these driving logs

If you’re looking for an easy way for your teenager to track his time driving, grab one of these student driving logs from Amazon.

At the MVC, provide proof of a successful road test along with another completed application, proof of address, 6 points of ID, and a $6 fee. No new knowledge test is required.

female teenager takes her road test to get a New Jersey Driver's license

To Get a Basic New Jersey Driver’s License

The steps to obtaining a basic New Jersey driver’s license are similar to the ones you take for a probationary license. However, you need one full year of driving. After you have had your probationary license for at least a year, you can once again submit an application for a license and pay a prorated upgrade fee to finally get your basic license.

black male teenager sits in a car giving a thumbs up and holding a set of keys.

The Rules for Supervised and Probationary Driving

When you have your permit, you cannot drive unless you are accompanied in the front seat by a passenger at least 21 years of age with a valid New Jersey driver’s license and three years of driving experience.

There are time conditions for both supervised and unsupervised driving that permit carriers and probationary licensees must follow. Driving after 11:01 pm and before 5:00 am is prohibited unless necessary for work or religious purposes.

mother and daughter are in a car, mom is teaching daughter to drive

Parents/legal guardians and dependants are allowed as passengers during the probationary driving period. Only one other passenger is allowed unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.

In addition to these rules, electronics– including cell phones and other wireless devices are not permitted even if they are hands-free. Drivers and passengers must wear seat belts at all times.

The state of New Jersey also requires supervised and unsupervised probationary drivers to display reflectorized decals on front and back license plates. These cost $4 per pair, and you will get them at the MVC agency where you obtain your permit or probationary license.

collage image of teenagers getting their New Jersey Driver's License

The Long Road Ahead

It’s a bit of a lengthy process to get a full driver’s license, but the transition from one step to the next is fairly smooth. The hardest part is passing the knowledge exam and getting that first permit. Before you go to the MVC agency closest to you, go to the agency list and make sure there are openings for the day you plan to go in. For more information about these licensing centers, read up on all the Frequently Asked Questions.

Remember to arrive prepared with all the documents you need and study well before applying. Best of luck to you and your soon-to-be teenage driver!

black female leans out the window of a car holding keys

Great products for New New Jersey Teen Drivers & Their Families

5 Great products For new drivers in New Jersey

Roadside Safety Bundle from MAGLITE

The Roadside Safety Bundle from MAGLITE includes a Mini Maglite PRO 2 AA-Cell LED Flashlight and 2 AA-Cell batteries, a Maglite ML300L 2 D-Cell LED Roadside Safety Kit which includes the ML300L 2 D-Cell LED Flashlight, a red traffic light wand, a white area light wand, D-Cell mounting brackets and 2 D-Cell batteries, and a Gerber Multi-Tool with carrying case. The bundle also includes a free Vehicle Safety Risk Assessment Checklist published by American Tactical Defense. Let’s prepare our teens to be ready for any situation. Get it on the MAGLITE website.

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A few great products for parents of new drivers in New Jersey

Posted in: All, Things to do in Central Jersey, Things to do in New Jersey, Things to do in North Jersey, Things to do in South Jersey

Jennifer Auer is the hyperlocal mom blogger who runs Jersey Family Fun. From New Jersey, this mom of 3 boys just can’t sit still! Her husband likes to say she’s a work-at-home mom who never stays home. Jennifer started traveling as a child and hasn’t stopped since. Instead of letting her husband and boys slow her down, she brings them along! As her boys transition from tweens to teens there’s still so many places she wants to discover with them both across the U.S. and internationally. She has been a Jersey Girl for 35+ years, and a Jersey Mom for 15+ years and a New Jersey mom blogger for 10 years, although she'd much rather be referred to as an influencer or just by name. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus on Entrepreneurship from Bryant University in Rhode Island.

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