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FAQ: Graduated Driver License Law

The new Graduated Driver License (GDL) law becomes effective January 1, 2015. Here again are some frequently asked questions regarding this law:

Q: Will students who are completing their behind the wheel instruction in 2014 be required to submit the log?

A: No. Students who complete all of their behind the wheel instruction in 2014 will not be required to submit the log. Students who complete their final hour of behind the wheel instruction on or after January 1, 2015 will be required to submit the log. The driver exam staff will look at the date of behind the wheel completion on the white cards to determine if a log is required. 

Q: How many driving hours are students required to verify on the log?

A: Fifty hours of supervised driving time are required, fifteen of which must be nighttime hours. Or if a parent/guardian (primary driving supervisor) completes the parent class and submits a certificate of completion to the driver exam staff at the time of the road test, 40 hours of supervised driving time are required, 15 of which must be nighttime hours. 

Q: Will students who are applying for a farm work license be required to submit the driving log showing 50 or 40 hours of driving time?

A: Yes. There were no provisions in the new law that excluded students applying for farm work licenses.

Q: Are students able to count the six hours of behind the wheel instruction with a licensed or approved instructor toward the required 50 or 40 hours?

A: No. The six hours with an instructor were not meant to be counted toward the required 50 or 40 hours, or even the current 30 hours. 

Q: Are all parents/guardians (primary driving supervisors) required to complete the parent class?

A: No. Completion of the parent class is optional. The Department of Vehicle Services recommends that programs stress the importance of the parent class to educate the parents/guardians on the provisions of the GDL law and to assist their student in becoming a safe driver. 

Q: May someone other than a student’s parent or guardian complete the parent class?

A: Yes. A grandparent, sibling, or any other licensed driver who is 21 or older may complete the parent class. This person should then be considered the primary driving supervisor and spend the majority of the time in the vehicle when the student is driving with their instruction permit.  

Q: May we count the 90-minute parent class toward the 30-hour classroom course for the student?

A: No. The parent class is designed only for the parents/guardians of the student. 

Q: My program only offers behind the wheel instruction. Are we required to offer a parent class?

A: Yes. The law states that each program must establish a schedule for the parent class. 

Q: May the parents (primary driving supervisors) complete the parent class online?

A: No. There were not provisions in the statute for parents to complete the class online.  

Q: If parents/guardians (primary driving supervisors) complete the parent class and receive a certificate of completion, is this valid for any other student who completes a driver education program?

A: No. The certificate of completion is valid only for one student, unless there is more than one student in the same class. Parents/guardians (primary driving supervisors) will be required to complete another parent class for subsequent students who complete a driver education program.