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New Laws Change Requirements For Teen Driver's Licenses

National Park Service

New state laws add some requirements for teenagers to get a driver’s license. 

Dan Lusk is with the South Dakota Department of Public Safety. He says the new laws are now in  effect. 


“There is no grandfathering of any of the requirements prior to this. So it’s very important for people to know that if they hadn’t done what they needed to do to upgrade their licenses prior to July 1, that the new requirements are in effect regardless of which tier of a license you held.” 


Young drivers will now need  more supervised experience. 

The licensing process can begin with  an instructional permit. Fourteen-year-olds may  drive with that for 180 days if they take driver’s education. Or, 275 days without driver’s education. They  need 50 hours driving with a parent or guardian, including hours driving at night and in bad weather. 


The next step is a restricted permit. Those  teens can only drive  with immediate family members in the car for six months. Then they’re allowed  one unrelated passenger. Sixteen-year-olds can get a full operator’s license. But only after meeting the requirements of the instructional permit and driving with a restricted permit for at least six months. 


This story comes from a recent interview on SDPB's weekday radio program, "In the Moment." Listen to the full interview below.