What’s A Provisional License

Last Updated on May 11, 2022 by Fair Punishment Team

It is important to note that there are a lot of steps in the process of getting a driver’s license. Yeah, in a pretty short space of time you will find that you have to pass your permit test, you also need to learn how to drive a car, and you then have to be able to pass a driving test.

It is part of the Graduated Driver License System that is used in many states that teenagers will need to be issued a provisional license once they have passed their driving test.

Read on to find out about what exactly a provisional license is, and also the restrictions which come with it.

Let’s Talk Provisional Licenses

For teenagers who are between the ages of 15 and 18 years old, passing their driving test will not mean that they will have an unrestricted driver’s license. Instead of doing this, many states will actually end up offering a provisional driver’s license which will enable you to drive alone but also with certain limitations.

Then, when you reach a certain age you will be able to have a full driver’s license which will permit you to drive without restrictions. It is true that in most states that the provisional license will automatically be upgraded to a regular driver’s lesson when you reach the age of 18.

What Is The Graduated Driver License System?

The graduated driver license system is used to gradually ease newer drivers into the habit of driving, and the system does this without putting too much strain on them at once. This is all to do with scientific research that shows teenagers’ brains continue developing right up until they are 25 years of age; the decision-making center is also still developing.

Teenagers are issued restrictions just to allow them to mature mentally, and to get used to driving. This will enable their decision-making center to develop further.

What Are The Restrictions That Provisional Licenses Come With?

There are a huge number of restrictions which can be placed on a provisional license holder. It is important to note that the limitations can vary state by state so it is hard to pin down the precise restrictions.

However, to generalize the restrictions we can confirm that a provisional license will usually include not being able to transport passengers below the age of 20. Additionally, you will not be able to drive outside the hours of 5am and 9pm. The purpose of these restrictions is to give teenagers the opportunity to drive on their own, and this should help to reduce the risk of an accident occurring.

The restrictions are aimed more at reducing the risk of group pressure by removing the possibility just to transport peers and also to drive late at night. It is important to note that failing to obey the restrictions is extremely serious.

If you end up failing to obey restrictions without some sort of valid reason then you could end up facing fines or you could end up having your provisional license suspended. In worse cases, you could end up having your provisional license revoked.

Can You Be Exempted From Provisional License Restrictions In Any Way?

You will be pleased to know that there is always an exception to every rule. When it comes to thinking about the restrictions which are put on a provisional license, there are some exceptions that count as being necessary in certain areas. 

In order to be exempt from restrictions you will need to keep hold of a written note which is signed by the appropriate person or persons. This note will need to be kept on you at all times and it also needs to detail the specific reasons and date under which the exemptions apply, but, it is important to remember that not all reasons will be valid.

A valid reason could be for school activities, so this would require the written note to be signed by your school principal, the dean or even an authorized person. The note should also contain the reason for the exemption and also the duration of the exemption.

Another valid reason would be in the case of a medical necessity where there are no other driving options available. In this case the written note will need to be signed by your doctor or your physician, and the note should contain the diagnosis, the medical reason along with the duration of the driving exemption.

Another valid reason for needing to extend past the time restrictions could be for job related reasons. For instance, you could hold a job which requires you to have to drive outside the mandated hours as essential for employment. This written note will need to be signed by your employer and it will also have to detail the job description which mandates the exemption. 

You might also have to break the provisional curfew in incidents of family necessity. You could be the only person who will have a driver’s license who can end up running specific errands. You might have to pick up family members at certain times, but the written note must be signed by either your parent or your guardian just to outline the family necessity that requires you to be out past your curfew.

It is important to bear in mind that it is not worth trying to get around the rules, and so if you are caught driving without a valid exemption note then you might suffer serious consequences. It is important that you look up the requirements for your state then you will be able to see what is valid there.

How Can You Get A Provisional License?

Well, the answer to this question really depends on how far you have gotten so far. What we mean by this is that there are a lot of steps involved in acquiring a provisional license. As we established earlier, a provisional license is the last step in your driver’s license journey – a provisional license means that because of your age you are limited in certain ways. 

In order to get a provisional license then you will need to adhere to a few rules. You will have to be 15 and a half years old or older in order to obtain a provisional license. To get your provisional license you will also have to pass the permit test. This all depends on where you live, but you may have to complete your driver education before you can even take the permit test. 

To help you get a provisional license, you should also practice for your driver’s license exam and you can do this with the help of an instructor. You could also practice with your parents or guardian too. To get your provisional license you will have to complete the road test, and you will have to pass a vision test in order to determine your visual acuity. 

If you have completed all of these steps then we have good news for you. Now, you will be more than ready to pick up your provisional license! You have done everything that you need to, so you can go and get your license now.

In Conclusion

This seems like a lot to do in order to acquire your provisional license. However, this is a process that you can just tae at your own pace. You do not have to rush this process at all. You need to just focus on one task at a time, and then work through each thing to do in a checklist fashion.