New Jersey Learner's Permit and Driver’s License

GDL requirements

Full Privilege Minimum Age
Learner Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)
Learner Stage: Minimum Duration (Months)
Intermediate Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)
Intermediate Stage: Nighttime Driving Restriction
11 p.m. – 4 a.m.
Intermediate Stage: Passenger Restrictions (Except Family, Unless Noted)
No more than 1 passenger

How to Get a New Jersey Driver’s License

New Jersey has a Graduated Driver License program, or GDL, that will give you time to learn how to drive in a controlled way. There are three stages to this program, from no license to full license.

Completing the New Jersey GDL program takes at least a year. You can apply for your special learner’s permit at 16. Pass driver education and a knowledge test for your provisional license. Drive with it for 6 months, and when you turn 18, you’ll be eligible for a full NJ driver’s license.

The steps below have the details you’ll need to know to get your full, unrestricted New Jersey driver’s license.

Get your New Jersey learner’s permit

You can start the process to get your license at 16 years old. To get ready for driving, you can download the New Jersey Driver Manual and start reading through it.

You have two options for your New Jersey special learner’s permit. If you’re 16 years old, you can take a NJMVC approved driver education course. When you’re ready to enroll, find a driving school to get started.

Once you’ve passed driver education, the next step to obtain your NJ learner’s permit is to attain a passing score on the New Jersey driver’s permit test. Consisting of 50 multiple choice questions you will need to score an 80 or above to pass.

These tests are generally available through the New Jersey public school system, or you can take it through your New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission approved driver education program.

Next, you’ll have to complete 6 hours of supervised driving with a certified driving instructor. You will need to find an approved New Jersey driving school to complete your driving time. Once you have done so, your instructor will issue you a completed BA-412D form.

The next step in your graduated licensing process in New Jersey is getting a NJ examination permit. You can apply for this when you’re 17 years old. It will allow you to practice supervised driving for at least 6 months, so that you can fulfil the requirements to obtain your New Jersey probationary license.

There are a few things you’ll need to know when applying for permits. The New Jersey DMV uses a point system to define acceptable forms of identification to bring with you. More information on this system can be found here: New Jersey ID Requirements. You will need to bring 6 points worth of identification with you to your local NJ MVC.

You will also need to pass a vision test so if you require corrective lenses, makes sure to bring them along.

The fee for a learner’s permit is $10.

Getting your New Jersey probationary license

Once you have your learner’s permit you are allowed drive, with the supervision of a licensed adult, between the hours of 5:00 A.M. and 11:00 P.M. This adult must have had their license for 3 years or more.

You are required to place a red decal on your license plate to indicate your learner’s permit status to police. They are available for purchase at your local DMV and cost $4.

The next step on your driving journey is your New Jersey probationary license. Receiving it requires that you’ve completed certain requirements. You must be 17 years of age and you must have had your learner’s permit for at least 6 months.

You will be given a road test and you will have to provide the vehicle. It must be currently registered and insured as well as have a valid inspection sticker. The vehicle must be in good working order, all lights and signals working, as well as have an emergency brake that is accessible from the passenger seat.

You’ll also need to be accompanied by a licensed driver over the age of 21.

Driving Skills Test: You will be required to pass a driving test with a NJMVC evaluator who will make sure you can perform basic driving tasks safely.

Before you take it, you should check out The Top 10 Automatic Fails on Driver Tests, so you’ll know what not to do on test day.

The application fee for your license is $24.

Your license will be mailed to you and will have your photograph on it. They take your picture the day you pass your driving skills test. This license will come with the following restrictions:

  • You are only allowed to drive between the hours of 5:00 A.M. and 11:00 P.M.
  • You may not carry more than one passenger. Any of your dependents are exempt from this restriction.

Getting your full unrestricted NJ driver’s license

At a certain point, the state feels that you’ve been able to receive enough supervised driving experience that you can go out on your own. Therefore, once you reach 18 and have had your probationary license for 12 months, you can get your full NJ license. If you have turned 21 you can apply for your full license before a full 12 months with your probationary license.

This means that previous restrictions are lifted. However, you will not receive an updated license until that one expires. After you renew your license, you will receive your full, unrestricted New Jersey driver’s license in the mail.

Whether you’ve just finished your New Jersey graduated licensing process, or are just starting out, you might also want to consider a telematic companion application to better understand your driving habits, and how to improve them.

The best option is the DriverZ Virtual Coach. Download it today to sharpen your S.P.I.D.E.R.Senses™ to build the driving skills that will keep you safe for a lifetime, track your supervised driving hours, and access bespoke driver training based on your specific needs.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some other details which are good to know as you start out on your NJ graduated licensing journey.

Do all New Jersey drivers younger than 21 need to display the training driver decal and follow the rest of the NJ graduated licensing requirements?

GDL restrictions, including displaying the decal on your license plate, only apply to training drivers younger than 21 years old.

What happens if my driver training decals are lost or stolen?

Every driver is responsible for their decals at all times. The NJMVC recommends keeping a second set of decals on hand, should you need a replacement for any reason. You will be liable any time you’re found driving without them.

New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission information

For comprehensive information on everything related to the New Jersey graduated licensing program, visit the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. Offices are open from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday, and from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturdays.

Prepare for your license journey by reviewing the New Jersey Driver Manual, and taking a few practice tests.