The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) requires first-time drivers license applicants to complete a Graduated Driver License (GDL) program. Three options are available to residents who apply for drivers licenses, however only two of them are available to applicants younger than 18: The Early Bird road permit and The Young Adult road permit. Completing the GDL program will bring you a full drivers license in New Jersey.

Did you know? More than half of drivers license applicants in New Jersey fail the knowledge test on their first try. Utilize our practice permit tests in order to get familiar with the type of questions you will have to answer on the actual exam day.

How to Apply for a New Jersey Learner’s Permit:

  • Be at least 16 years of age.
  • Have a parent or legal guardian sign a written consent.
  • Enroll in a behind-the-wheel drivers education course.
  • Present the required documentation.
  • Pass a vision test.
  • Pass a knowledge test.
  • Pass a road test.
  • Pay the required fee.

Applying for an NJ Learners Permit

New Jersey residents may apply for learners permits as soon as they are 16 years of age. Minors younger than the age of 18 will need to enroll in a Graduated Driver License (GDL) program. The NJ learners permit is the first step in the Early Bird road portion of the GDL program. It is also known as the special learners permit with certain requirements for first-time applicants. Note that you must have a parent or legal guardian consent and you must enroll in a behind-the-wheel drivers education course. Additionally, applicants must pass both the vision and the knowledge test, as well as pay the special learners permit fee.

What is the Graduated Driver License Program in New Jersey

The New Jersey Graduated Driver License (GDL) program is a process that every first-time applicant must complete in order to get drivers licenses in the state. Three different options of the GDL program are available, which depend on the applicant’s age:

  • Option A: The Early Bird Road – Available to driving applicants who are at least 16 years of age.
  • Option B: The Young Adult Road – Available to driving applicants who are at least 17 years of age.
  • Option C: The Adult Road – Available to driving applicants who are at least 21 years of age.

No matter which option you will choose, note there are three stages to complete in the driver’s license application process:

  • Examination permit for Option B and C (or special learners permit in Option A).
  • Probationary license.
  • Basic drivers license.

How To Get An NJ Learners Permit

Two permits are available in New Jersey: the special learners permit (available to applicants who are at least 16 years of age) and the examination permit. Which one you will apply for, depends on your age.

Learners Permit Requirements in New Jersey

In order to get learners permits in New Jersey, applicants must complete the following requirements:

  • Be at least 16 years of age.
  • Have a parent of legal guardian sign a written consent.
  • Be enrolled in a behind-the-wheel drivers education course.
  • Have an approved instructor purchase the permit for you.
  • Pass a vision and a knowledge test.
  • Pay the required fee.

Getting an examination permit for driving as part of the Young Adult Road option, on the other hand, requires applicants to be at least 17 years of age, to have taken the vision and knowledge tests, to have obtained a parent or legal guardian consent and to pay the required fee. Applicants must also obtain an examination permit as part of the Adult Road option, which requires them to be at least 21 years of age, pass the vision and knowledge test, and pay the applicable fee.

Preparing for a New Jersey DMV Written Exam

Getting a permit for driving in New Jersey requires applicants to pass a written knowledge test in order to learn how to operate a motor vehicle. There are 50 questions on the knowledge test which are based upon sections on traffic laws and road rules from the New Jersey Driver Manual. You need to answer 40 questions correctly (80 per cent of the whole test) in order to get a passing score on the exam.

Get prepared for the New Jersey written knowledge test by taking our practice permit tests which contain similar questions to those on the official exam. These practice tests are created for first-time applicants to check their knowledge.

Be prepared! Study with our DMV practice test and we guarantee you’ll pass!

NJ Drivers Education

Enrollment in a drivers education course of six hours of behind-the-wheel training is required to obtain a student learner’s permit per the New Jersey Graduated Driver License (GDL) program through the Early Bird Road option. Completing an approved NJ drivers ed course is necessary to validate a permit at the state Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) office. Participating in a driving course and applying for a student learner’s permit requires applicants to be a minimum age of 16-years-old.

A New Jersey drivers ed online program is not approved toward state requirements. However, an online driving course can act as a supplementary study tool that is easy and convenient to complete for students who need a flexible schedule. An NJ drivers ed online course can provide tips for defensive driving strategies, information about state traffic laws and guidance for operating a motor vehicle. The curriculum an online class offers can make a new driver better prepared to get behind the wheel of a car.

Teen motorists who choose to enroll in a drivers ed program online for additional learning purposes can do so through a trusted, third-party provider here. Taking a New Jersey online driving course gives first-time drivers the advantage of behind-the-wheel knowledge prior to taking a road test, thus increasing their chances of passing on the first try.

New Jersey Learners Permit Restrictions

Special learners permit holders in New Jersey must follow certain restrictions if they do not want to lose their driving privileges. Those restrictions are the following:

  • You cannot drive between 11:01 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.
  • You cannot use any electronic device.
  • You must be accompanied by an adult supervisor who is at least 21 years of age and who has a minimum of three years driving experience with a valid NJ drivers license.
  • You can carry only a parent or legal guardian, and one other passenger.
  • All passengers must wear seat belts.
  • You must display decals on the license plates of the vehicle.

Drivers who are at least 17 years of age can apply for an examination permit for driving. The same restrictions for special learners permit apply for the examination permit. The only exception is that there are no age, hour, passenger and decal restrictions for applicants who are at least 21 years of age when applying for an examination permit.

New Jersey Probationary Licenses

The second stage in the New Jersey Graduate Driver License (GDL) program is the probationary license. Different probationary license requirements for each GDL option include the following:

  • Option A – Be at least 17 years of age, complete six months of supervising driving, and pass a road test.
  • Option B – Complete six months of supervising driving and pass a road test.
  • Option C – Complete three months of supervised driving and pass a road test.

NJ Probationary License Driving Restrictions

The probationary license restrictions are the following:

  • You cannot drive between 11:01 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • You cannot use any electronic device.
  • You can only carry parents, guardians or dependents as passengers in your motor vehicle.
  • All passengers must wear seat belts.
  • You must display decals on the license plates of the vehicle.

Replacing an NJ Learners Permit

If your permit for driving is lost or stolen, you must apply for a replacement at the nearest NJ MVC office. If you are a driver younger than the age of 17, you will need to ask your instructor to replace your lost or stolen special learners permit. However, if you are 17 years of age or older, visit the nearest DMV office in person and provide the Six Point ID Verification documents, as well as the payment for the permit replacement. Follow this link for more information.

Locate a New Jersey DMV

Browse through our NJ MVC locations page to get phone numbers, addresses and working hours of the nearest DMV branch to you.

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