Wyoming teens would have to wait until their 17th birthday
before they could get a full-scale driver’s license under a state legislative
proposal approved last week.
Current state law makes 16-year-olds eligible for full
The Joint Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs
Interim Committee agreed Sept. 9 to sponsor the bill in the legislative session
that begins in January, the Casper Star-Tribune reported. It
would make 16-year-olds eligible for a new type of license called an
The permit would have restrictions on the hours of operation
and types of passengers, but it would still give drivers more privileges than
those available to holders of instruction permits, which are available to
Supporters of the legislation claim states that have adopted
the graduated driver’s license laws have seen a drop in the number of
accidents, deaths and injuries among teenagers. Wyoming was one of four states
in 2003 that did not have any type of graduated driver’s license laws.
Transportation panel members voted to sponsor the bill in
the 2005 budget session.
Under the proposal, a 14-year-old would still be eligible
for a restricted license. At age 15, a person would still be eligible for an
instruction permit. In both cases, a teenager would be prohibited from getting
behind the wheel unless accompanied by a licensed driver 21 or older.
State law now specifies the accompanying licensed driver
must be 18. The bill was amended to remove the requirement in current law that
the accompanying driver must be licensed for at least one year.
An intermediate permit would be available to someone who is
at least 16 who has also held an instruction permit and has completed 50 hours
of driving under adult supervision – including at least 10 hours of night
With an intermediate permit, a teen could drive alone or
with only one passenger under 21. The proposal would prohibit teens from being
behind the wheel between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.