Teen driving limits OK'd in Wyoming

| Friday, March 25, 2005

Gov. Dave Freudenthal recently signed legislation to create a graduated driver’s license for Wyoming teens.

The new law brings the state in line with 48 other states in imposing restricted licenses on young drivers. The only state that doesn’t have such a law is Montana.

A 16-year-old in Wyoming now will be required to wait until age 17 to receive a full-fledged driver’s license.

The new law makes no changes to 14-year-olds’ ability to receive a restricted license if they can show “extreme inconvenience” or 15-year-olds’ eligibility for learner’s permits.

Previously known as SF14, the new law allows teens to apply for an intermediate permit if they are at least 16 years old, have held an instructional permit for one year and have completed at least 50 hours of supervised driving, including at least 10 hours of night driving.

The holder of an intermediate permit could not have more than one passenger under the age of 18 who is not an immediate family member.

In addition, it prohibits young drivers from being behind the wheel between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., unless accompanied by a licensed driver 18 or older.

Drivers could only be pulled over for some other driving infraction. Any violations would not affect the driver or the parents’ insurance coverage.

Exceptions to the time restrictions include driving to or from work, school or religious activities, or driving for a medical necessity or emergency.

A teen who has an intermediate permit for at least six months and has passed a driver’s education course could apply for full driving privileges.

The measure is scheduled to take effect Sept. 16.