Delaware teens will have to wait a couple extra months to
slide behind the steering wheel under a bill signed into law by Gov. Ruth Ann
Existing state law mandates that new drivers between the age of 15
years, 10 months and 18 years be supervised by a parent, guardian or licensed
driver for their first six months behind the wheel. In the second six months,
they can drive alone between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., but cannot have more than two
The new law, previously HB256, increases the minimum age to obtain a learner’s
permit to 16 years.
The number of passengers for beginning drivers will be reduced from two
to one. Drivers also will be required to post a sign on the vehicle so police
officers will know they are subject to the passenger constraint.
Parents or guardians of teens with driving permits also are required to
sign a log verifying their child has completed 50 hours of actual driving,
including 10 hours at night, during the first six months of supervised driving.
The changes were sought in the wake of several fatal crashes involving
teen drivers in the state. Between November 2004 and June 2005, 14 people died
on Delaware roads in crashes involving teen drivers, the Delaware State News reported.