Vermont employs a graduated license system for promoting teens from a learner’s permit to a junior operator’s license and, finally, to a full driver’s license.
Beginning at 15 years old, a teen can take a written and vision test to obtain a learner’s permit. The youth must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who must sign a consent form. The application must include proof of identification and proof of residency.
A learner’s permit is valid for two years and authorizes the holder to drive only while a “supervising adult” is in the front seat. A supervising adult is defined as an unimpaired:
Sixteen-year-olds who have held a learner’s permit for at least one year can apply for a junior operator’s license. The teen must not have any suspension or revocation within the past six months and must have successfully completed a state-approved driver’s education course. The parent or guardian still needs to provide written consent and must certify that the teen has completed 40 hours of supervised driving time, including ten nighttime hours. Having met these requirements, the teen can then take the behind-the-wheel driving test to obtain a junior operator’s license.
For the first three months of licensure, the holder can drive only alone or with a supervising adult. For the following three months, the teen can also transport family members. After six months, the passenger restrictions are lifted, but the number of passengers must still not exceed the number of seatbelts in the vehicle.
Junior operator’s licensees are prohibited from driving in the course of employment.
Vermont has many restrictions on the learner’s permits and junior operator’s licenses and a violation of these restrictions has significant consequences.
A passenger restriction violation of the junior operator’s license will result in a $50 fine and a 90-day license recall.
Driving without the required supervising adult carries a $50 fine and a 90-day permit recall.
Using a cellphone while driving will result in a 30-day license recall. The driver will also be fined $100 to $200 for a first offense and $250 to $500 for a subsequent offense within two years.
The DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) is also permitted to recall a driver’s license for any serious accidents or convictions. Additionally, the DMV can require the teen to retake the driving exams.
Upon turning 18 years old, a junior license holder who has not had any suspension or revocation in the last six months is eligible for an unrestricted driver’s license.
Before any driver can operate a vehicle in Vermont, the vehicle must be properly insured. In Vermont, the mandatory liability coverage must include at least $25,000 bodily injury per person, $50,000 bodily injury per accident, and $10,000 property damage per accident.
Failure to provide proof of valid insurance will result in a civil penalty up to $500. Additionally, if proof of insurance is not provided within 20 days, the driver’s license will be suspended until proof of insurance is provided.