Like other graduated driver license systems across the United States, the Delaware graduated system was created to reduce the number of teen driving fatalities and accidents while increasing adult interaction and supervision while they are driving.
To be eligible for Delaware 's level one learners permit the teen driver must be a minimum of 16 years old and under 18 years old. The learner permit candidate must present proof that he or she has completed a certified Delaware Driver Education Course. The teen driver must also have identification proving date of birth, name, social security number and two documents that prove Delaware residency.
When applying for a learner permit, the teen driver must have a sponsor sign the permit application. The sponsor is held responsible along with the teen driver for any negligent damage that the permit holder may cause until they reach the age of 18. The sponsor can be a parent, legal guardian or a legally appointed custodian of the minor. The sponsor has the ability to take away the driving privilege by withdrawing their endorsement and ultimately determines if the teen driver has the ability to drive. The sponsor also can dictate supervision for the permit holder. The supervisor must be a minimum of 25 years of age and a Class D License holder for a minimum of 5 years. While driving the supervisor or sponsor must sit beside the teen driver while the vehicle is in motion. No other passengers are allowed to sit beside the permit holder. This mandatory supervision is in effect for the first six months that the teen driver holds the permit.
The permit holder must have certified documentation of 50 hours of driving. 10 of the 50 hours must be nighttime driving. The sponsor is responsible for signing this certification prior to turning it in to the Department of Education. Permit drivers and passengers under the age of 18 must wear a safety belt or be in a child seat while the teen is driving. The permit holder shall not operate a motor vehicle while using a cellular telephone, text messaging device, or substantially similar electronic device.
Level One Learner Permit holders must drive with supervision between the hours of 10:00 pm and 6:00 am unless they are driving to and from a church sanctioned activity, commuting for employment or participating in school activities on school property.
For the first year of driving the only passengers allowed in the vehicle with the permit holder are the supervisor and 1 passenger. Safety belts must be worn at all times. After six months of driving the level one permit holder may drive without supervision between 6:00 am and 10:00 pm, however only one passenger besides the teen driver may be in the vehicle while driving.
This restriction does not apply to immediate family members.
When the teen driver with a Level One Learner's Permit has been driving for a full year and is in good standing (without suspension, revocation etc.), the permit will automatically convert to a Class D License.
Adding a teen driver to your auto insurance can be a significant cost to your household. Many insurance companies consider drivers under the age of 25 to be high risk. This is why teen driver insurance rates are inflated. When you contact your insurance company be sure and ask if the teen driver needs to be added immediately after receiving their permit, or, if it is only necessary after the teen receives the full unrestricted license. The State of Delaware has mandatory minimum insurance requirements:
Driving without insurance is against the law. Vehicles that are registered in the State of Delaware are checked, at random to insure adherence to the law. If your insurance is cancelled or dropped, your insurance company will notify the State. If you are caught driving without the minimum insurance in place, you may be fined or have your driver license suspended.