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A look into Minnesota's graduated licensing system

Every year, thousands of teenagers across the country turn 15 years of age and begin their quest to receive a driving license. One of the most important ways they can become safe drivers is by knowing the law and following it at all times. Previously on the Rochester Motor Vehicles Law Blog, Minnesota drivers were informed of the texting and driving laws in Minnesota so that they can resolve to follow it in the New Year.

In order to avoid high risk driving situations and ease novice drivers onto the road, Minnesota follows a graduated license system. This means teenagers go through various stages incrementally before they can get a full license, all the while driving with adult supervision and various restrictions in an effort to restrict crashes and increase young driver's confidence, knowledge and skill.

There are three phases Minnesota teenagers must go through before they can become fully licensed drivers and the period spans over three years. In the first phase, drivers that are at least 15-years-old must have signed permission from their parents or guardians to get an instructional permit. They complete specific hours of classroom and on the road training and pass a written test in addition to driving with a licensed instructor parent or driver.

For phase two, the driver must be at least 16-years-old to get a provisional license and have completed driver's education and passed a road test, in addition to other provisions required by law. To get a full license, which is phase three, the driver must be at least 18-years of age and have held the provisional license for a year without a moving violation or alcohol or substance violation.

Experience and knowledge are key elements to avoid car accidents. Car accidents change the lives of everyone involved, from the driver to the victim to their family members.

Source: Drivinglaws.org, "Minnesota Teen Driving Laws, Insurance Requirements & Drivers License," accessed on Jan. 27, 2015

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