Teens who want to drive in Arizona have to learn a few things about defensive driving before the state allows them to take to the road on their own. In fact, although they can get any type of learner’s permit at 15 1/2 and have to wait until they are 18 before they are eligible for a full operators permit.

Graduated licensing programs are becoming more and more common as states look for ways to address the number of vehicle accidents caused by teen drivers. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, vehicle crashes are the number cause of death for teenagers in the United States.

Arizona addresses this problem by requiring teens to get parental permission before even making application for a learner’s permit, then requiring a slow and steady course of instruction until they turn 18. They have strict limitations imposed on their ability to drive with a learner’s permit and these limitations are gradually lifted as they get older and more qualified.

When it comes to defensive driving, Arizona wants to make certain all fully licensed drivers are well qualified before they get behind the wheel.

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation the stipulations for first time teen drivers are as follows:

1. Drivers must be a minimum of 15 1/2 years old before they qualify for a graduated vehicle operators permit.

2. Once they have held the learner’s permit for six months they qualify for a graduated driver license, and successfully completed a driver’s education course. There are more with stipulations including:

*Teen cannot drive between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. unless,
*A parent or legal guardian who has a valid driver license is sitting in the front passenger seat, -or-
*The teen is driving to or from a sanctioned school sponsored activity, sanctioned religious activity, place of employment or family emergency.
*Teen can not drive a motor vehicle containing more than one passenger under the age of 18 on a public highway unless,
*The passengers are the teen driver’s siblings, -or- the teen driver is accompanied by a parent or legal guardian with a valid driver license and occupies the front passenger seat.

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