Having a teen driver in the family is always stressful. You have to come to terms with their increased independence, with the fact that they will likely be home less frequently, and worry about potential road hazards as they get used to being behind the wheel.
But this new stage in life also comes with laws and regulations, and it is important to be aware of them to increase driver safety and reduce the probability of legal liabilities.
These rules are set forth in the New York Traffic Laws that regulate junior licenses and permits.
What is the Difference Between a Junior License and Junior Learner’s Permit?
The difference between a junior learner’s permit and a junior driver’s license in New York is in the restrictions.
Junior Learner’s Permit in New York
Drivers with a junior learner’s permit cannot drive anywhere within New York City — and this includes all five boroughs — between 9:00 PM and 5:00 AM under any circumstances.
You can, however, drive throughout daytime hours as long as you bring as a passenger a supervising adult. These may only be your parents, guardians, a person designated as in loco parentis, or a driving instructor.
In addition, you are required by law to comply with these requirements:
- The vehicle must have dual brakes
- The only passenger who can be in the front seat is the supervising passenger
- You cannot have more than one passenger under 21, unless they are your immediate family member.
Also, drivers with a learner’s permit cannot operate a motor vehicle within any park or any along a block in which there is an entrance to a park or public playground.
A junior learner’s permit also means that you are not allowed to drive on any bridge or tunnel within the jurisdiction of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, or on the following roadways: Cross County, Taconic State, Saw Mill River, or Hutchinson River parkways in Westchester County.
Junior Driver License in New York
Anyone with a junior driver’s license in the State of New York must abide by the following rules:
- Drive with a supervising driver between 9:00 PM and 5:00 AM.
- Between 5:00 AM and 9:00 PM, the driver can drive without supervision only between their home and school or work.
- Only one passenger under the age of 21, unless the passenger is an immediate family member. There can be more than one passenger under 21 if there is a supervising passenger, and that supervising passenger is the parent or guardian of the parent. In the alternative, the supervising passenger can be a driving instructor.
It is crucial to also remember that the additional regulations regarding driver safety still apply to junior drivers, including everyone in the car must wear a seatbelt, and children under the age of four must travel while secured in a federally-approved car seat. If the child weighs over 40 pounds, they must use a booster seat.
Can I lose My New York Junior License or Learner’s Permit if I Get a Ticket?
If you get convicted of a serious traffic violation while driving with a junior license or learner’s permit, your permit will be suspended for 60 days. However, if the moving violation occurs within the first six months of having your permit, then yes, it will be revoked.
A junior learner’s permit will also be revoked if you are convicted of two additional violations after a suspension.
The term serious traffic violation refers to any traffic conviction that carries three or more points assessed against your permit.
In addition, both a junior license or permit may be suspended for 120 days if you are caught using a cell phone or texting while behind the wheel. If you get a second conviction within six months of getting it restored, the license or permit will be revoked for at least one year.
What Should I Do if I (or My Child) Gets a Ticket With a Junior License or Learner’s Permit in New York?
Always speak with an experienced traffic ticket attorney. Teach your teenager to never admit to anything. They should always be respectful of the law enforcement officer and answer questions relating to their name, address, and ownership of the car; and show their driver’s license and car registration when asked.
But when it comes to the facts of the case, it is best to speak with an attorney first. For example, if you are pulled over for driving without a supervising passenger, that is self-evident. But if you were pulled over for a regular traffic violation — such as speeding — it is better to have an attorney ask pertinent questions to determine whether the alleged speed was correct (there are several elements that could interfere with this, such as calibration, nearby high rises, etc…)
A New York Traffic Ticket Attorney Can Help
At Weiss & Associates, PC we provide the best representation you could receive. We offer an initial free consultation, flat fees, and experienced traffic lawyers who will show up on your behalf, so you do not have to waste time in court trying to clean up this mess.
We have extensive experience fighting thousands of traffic tickets in New York City and throughout New York state; and we have a skilled team of lawyers who are ready to give you free advice on your available options. Call us at 212-683-7373, or fill out our online form today!