May 17, 1999, Oklahoma became the 33rd state in the nation to pass a Graduated Driver License law with the signing of SB 413. The Graduated Driver License law was strengthened in 2005 when the Oklahoma Legislature passed HB 1653 authored by State Representative Danny Morgan. This law requires teens to apply for the license, which restricts their driving time to the hours of 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., with exceptions for driving to work, school, church or related activities, or if a licensed driver is seated next to the teenager. The bill also prevents teenage drivers from chauffeuring their friends around town, prohibiting teens with a restricted license from driving with multiple passengers younger than age 21 (other than family). Under the provisions of House Bill 1653, the driver’s license restrictions would be removed over a one-year period if a teenager maintains a clean driving record.
Listed below are some questions and answers about Oklahoma's Graduated Driver License law and how it will affect young people under the age of 17.
Q. What is GDL?
A. GDL Stands for Graduated Driver Licensing; a way to gradually phase-in driving privileges for new teen drivers as they gain experience behind the wheel.
Q. Why do we need GDL?
A. Because Oklahoma's teenage drivers have more crashes than any other age group. This is one reason insurance premiums are so high for teen drivers. During their first year of driving 25% of 16 year-olds either receive a ticket or are involved in a crash.
Q. When does Oklahoma's New GDL take effect?
A. November 1, 2005
Q. Are other states passing GDL too?
A. Yes, all 50 states have some version of Graduated Driver License laws.
Q. What happens if you break the rules and are convicted of a moving violation?
A. Your graduated Driver License restriction (restriction G) will remain on your license until age 18.
Q. Does the driver education course I take have to be given by a high school?
A. No. Any driver education course that has been certified by the Department of Public Safety, including parent taught driver education and licensed commercial driving schools will qualify you for the GDL program.
Q. If I already have my permit will this new law affect me?
A. No. If you already hold a valid Oklahoma permit, issued prior to Nov. 1, 2005, you will not be affected by this new law.