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Understanding the probationary driver’s license

As a newly-licensed driver in Indiana, you have passed the test and proven that you understand the rules of the road. However, if you are under 21, you will not receive your full driving privileges yet.

New drivers in Indiana under 21 receive a probationary driver’s license, which comes with restrictions.

Can I drive at night?

Your probationary license restricts when you can drive. For the first 180 days, you may not drive between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. After 180 days, you have more freedom, but you still can not drive on weekends between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. or on weekdays between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

There are exceptions to this rule. You may drive at night if you are traveling to and from work, school activities or religious events. You can also drive if accompanied by a licensed adult over 25 or your spouse if he or she is over 21 and has a valid license.

Can I transport passengers?

For the first 180 days, you can not transport passengers other than licensed adults over 25, a spouse over 21 or an immediate family member, such as a child or sibling.

Why are there restrictions?

New drivers are at increased risk of accidents. These restrictions can help new drivers adjust to being safe on the road with minimal distractions and under safer conditions.

When you first receive your probationary license, you may find it difficult to follow the restrictions. However, they are in place for your safety and the safety of others who share the road with you. It is important to be patient and give yourself time to adjust to your new driving privileges.