If you are in high school or will be soon, you are probably dreaming about the day you will get your driver's license. You probably also wish that you had turned 16 before July 1, 2001, since that is the day the law which created Graduated Licensing System (GLS), or the Intermediate Driver's License, took effect. However, if you weren't born before that fateful day, then you can read this page to find out what exciting stipulations will be placed on your shiny, new driver's license.

THE INTERMEDIATE DRIVER'S LICENSE

The requirements of the Intermediate Driver's License:

• be at least sixteen years of age
• have possessed a valid instruction permit for six months
• have passed a driver's license exam
• have passed an approved driver's education course
• be certified by a parent, guardian, or employer to have had at least 50 hours of supervised driving experience, with at least ten of those hours at night
• not convicted or found to have committed a traffic infraction within the six-month period prior to the application for an Intermediate Driver's License
• not caught for an offense including the use of alcohol or drugs during the period that the applicant held an instruction permit

RESTRICTIONS

The restrictions placed on an Intermediate Driver's License are as follows:

• In the first six months after the teenager has been issued the IDL, he or she may not have any passengers in the car under the age of 20 unless they are members of the teen's immediate family
• After the first six months, the teenager may not have more than three passengers in the car under the age of 20 unless they are members of the teen's immediate family
• The teenager with an IDL may not operate a vehicle between the hours of 1 AM and 5 AM unless a parent, guardian, or a licensed driver who is at least 25 years of age accompanies the teenager.

The Intermediate Driver's License remains in effect until the driver turns eighteen years old. However, if the teen does not get involved in an automobile accident and is not convicted of a traffic offense or violation of the license restriction in the first twelve months of being issued the IDL, he or she can be taken off the IDL at the age of seventeen.

A new license is not required at age eighteen or after the twelve months of obeying the restrictions at age seventeen. The Department of Licensing just drops the restriction off your license in their computer files.

CONSEQUENCES

• First offense: a warning letter will be sent to the driver's parent or guardian.
• Second offense: the department of Licensing will suspend the Intermediate Driver's License for six months or until the driver reaches the age of eighteen, whichever comes first. A notice will be sent to the driver's parents or guardians.
• Third offense: the Department will suspend the Intermediate Driver's License until the driver reaches the age of eighteen. A notice of the suspension will be sent to the driver, and a copy of the notice will be sent to the driver's parent or guardian.

According to the Legislature, it is necessary to develop a graduated licensing system because of the high incidence of motor vehicles crashes involving youthful drivers. The purpose of the IDL is to improve highway safety by progressively developing and improving the skills of younger drivers in the safest possible environment, thereby reducing the number of vehicle crashes. While the law may seem restrictive, Washington joins a number of other states in the effort to save teenager's lives.

En Espanol