Does Your Learner’s Permit Work Out-of-State? Laws Related to Learner’s Permits and Provisional Licenses

Driving with a learner’s permit outside of the issuing state largely depends on the specific regulations of the state you plan to drive in. While some states honor out-of-state learner’s permits, others may have restrictions or not accept them at all.

It’s crucial to research the driving laws in the specific state you intend to visit. Typically, if you have progressed to an intermediate or provisional license, more states are likely to accept that level of driving authorization. Always remember, even if the host state allows driving with an out-of-state permit, the permit’s limitations still apply.

State by State Reciprocity for Drivers License Requirements

Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) programs vary significantly from state to state, as does the driving age by state. These programs, designed to phase in young beginners from restricted to full driving privileges, offer different stages: a supervised learner’s period, an intermediate license stage that allows unsupervised driving in less risky situations, and a license with full privileges.

For instance, in California, the GDL program requires a minimum age of 15 and a half years for a learner’s permit and imposes a 6-month mandatory holding period along with 50 hours of supervised driving. In contrast, in Texas, the minimum age for a learner’s permit is 15 years with a mandatory holding period of 6 months but requires a total of 30 hours of supervised driving.

When driving in a state other than the one that issued your learner’s permit, the rules vary and can be a bit complex. As stated previously, different states have different laws regarding the acceptance of out-of-state learner’s permits. Some states may honor them, while others may have restrictions. It is important to understand that the driving restrictions and rules of the issuing state still apply to the permit holder even when driving out-of-state.

In the following sections, we will delve into the specifics for each state, providing detailed information on whether they accept out-of-state learner’s permits, and under what conditions. This will offer a comprehensive understanding of how you can navigate driving across state lines with a learner’s permit or a provisional license. You can also access each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) by clicking on the link for each state, if you want to confirm the information below prior to traveling.

Car number license plate. Retro USA cars registration number signs, Texas, Wisconsin and Kansas license plates vector illustration set. Collection of vintage design elements with names of US states. Which states require a front license plate in the United States?

Alabama

In Alabama, a valid out-of-state learner’s permit is honored, allowing driving within the state. However, the same restrictions from the issuing state also apply. Note that the permit holder must be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old, and driving should be limited to daylight hours. Alabama also accepts intermediate or provisional licenses, providing more freedom while adhering to specific rules.

Alaska

Like Alabama, Alaska also recognizes valid out-of-state learner’s permits, allowing holders to drive within its territory. Learner’s permit holders are required to comply with the same restrictions as their home state. Alaska mandates that learners must always be accompanied by a licensed driver aged 21 or over. For intermediate or provisional license holders, Alaska grants recognition, enabling them to drive with more autonomy while still adhering to specific regulations for this level of license.

Arizona

In Arizona, out-of-state learner’s permit holders are allowed to drive within the state, following the same restrictions as in their home state. A licensed driver who is at least 21 years old must accompany the permit holder. Arizona also recognizes intermediate or provisional licenses, providing increased driving privileges while still adhering to specific regulations for this license tier.

Arkansas

In Arkansas, individuals with a valid out-of-state learner’s permit can drive within the state, but the restrictions from their home state still apply. Learner’s permit holders in Arkansas must always be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. Intermediate or provisional licenses are also recognized in Arkansas, granting more autonomy with specific restrictions.

California

California recognizes valid out-of-state learner’s permits, allowing holders to drive within the state. However, they must follow the same restrictions set by their issuing state. In California, learners must always be supervised by a licensed driver who is at least 25 years old. Intermediate or provisional licenses are also accepted, providing drivers with more freedom while still adhering to specific rules.

Colorado

In Colorado, an out-of-state learner’s permit is recognized and allows driving within the state’s borders. However, the permit holder must follow the restrictions of the issuing state. In Colorado, a permit holder must always be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. For those with an intermediate or provisional license, Colorado acknowledges these and grants additional driving privileges while still requiring adherence to specific rules associated with this license level.

Connecticut

In Connecticut, a valid out-of-state learner’s permit allows driving within the state, but the same restrictions as in the home state apply. A learner’s permit holder in Connecticut must be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 20 years old and has held a license for a minimum of four years with no suspensions in the last four years. Intermediate or provisional license drivers are also recognized in Connecticut, with additional privileges but still subject to specific rules.

Delaware

In Delaware, a valid out-of-state learner’s permit allows driving within the state, but restrictions from the issuing state still apply. In Delaware, a learner’s permit holder must always be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 25 years old. Intermediate or provisional licenses are also accepted in Delaware, granting more leniency while still requiring adherence to specific rules associated with these license levels.

District of Columbia

A valid out-of-state learner’s permit is accepted in the District of Columbia, allowing driving within the district boundaries. However, the permit holder must comply with the same restrictions imposed by their home state. In DC, a learner’s permit holder must be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old at all times. The District of Columbia also recognizes intermediate or provisional licenses, providing more flexibility but still requiring compliance with specific rules.

Florida

Florida accepts valid out-of-state learner’s permits, allowing driving within the state. However, the permit holder must follow the same restrictions as their home state. In Florida, a learner’s permit holder must always be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. Florida also recognizes intermediate or provisional licenses, granting broader driving privileges while still requiring compliance with specific rules.

Georgia

In Georgia, individuals with a valid out-of-state learner’s permit can drive within the state. They must follow the restrictions set by their issuing state. Georgia requires learner’s permit holders to be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. Intermediate or provisional licenses are also recognized in Georgia, granting more driving autonomy while still requiring compliance with specific rules.

Hawaii

In Hawaii, out-of-state learner’s permits are recognized, allowing holders to drive within the state. However, they must follow the restrictions set by their home state. In Hawaii, learners must always be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. Intermediate and provisional licenses are also accepted in Hawaii, granting more driving privileges but still requiring adherence to specific rules.

Idaho

Idaho recognizes valid out-of-state learner’s permits, allowing driving within the state’s boundaries. However, permit holders must follow the same restrictions as their home state. In Idaho, a learner’s permit holder must always be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. For intermediate or provisional license holders, Idaho accepts these, offering more driving privileges while still requiring compliance with specific rules associated with this license level.

Illinois

In Illinois, an out-of-state learner’s permit is recognized, allowing the holder to drive within its boundaries. However, the permit holder must follow the same restrictions set by the issuing state. In Illinois, a learner’s permit requires being accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and has held their license for at least one year. For those with an intermediate or provisional license, Illinois acknowledges these, granting additional driving privileges while still enforcing corresponding rules.

Indiana

In Indiana, a valid out-of-state learner’s permit is recognized, allowing the holder to drive within the state. However, the restrictions from the issuing state still apply. In Indiana, a learner’s permit holder must always be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 25 years old. For those with an intermediate or provisional license, Indiana acknowledges these and grants expanded driving privileges while still requiring compliance with specific rules associated with these licenses.

Iowa

In Iowa, out-of-state learner’s permits are valid, allowing driving within the state’s boundaries. However, the permit holder must follow the same restrictions as in their home state. In Iowa, a learner’s permit holder must be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old at all times. Iowa also recognizes intermediate or provisional licenses, which provide more flexibility but come with specific regulations.

Kansas

In Kansas, individuals with a valid out-of-state learner’s permit can drive in the state but must follow their home state’s restrictions. A licensed driver aged 21 or older must accompany learners at all times. Kansas also recognizes intermediate or provisional licenses, which offer more road freedom but require adherence to specific rules.

Kentucky

In Kentucky, a valid out-of-state learner’s permit is recognized, allowing driving within the state’s boundaries. However, the permit holder must comply with the restrictions set by their issuing state. In Kentucky, a learner’s permit holder must always be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. For intermediate or provisional license holders, Kentucky acknowledges these licenses, offering more driving privileges while still requiring compliance with specific rules.

Louisiana

In Louisiana, a valid out-of-state learner’s permit is recognized, allowing individuals to drive within the state. However, the permit holder must follow the same restrictions as imposed by their issuing state. For driving in Louisiana with a learner’s permit, a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old must accompany them at all times. Louisiana also recognizes intermediate or provisional licenses, which grant drivers more freedoms while still requiring adherence to specific rules based on their license level.

Maine

In Maine, an out-of-state learner’s permit is recognized, allowing the holder to drive within the state. However, the permit holder must follow the restrictions of their issuing state. When driving in Maine with a learner’s permit, a licensed driver who is at least 20 years old and has held a driver’s license for at least two years must accompany them at all times. Maine also acknowledges intermediate or provisional licenses, granting additional driving privileges while still requiring adherence to specific rules for these types of licenses.

Maryland

In Maryland, a valid out-of-state learner’s permit is recognized, allowing driving within the state. However, the permit holder must follow their home state’s restrictions. In Maryland, a learner’s permit holder must always be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. Maryland also recognizes intermediate or provisional licenses, offering additional driving privileges while still requiring adherence to specific rules associated with these licenses.

Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, an out-of-state learner’s permit is valid for driving within the state. However, the permit holder must follow the same restrictions as their issuing state. Massachusetts requires a learner’s permit holder to be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and has held their license for at least one year. This driver must be in the passenger seat at all times while the permit holder is driving. Massachusetts also recognizes intermediate and provisional licenses, which grant holders more driving privileges while still requiring compliance with specific rules.

Michigan

In Michigan, a valid out-of-state learner’s permit is recognized, allowing driving within the state. However, the same restrictions from the issuing state apply. A licensed driver of at least 21 years old must be present in the vehicle at all times for learner’s permit holders in Michigan. Intermediate or provisional licenses are also recognized, granting additional driving privileges with specific restrictions.

Minnesota

In Minnesota, a valid out-of-state learner’s permit is recognized, allowing the holder to drive within the state. However, they must follow the restrictions set by their issuing state. Minnesota requires a learner’s permit holder to always be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. For those with an intermediate or provisional license, Minnesota also acknowledges these licenses, granting more freedom on the roads while still requiring compliance with specific regulations.

Mississippi

In Mississippi, an out-of-state learner’s permit is recognized, allowing the holder to drive in the state. However, the permit holder must follow the restrictions set by their issuing state. While driving in Mississippi, a learner’s permit holder must always be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. Mississippi also recognizes intermediate or provisional licenses, which come with additional driving privileges but require strict adherence to specific parameters.

Missouri

In Missouri, a valid out-of-state learner’s permit is recognized for driving within the state. However, the permit holder must follow the restrictions of their issuing state. When driving in Missouri with a learner’s permit, the holder must always be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. Missouri also acknowledges intermediate or provisional licenses, granting more driving privileges while requiring strict compliance with associated rules.

Montana

In Montana, a valid out-of-state learner’s permit is accepted, allowing driving within the state’s borders. However, the driver must follow the restrictions set by the issuing state. When driving in Montana with a learner’s permit, a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old must accompany the permit holder at all times. Montana also recognizes intermediate or provisional licenses, granting additional driving privileges while still requiring compliance with specific rules associated with these license levels.

Nebraska

In Nebraska, a valid out-of-state learner’s permit is recognized, allowing driving within the state’s boundaries. However, the permit holder must adhere to the restrictions of their issuing state. Nebraska requires a learner’s permit holder to always be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. Nebraska also acknowledges intermediate or provisional licenses, providing additional driving privileges with specific rules to comply with.

Nevada

In Nevada, an out-of-state learner’s permit is recognized, allowing driving within the state. However, the driver must follow the restrictions set by their issuing state. In Nevada, a learner’s permit holder must always be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. Intermediate or provisional licenses are also acknowledged in Nevada, granting additional driving privileges while enforcing specific rules associated with these licenses.

New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, a valid learner’s permit from another state is recognized, allowing the holder to drive within the state. The same restrictions as those set by the issuing state must be followed. For driving in New Hampshire with a learner’s permit, a licensed driver who is at least 25 years old must be present in the vehicle at all times. Intermediate or provisional licenses are also recognized in New Hampshire, with specific rules associated with these licenses.

New Jersey

In New Jersey, a valid out-of-state learner’s permit is recognized, allowing driving within the state. However, the permit holder must strictly follow their issuing state’s restrictions. When driving in New Jersey with a learner’s permit, a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old must accompany at all times. New Jersey also acknowledges intermediate or provisional licenses, granting additional driving privileges while still requiring adherence to specific rules associated with these licenses.

New Mexico

In New Mexico, a valid out-of-state learner’s permit is recognized, allowing driving within the state. However, the holder must follow the restrictions of their issuing state. A licensed driver of at least 21 years old must accompany the permit holder at all times while driving. New Mexico also acknowledges intermediate or provisional licenses, providing more flexibility but still requiring adherence to specific rules associated with each license type.

New York

In New York, valid learner’s permits from other states are recognized, allowing holders to legally drive within the state. However, driving restrictions set by the issuing state must be followed. A learner’s permit holder in New York must always be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. New York also acknowledges intermediate or provisional licenses and grants additional driving privileges, but strict compliance with associated rules is enforced.

North Carolina

In North Carolina, a valid learner’s permit from another state is accepted for driving within the state. However, the permit holder must follow the restrictions imposed by the issuing state. When driving in North Carolina with a learner’s permit, you must always be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. For those with an intermediate or provisional license, North Carolina recognizes these licenses and grants additional driving privileges, but compliance with specific rules for this license level is still required.

North Dakota

In North Dakota, valid out-of-state learner’s permits are recognized, allowing holders to drive within the state. However, they must adhere to the driving restrictions set by their issuing state. A licensed driver aged 18 or older must accompany learner’s permit holders while driving in North Dakota. Intermediate or provisional licenses are also acknowledged, granting expanded driving privileges while still requiring compliance with specific rules associated with these licenses.

Ohio

In Ohio, valid out-of-state learner’s permits are recognized, allowing driving within the state. However, the permit holder must adhere to the restrictions set by the issuing state. When driving in Ohio, learner’s permit holders must always be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. Ohio also acknowledges intermediate or provisional licenses, providing additional driving privileges while still requiring compliance with specific rules associated with each license type.

Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, valid learner’s permits from other states are recognized, allowing driving within its borders. However, permit holders must follow the restrictions set by the issuing state. When driving in Oklahoma with a learner’s permit, you must always be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. Oklahoma also acknowledges intermediate or provisional licenses, granting additional driving privileges while enforcing compliance with specific rules associated with these licenses.

Oregon

In Oregon, out-of-state learner’s permits are recognized, allowing driving within the state. However, the permit holder must follow the restrictions of the issuing state. A licensed driver who is at least 21 years old must accompany a learner’s permit holder when driving in Oregon. Intermediate or provisional licenses are also recognized in Oregon, providing additional driving privileges while still requiring compliance with specific rules for each license type.

Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, a valid learner’s permit from another state is acknowledged, allowing driving within its borders. However, the permit holder must follow the restrictions set by the issuing state. When driving in Pennsylvania with a learner’s permit, a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old must accompany the holder at all times. The state also recognizes intermediate or provisional licenses, granting additional driving privileges while still requiring strict compliance with specific rules for each license type.

Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, learner’s permits from other states are recognized, allowing holders to drive legally within the state. However, it’s crucial to follow the restrictions set by the issuing state. When driving in Rhode Island with a learner’s permit, a licensed driver aged 21 or older must accompany at all times. Intermediate or provisional licenses are also acknowledged, granting additional driving privileges while still requiring strict compliance with associated rules.

South Carolina

In South Carolina, a learner’s permit from another state is considered valid, allowing driving within its jurisdiction. However, the permit holder must strictly follow the restrictions set by the issuing state. When driving in South Carolina with a learner’s permit, an accompanying licensed driver who is at least 21 years old is required at all times. South Carolina also recognizes intermediate or provisional licenses, which grant more driving privileges, while still enforcing compliance with specific rules for each license type.

South Dakota

In South Dakota, a valid learner’s permit from another state is recognized, allowing driving within its jurisdiction. However, the permit holder must adhere to the restrictions set by the issuing state. When driving in South Dakota with a learner’s permit, an 18-year-old licensed driver must accompany them at all times. Intermediate or provisional licenses are also acknowledged in South Dakota, granting broader driving privileges while still complying with specific rules tied to these license types.

Tennessee

In Tennessee, valid out-of-state learner’s permits are recognized, allowing driving within the state. However, strict adherence to the issuing state’s restrictions is required. Learner’s permit holders must always be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old when driving in Tennessee. Intermediate or provisional licenses are also acknowledged, granting additional driving privileges while still enforcing compliance with specific rules attached to these licenses.

Texas

In Texas, valid learner’s permits from other states are recognized, allowing permit holders to drive within the state. However, they must comply with the restrictions imposed by the issuing state. While driving in Texas with a learner’s permit, a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old must accompany the permit holder at all times. Texas also recognizes intermediate or provisional licenses, providing additional driving privileges while adhering to specific rules associated with each license type.

Utah

Utah recognizes valid learner’s permits from other states, allowing permit holders to drive within state boundaries. However, they must strictly adhere to the issuing state’s restrictions. In Utah, learner’s permit holders must always be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. For intermediate or provisional license holders, Utah acknowledges these licenses and provides additional driving privileges while enforcing specific rules associated with each license type.

Vermont

In Vermont, a valid out-of-state learner’s permit is recognized, allowing driving within the state boundaries. However, the same restrictions from the issuing state still apply. In Vermont, a learner’s permit holder must always be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 25 years old. Intermediate or provisional licenses are also accepted in Vermont, granting more freedom while still requiring adherence to specific rules.

Virginia

In Virginia, an out-of-state learner’s permit is valid, allowing the holder to drive within the state. However, the permit holder must follow the restrictions set by the issuing state. When driving in Virginia, a learner’s permit holder must be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. Virginia also recognizes intermediate or provisional licenses, providing extended driving privileges while enforcing compliance with specific rules for each license type.

Washington

In Washington, holders of a valid out-of-state learner’s permit can drive within its boundaries. However, they must strictly follow the restrictions set by the issuing state. While driving in Washington, a learner’s permit holder must always be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. Washington also recognizes intermediate and provisional licenses, granting additional driving privileges while still requiring compliance with specific rules for each license type.

West Virginia

In West Virginia, a valid learner’s permit issued by another state is recognized, allowing driving within its jurisdiction. However, the permit holder must strictly adhere to the restrictions imposed by the issuing state. When driving in West Virginia with a learner’s permit, a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old must accompany at all times. West Virginia also recognizes intermediate or provisional licenses, granting more driving privileges while still requiring compliance with specific rules associated with each license type.

Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, holders of a valid out-of-state learner’s permit can drive within the state. However, they must follow the restrictions set by their issuing state. A learner’s permit holder in Wisconsin must always be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. For those with an intermediate or provisional license, Wisconsin recognizes and grants additional driving privileges while adhering to specific rules for each license type.

Wyoming

In Wyoming, a valid out-of-state learner’s permit allows driving within the state, but the permit holder must follow the issuing state’s restrictions. A licensed driver over 21 must accompany learners. Wyoming also recognizes intermediate or provisional licenses with expanded privileges while enforcing specific rules for each license type.

Man holding up a learner's permit, provisional license, or driver license out of his car window

Are the Laws Different if I am on Vacation, versus Moving to a New State?

Yes, the laws can differ if you are merely vacationing in a new state versus relocating permanently. If you’re on vacation and hold a valid learner’s permit, intermediate license, or provisional license from your home state, the laws of your home state usually apply. However, you must also adhere to the specific age and accompanying driver restrictions of the state you’re visiting.

If you’re moving to a new state permanently, it is usually required that you exchange your current permit or license for one issued by your new state of residence. The time you have to do this can vary from state to state, but it is generally within 30 to 90 days of becoming a resident. The process may require you to retake written and/or driving tests, particularly if you hold a learner’s permit. Always check with the DMV in your new state to understand the exact rules and procedures to follow.

What About International Learner’s Permits?

International learner’s permits are a different matter altogether. Depending on the state, the rules for recognizing international learner’s permits can vary significantly. Some states may recognize international learner’s permits and allow holders to drive within their jurisdictions, provided they adhere to the restrictions set by the issuing country. However, many states require international visitors to obtain a local learner’s permit or even a full driver’s license.

For those with an intermediate or provisional license from another country, the recognition and granted driving privileges are again dependent on the specific regulations of each state. It is always best to check the DMV website of the state you plan to visit for exact information.

Conclusions Regarding Using Learner’s and Provisional Licenses Out-of-State

In conclusion, the acceptance of out-of-state learner’s, intermediate, and provisional licenses varies from state to state in the U.S. Most states recognize out-of-state permits but require drivers to adhere to the restrictions applied by the issuing state. This generally includes a requirement for the permit holder to be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least over 18 years old – and usually over 21, sometimes as old as 25 – while driving.

International learner’s permits, on the other hand, are treated differently and their acceptance is greatly varied. It’s highly recommended that drivers check with the DMV in the state they plan to visit for the most accurate and up-to-date information. Overall, while inter-state driving with a learner’s or provisional license is possible, it certainly comes with a set of rules and restrictions that drivers must be aware of and follow.

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