Description and rationale

Eighteen is the highest minimum age to exit the GDL program in most U.S. states although in many states graduation is possible at earlier ages. In other countries exit ages can be higher because progression in their GDL programs are time-based not age-based. For example, in Victoria the earliest age for graduation from the GDL program is 22. Importantly, if GDL were applied to older novices exit ages to unrestricted driving would increase but the minimum exit age should be set to at least 18 and preferably at age 21 as in three jurisdictions (District of Columbia, Indiana, New Jersey). This would be consistent with brain development research, which supports an older exit age for unrestricted driving.1 A minimum exit age of 18 would also be the case with minimum learner and intermediate entry ages of 16 and 17, respectively, and minimum holding periods of 12 months in both the learner and intermediate periods.

1Senserrick and Williams, 2015; Johnson and Jones, 2011