Oklahoma uses a three-stage licensing process (Graduated Driver Licensing — or GDL) for teens. This system allows you to gradually gain exposure to complex driving situations, easing you into driving over an extended period of time. Since implementation of Oklahoma’s three-step GDL law in 2006, teen traffic crash deaths have plummeted 45 percent.
Oklahoma’s State Licensing Process
Oklahoma’s Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system encourages you to take driver’s education by allowing you to drive at an earlier age than teens who choose not to take driver’s education. State-recognized driver’s education programs can be those offered by high schools and commercial driving schools, as well as parent-taught courses, such as AAA Oklahoma’s “Take the Wheel”
program. The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety has certified “Take the Wheel” as bona fide driver’s education under the state’s GDL system and it qualifies you for standard auto insurance discounts offered by most insurance companies, including AAA Insurance Company.
If you have taken or are taking some form of driver’s education you may get a learner permit at age 15 ½ if you pass the written driving test and a vision exam. If you have not taken driver’s education, you have to wait until age 16 to get your learner permit. The written driving test and vision exam are still required.
With a Learner Permit, you may drive while accompanied by a person who is at least 21 years old, has been a licensed driver for at least two years and is sitting in the front passenger seat. During this phase, you should complete at least 50 hours (including 10 hours at night) of supervised driving.
If you have taken driver's education and have held a learner permit for at least six months, you may apply for an intermediate license at age 16. To apply, you must have been convicted of no traffic offenses and have completed at least 50 hours (including 10 hours at night) of supervised driving. You must pass the driving skills exam to receive an intermediate license. If you have not taken driver’s education, you will not be eligible for this phase until at least age 16 ½.
With an Intermediate License, you may drive unsupervised between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. unless it is to or from activities related to school, church or work. You may drive at any time if accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and who is sitting in the front passenger seat. You are subject to passenger restrictions while driving, either: one passenger; only passengers who live in your home; or any number of passengers if accompanied by a licensed driver, at least 21 years old, sitting in the front passenger seat.
If you have taken driver's education and have held an intermediate license for at least six months without receiving any traffic convictions, you may obtain an unrestricted Class D Oklahoma Driver’s License at age 16 ½. With a full license, there are no passenger or night restrictions. Without driver’s education, you must hold an intermediate license for at least a year, and cannot get a full license until at least age 17½.
Learner permit and intermediate license holders may not drive while using a handheld electronic device, such as a cell phone, to talk or text unless it is a life-threatening emergency. Your permit or license may be suspended or canceled for a violation.
At age 18, you are no longer subject to provisions of Oklahoma’s GDL system. An individual who is at least 18 years old may obtain an unrestricted Class D License by passing all driving and vision exams.
Now is a good time to set up a parent-teen driving agreement
to help you and your parents establish expectations related to both their rules and those of the state.