You already know that a learner’s permit allows you to practice driving with a licensed driver present. This precious time helps new drivers gain valuable experience while still having adult supervision, something that benefits everyone on the road. However, during the time you have your learner’s permit, you may encounter circumstances that leave you unsure about the legality of your driving. For example, what happens if you are invited on an out-of-state road trip?
A road trip is a great way to practice driving. It helps you gain experience on the highways and become comfortable getting gas, putting air in the tires and performing other basic on-road maintenance. Unfortunately, depending on the state that issued your permit and where you plan on going, you may be restricted from driving beyond state lines.
What Can Happen if You’re Caught Driving Without a Permit?
The law varies by state, but in general, getting caught driving without a valid permit will result in a number of fines. These fines can range from $100 to $2,000, but most states charge around $200 for this offense. Getting caught could also potentially delay your ability to apply for your actual license, and unless the car belongs to another licensed driver who is present, it will likely be towed and impounded, resulting in even more fees.
Is it Possible to Drive Out of State With Only a Permit?
Some states will allow you to drive out of state with a learner’s permit. If you live in Nevada, you are legally allowed to drive out of state at any age as long as you have a licensed driver with you. In New York, you can drive out of state once you reach the age of 16. In Oregon, you only need to be 15. However, the law also matters in the state you’re driving in, not only the state that issued you the permit. Therefore, if you have a Nevada permit and are pulled over in Massachusetts, you will be in trouble even though you are not breaking any Nevada laws. It is possible to legally drive out of state with a learner’s permit, but you need to check on the state you’ll be traveling to as well as the state you’re from.
How to Plan For a Safe and Legal Trip
There may be circumstances in which you feel you absolutely must drive out of state with your learner’s permit, and in such a case, it’s best to do your research ahead of time. List each of the states you will be driving through during your trip, and look up DMV information regarding permit limitations for each state. Some states may allow you to drive and others may not. Having this information will help you plan to have a licensed driver take over the wheel during your time in states that won’t allow you to drive.
If possible, you should simply wait to drive out of state until you have a valid driver’s license. Unlike a learner’s permit, a driver’s license will be recognized nationally, and you will be legally able to drive wherever you please. Your time carrying a learner’s permit will be relatively short compared to the span of your entire life, so if you can, be patient. Learning to drive takes a lot of practice, and the more of that practice you can do in your local area, the better.