All states have implemented some form of a graduated driver's license for teens, but they vary on specifics. Basic elements usually involve three stages of licensing:

The "learner's stage" requires drivers to be accompanied and supervised by an adult when they learn to drive.

"Intermediate or provisional stage" allows unsupervised driving subject to restrictions such as the number of passengers or time of day. Other than curfew laws, Minnesota does not have such restrictions.

"Full licensure" is when all restrictions and provisions are lifted.

Added restrictions for young drivers in some states include:

• A minimum age of 16 years for receiving a learner's permit and 17 for a full, unrestricted license.

• Requiring a certificate of more than 30 hours of supervised driving practice.

• Nighttime driving restrictions.

• Allowing no more than one passenger in the vehicle.

• Requiring all occupants to wear safety belts.

• At least 15 states, including Minnesota, have laws restricting cell phone use by drivers who hold only an instructional or learner's permits, banning them from using any kind of wireless communications device while operating a motor vehicle.

roberta hovde

Sources: National Conference of State Legislatures, National Safety Council