Graduated Driver Licensing Systems

Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) systems help new drivers gain skills under lower-risk conditions. As drivers move through the three stages of GDL, they are given more driving privileges. These privileges might include driving at night or with passengers. GDL systems are proven to reduce teen crashes and deaths. For example, a 2015 meta-analysis of GDL lawspdf iconexternal icon indicated that GDL systems are associated with reductions of about 19% for injury crashes and about 21% for fatal crashes for 16-year-olds.

All states have three-stage GDL systems, though laws vary.

  • Stage 1: learner’s permit
  • Stage 2: intermediate license (sometimes called a provisional license)
  • Stage 3: unrestricted license

Check out GDL laws by stateexternal icon on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s website or your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles website to learn more about your state’s GDL system.

Graduated Driver Licensing System Planning Guide
Graduated Driver Licensing System Planning Guide cover image

CDC’s GDL Planning Guide is designed to assist states to assess, develop, and implement actionable plans to strengthen graduated driver licensing practices.

2016 CDC Graduated Driver Licensing System Planning Guide pdf icon[PDF – 3MB]

photo of a license application

Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) systems are proven to reduce teen crashes and deaths.