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Q: Driving Laws between VA and CT on a Learners Permit ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   5 Comments )
Subject: Driving Laws between VA and CT on a Learners Permit
Category: Relationships and Society > Law
Asked by: pcbene-ga
List Price: $70.00
Posted: 30 Oct 2006 19:44 PST
Expires: 29 Nov 2006 19:44 PST
Question ID: 778650
Hello. This Friday, November 3rd, I am planning a road trip from
Charlottesville, Virginia to Bridgeport, Connecticut.
I am 16 years and one month old.
I have a Learner's Permit issued by the Commonwealth of Virginia (issued 3/28/06)
I will be accompanied by my father, who has had a driver's license for
more than 30 years. He will be in the passenger's seat.
My two brothers (immediate family) will be in the car with me.
I plan to leave Friday around three p.m., and the trip will likely go
after dark, quite possibly after midnight (the traffic will be
I will probably be going through these states: VA, DC, PA, MD, NY, and
CT, on the Merritt Parkway.
I have passed a driver's education course.
My car is insured in Virginia beyond minimum liability requirements.
It is up to date with it's required safety inspection and county and
state registrations.
I will be driving most of the time, but I will switch off once or
twice with my father when I get tired.
We will all be wearing our seat belts the entire time, and I will not
be using any type of cell phone or headset.

What I would like to know is:
- Will all the states on the way honor my permit?
- Will the time be a problem? What are the curfews in each state, and
do they apply to me?
- What special laws must I be aware of in each state?
- Anything else I should know for this trip?
Please cite official (state gvmt. or dmv) sources... 
If you require any other details, do not hesitate to ask for clarification. Thanks!

Clarification of Question by pcbene-ga on 31 Oct 2006 13:48 PST
And New Jersey. I forgot to include NJ.
Subject: Re: Driving Laws between VA and CT on a Learners Permit
Answered By: nenna-ga on 31 Oct 2006 13:56 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello pcbene-ga,

Let?s dig a bit deeper into your road trip and see what we can find for you, eh?

You?re starting in Charlottesville, Virginia and going to Bridgeport, Connecticut.

According to Google Maps, this is a 8 hour and 12 minute drive. The
total distance is 401 miles long.

You will have a driver with you that meets the minimum age and
relationship requirements of all the states you will be passing thru.
We know that from your other question.

You have insurance; you?ll be wearing your seatbelt, and no cell phone
usage ? even hands free, so all of those requirements are met as well.

I?m going to say this trip is going to take you o hours, to factor in
food and restroom breaks. I am NOT factoring in traffic holdups
however ? there?s no way to guess that.  So, let?s plot your course
and time frames and make sure you?re covered.

Now the beginning of your trip?.

We?ll start with VA. 

?The driver accompanying you may be 18 years of age if he or she is
your legal guardian, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister,
step-brother or step-sister. The driver accompanying you must hold a
valid driver's license, be alert and able to assist you and be legally
permitted to drive.? They also must be awake and alert and not under
the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Curfew for VA is Midnight to 4 AM. That?s not a worry for you
according to the fact you?re leaving about 3 PM. Actually, as long as
you have your Dad with you in VA, it?s not a worry at all.

Curfew exceptions:
# in case of an emergency;
# when traveling to and from work or a school-sponsored event;
# when accompanied by a parent or other adult acting in place of a parent;
# when responding to an emergency call as a volunteer firefighter or
rescue squad personnel.

Passenger restrictions do not apply as well since it?s your Brothers
in the car with you as backseat riders.

?Learner's permit holders may not carry more than one passenger under
age 18. Passenger restrictions do not apply to family members.? (VA DMV
page on Learners Permits)

Here is a ?Do you know your VA road signs: quiz from the DMV.

Here is a PDF file for parents about teen drivers, laws, and parental

Young Driver FAQ

According to Google Maps you should get from Charlottesville to
Washington DC in about 2 hours 30 minutes with no stops. This should
put you there about 5:30 in the heart of DC.  Please remember the
route Google Maps gives me, may not be your route, so these times are
all estimates. You?ll be dealing with a lot of Washington DC Commuter
and rush hour traffic during your drive into and out of Washington DC,
so PLEASE be careful. If you have not driven in heavy traffic before,
you may want to ask Dad to drive through the city of Washington DC.

Now that we?re into Washington DC, here is a list of construction
street closures that may affect your trip. Double check your route
against this to avoid any unnecessary delays.
One is for street closures, the other for highways.

I spoke with the Washington DC DMV and they said that you?re under the
regulations of your VA permit while in DC. So any Permit Laws for VA
are also applicable in DC. So, no driving after midnight is the only
one different from DC, which is 9PM.
Here is the Washington DC Driver?s Handbook.

Washing DC has Photo Enforcement at their traffic lights. 
?Metropolitan Police Department has set up red light traffic cameras
and speed cameras at various intersections. An automated camera snaps
a photo of the offending car, and the motorist will receive a ticket
in the mail.? 
Be aware of this, not that you?ll be running any lights, right?

From the center of Washington DC it should take you about 1 hour
approx. to get to the Baltimore, Maryland area. (Once again, this is
just estimates based on the route Google Maps gave me) I bet it will
take a bit longer because of traffic ? I?m going to estimate you?ll be
here about 7 PM or so.

So, let?s talk about Maryland. 

Here is the Driver?s Handbook for the state so that you may know their
laws and signs.

I spoke with the Maryland MVA and they stated you?ll follow the rules
of your permit (adult driver, curfew, etc) for VA as that is your
issuing state. So, no driving in MD between midnight and 4 AM, which
does not sound like a problem.

So, from the Baltimore, MD area thru Philadelphia, PA area should take
about 2 hours by my estimates. That should get you there about 9:00

Let?s talk about PA. I called the PENNDOT at 1-717-412-5300 to ask
them a few questions. You will be following the VA laws for your
permit while you drive through PA. So, you?ll have the same midnight
to 4 AM curfew. You?re still fine it seems on this schedule.

Here is the PA Driver?s Handbook for laws and rules of the state.

Next leg of the trip I?ve plotted is from the Philadelphia, PA area to
the edge of NY/CT. Greenwich, CT to be exact. This should be the area
that starts the Merritt Parkway. In this section we?ll talk about NY
laws and such. This leg of the trip should take about 2 hours approx.
That should put you there about 11 PM.

I spoke with the NY DMV at 1-518-473-5595 about your permit and the
applicable rules.
You will be following the rules of VA since that is where your permit
was issued. So, no driving after midnight, etc.

Here is the NY Driver?s Manual.

From the Greenwich, Ct area to the Bridgeport, CT area is about 40
minutes of driving.
This should put you there approx 11:45 PM to midnight. 

I spoke with the CT DMV at 1-860-263-5700. You will be following the
law of VA since it is the state that issued your permit. So, no
driving after midnight.

Here is the CT handbook for laws and such

The end of the NY and CT sections are just where you need to be aware
if it gets after midnight, you?re driving illegally. So, make sure if
traffic backs your arrival time after midnight, Dad needs to drive.
There is the exception to the curfew if a parent is in the vehicle,
but to be on the safe side, don?t drive after midnight, let Dad have a
turn ?

You mentioned you?ll be on the Merritt Parkway ? which is described as 

?Route 15 from the New York State line northerly to the bridge
crossing the Housatonic River (known as the Sikorsky Bridge) at the
Stratford/Milford town line. (Route 15 continues northerly, but is
named the Wilbur Cross Parkway from the bridge north.)? 

The speed limit for this road is between 45 and 55 miles per hour.
There is also an 8 foot vehicle height limit on this road due to many
low overpasses. Here are the vehicle restrictions for it.

It is a heavy commuter road as well, so be prepared for some traffic. 

I hope this helps! Have a safe and fun trip!

Google Searches used were: 

Merritt Parkway
___________ DMV (the blank is the state name)

If this answer requires further explanation, please request
clarification before rating it, and I'll be happy to look into this

Google Answers Researcher

Clarification of Answer by nenna-ga on 31 Oct 2006 14:02 PST
I just saw your clarification about NJ. I was wondering about that
since my route showed you going through there?

NJ will honor your permit under the VA laws since that is where it was
issued. I contacted them at (609) 292-6500.

Here is the NJ Driver?s Handbook. 

Road closings and delays.


Clarification of Answer by nenna-ga on 31 Oct 2006 14:06 PST
Also, please be aware that the comment below from berkelep-ga is
incorrect. I verified all of my information through the DMV of the
states needed.

You need to follow the traffic laws of the state, BUT, the curfew and
parent restrictions are that of VA. You do not have to follow the laws
for Learner's Permits (Such as NYC driving restrictions) and the VA
ones both. That's impossible if curfews conflict. It is VA only
according to all the DMV's I spoke with.

pcbene-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Dear Nenna-ga: your answer was amazing. Thank you very much.
Incredibly detailed and well referenced. Bravo, and thanks.

Subject: Re: Driving Laws between VA and CT on a Learners Permit
From: denco-ga on 30 Oct 2006 22:02 PST
Howdy pcbene-ga,

When a Google Answers Researcher posts a clarification request, and it indeed
answers your question, it is appropriate to allow the Researcher to go ahead
and post the answer and collect the fee for their work, and not to expire the

"Virginia bill to raise minimum driving age"

Looking Forward, denco-ga - Google Answers Researcher
Subject: partial answer
From: berkelep-ga on 31 Oct 2006 01:20 PST
I have numbered your questions 1-4:

1. Will all the states on the way honor my permit?
2. Will the time be a problem? What are the curfews in each state, and
do they apply to me?
3. What special laws must I be aware of in each state?
4. Anything else I should know for this trip?

Here are the answers state-by-state:

1. Yes, VA will honor your permit. You must follow the restrictions:

2. Time could be a problem: Virginia's curfew laws prohibit a driver
under age 18 who holds a learner's permit or driver's license from
driving midnight to 4 A.M.

3. Special laws include passenger restrictions but "do not apply to
family members".

4. N/A

1. Yes, they will honor your permit, but you must follow the
restrictions of both NY
and VA

2. Following NY restrictions you can not drive in New York City (5
Boroughs) or Long Island (Nassau & Suffolk) from 9pm to 5am
( And following VA restrictions
in NY you may not drive from 12am-4am.

3. The special rules in NY are listed here:

4. N/A

1. No they will not honor your permit (unofficial source)

2. N/A

3. N/A

4. N/A

1. No they will not honor your permit (unofficial source)

2. N/A

3. N/A

4. N/A

1. Yes, they will honor your permit. (unofficial source)

1. Yes, they will honor your permit, but you must follow the
restrictions of both CT (unofficial source)
and VA
Subject: Re: Driving Laws between VA and CT on a Learners Permit
From: pcbene-ga on 31 Oct 2006 04:21 PST
Oh- sorry about that denco. I had no idea, I just thought that if the
question was answered, there would be no need for it to stay opened.
IOU $5. -pcbene
Subject: Re: Driving Laws between VA and CT on a Learners Permit
From: nenna-ga on 31 Oct 2006 14:26 PST
pcbene-ga - 

I'm so glad I could help on these 2 questions. Post a comment here and
let me know how your drive went, if you would not mind. After all of
this work, I'd love to know how it goes for you!

Subject: Re: Driving Laws between VA and CT on a Learners Permit
From: denco-ga on 31 Oct 2006 16:42 PST
Might I suggest, pcbene-ga, that you repost the question, requesting it be
answered by myself?  Thanks!

Looking Forward, denco-ga - Google Answers Researcher

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