Minimum Driving Age by State

The minimum age to drive in the US is set at State level, we compare minimum driving ages by State.

In a country so vast, it’s no surprise that the car is a vital means of transport for US citizens, none more so that young drivers. 18 is the minimum age to drive in 78% of countries all over the world, however in the US, teenagers can hold a full license from just 16. Only El Salvador allow younger drivers behind the wheel of a car. That said, whilst 16 is the general minimum age to drive in the USA, this age is actually set at State level and does vary depending on what state you are driving in.  Here we look at the minimum age by state to obtain a learner's permit, a restricted license and a full driving license, plus the minimum age you can rent a car in the USA.

Minimum Age to Drive in the USA - by State;

State
Learners Permit
Restricted License
Full License
Car Rental
Alabama
15
16
17
 20 (Hertz)
Alaska
14
16
16 yrs 6 months
 21 (All Agents)
Arizona
15 yrs 6 months
16
16 yrs 6 months
 20 (Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty)
Arkansas
14
16
16 yrs 6 months
 20 (Dollar)
California
15 yrs 6 months
16
17
 20 (Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty)
Colorado
15
16
17
 20 (Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty)
Connecticut
16
16 yrs 4 months
18
 20 (Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty)
Delaware
16
16 yrs 6 months
17
21 (Alamo, National)
District of Columbia
16
16 yrs 6 months
18
 20 (Dollar, Hertz)
Florida
15
16
18
 20 (Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty)
Georgia
15
16
18
 20 (Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty)
Hawaii
15 yrs 6 months
16
17
 20 (Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty)
Idaho
14 yrs 6 months
15
16
 20 (Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty)
Illinois
15
16
18
 21 (All Agents)
Indiana
15
16 yrs 6 months
18
 20 (Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty)
Iowa
14
16
17
 20 (Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty)
Kansas
14
16
16 yrs 6 months
 20 (Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty)
Kentucky
16
16 yrs 6 months
17
 20 (Dollar, Hertz Thrifty)
Louisiana
15
16
17
 20 (Hertz)
Maine
15
16
16 yrs 6 months
 20 (Hertz)
Maryland
15 yrs 9 months
16 yrs 6 months
18
 20 (Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty)
Massachusetts
16
16 yrs 6 months
18
 20 (Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty)
Michigan
14 yrs 9 months
16
17
 20 (Hertz)
Minnesota
15
16
16 yrs 6 months
 21 (All Agents)
Mississippi
15
16
16 yrs 6 months
 20 (Dollar, Hertz)
Missouri
15
16
18
 20 (Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty)
Montana
14 yrs 6 months
15
16
 21 (All Agents)
Nebraska
15
16
17
 20 (Hertz)
Nevada
15 yrs 6 months
16
18
 20 (Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty)
New Hampshire
15 yrs 6 months
16
17
 20 (Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty)
New Jersey
16
17
18
 20 (Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty)
New Mexico
15
15 yrs 6 months
16 yrs 6 months
 20 (Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty)
New York
16
16 yrs 6 months
17 w/classes or 18
 20 (Hertz)
North Carolina
15
16
16 yrs 6 months
 20 (Dollar, Hertz)
North Dakota
14
15
16
 21 (All Agents)
Ohio
15 yrs 6 months
16
18
 20 (Dollar)
Oklahoma
15 yrs 6 months
16
16 yrs 6 months
 20 (Hertz)
Oregon
15
16
17
 20 (Hertz, Thrifty)
Pennsylvania
16
16 yrs 6 months
17 with classes or 18
 20 (Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty)
Rhode Island
16
16 yrs 6 months
16 yrs 6 months
 20 (Dollar, Hertz)
South Carolina
15
15 yrs 6 months
16 yrs 6 months
 20 (Hertz)
South Dakota
14
14 yrs 6 months
16
 21 (All agents)
Tennessee
15
16
17
 20 (Dollar, Hertz)
Texas
15
16
18
 20 (Hertz)
Utah
15
16
17
 20 (Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty)
Vermont
15
16
16 yrs 6 months
 20 (Dollar, Hertz)
Virginia
15 yrs 6 months
16 yrs 3 months
18
 20 (Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty)
Washington
15
16
17
 20 (Hertz, Thrifty)
West Virginia
15
16
17
 20 (Hertz)
Wisconsin
15 yrs 6 months
16
16 yrs 6 months
 20 (Hertz)
Wyoming
15
16
16 yrs 6 months
 20 (Hertz)

Click images to view in full size
us state minimum driving age learner
us state minimum driving age restricted
us state minimum driving age full license

us state minimum car rental age

Lowest Driving Age in USA

South Dakota is the most relaxed state when it comes to issuing restricted licenses to teenagers, at just 14 years and 6 months you can begin your journey to a full license that can be obtained by just 16. Idaho, Montana and North Dakota for example, match El Salvador and issue restricted licenses to 15 year olds, whilst in New Mexico you can get your hands on a license from 15 years and 6 months. Better still, learner’s licenses are issued at 14 in North and South Dakota! Of course, there are various restrictions on a learner’s license and indeed on a restricted license, including maximum speeds (state speed limits). In most states a learner’s license requires a suitably qualified adult to accompany the young driver at all times. Similarly, the restricted license comes with limitations, again set by state that include passenger restrictions, mobile phone restrictions and night driving curfews.

Car Rental Age by State – Minimum Age to Rent a Car

Regardless of the minimum age to obtain a license and drive in the USA, if you plan to rent a car, the minimum age is determined by the rental agent rather than by the state. Whilst young drivers are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident, with some researchers claiming that a teenager is not mature enough to drive a car, some car rental agents will allow 18 years olds to rent a car. In general, the minimum age to rent a car in the USA is 21 and will most likely incur a young driver fee, however here at Rhino we offer an under 25 car hire discount scheme to help your younger customers enjoy renting a car. You may find also that some rental car categories are not available to young drivers, such as Mustang rentals and some SUV rentals.

Comments

Leave your comments here

 Security code
Click here to enter an extra message...