Licensing Changes Could Get More Kids into Driver's Ed

May 19, 2015

Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) hopes new changes to Indiana's driver licensing laws will get more teens into driver's education classes.
Credit Courtesy / Indiana House Republicans

Hoosier teenagers who take driver’s education classes will be able to get their license a little sooner under legislation set to take effect in July.  The bill’s author hopes the change will incentivize more young people to go take driver training courses.

Under current law, teens who don’t take driver’s education can get their license at 16 years, nine months old, while teens who do take driver’s ed can get their license three months earlier, at 16 and a half. 

Valparaiso Republican Representative Ed Soliday’s legislation puts a little more separation between those two groups, allowing teens who complete driver’s ed to get their license at 16 years, three months old.

“A lot of kids are now waiting and not taking driver training and a lot of kids – the demographics have shifted – are waiting and not doing anything until they’re 18 and so the death and accident rate is falling into that group,” Soliday said.

He adds that accident data is also behind another change his bill makes. 

Teen drivers are currently required to complete at least 50 hours of supervised driving before getting their license, and the supervisor can be any licensed driver who’s at least 25 years old. 

Now, the person supervising a teen driver must be at least 25 and related to the teenager, whether by blood, marriage, or legal status.