Teen Driving Laws in Louisiana
It’s no secret that teens, being new drivers, are more likely to get into accidents than drivers over the age of 25. As such, the driving laws for teens in Louisiana differ from the laws for those over 18 and, in some cases, over 21.
Cell Phone Use Laws for Teen Drivers
Texting and driving is a huge issue across the country, along with cell phone use and driving in general. In Louisiana, these are the laws for teens when it comes to using cell phones while driving:
- Drivers 18 and under can’t use cell phones at all while driving. For drivers under 18, this enforcement is “primary,” meaning that they can be stopped solely for using a phone while driving.
- Drivers 18 and under caught using a cell phone while driving will face both tickets and license suspensions.
- Drivers 18 and older can’t be stopped for cell phone use alone, but they can be ticketed for cell phone use if they’re stopped for another offense.4
- Drivers over 18 can talk on the phone while driving, but they can’t text or use social media while driving.5
Teens don’t get the same types of licenses as everyone else. Rather, they get a Class E (intermediate) license. To receive a Class E license, you must:
- Be 16 or older
- Have had a learner’s permit for at least 180 days
- Have completed at least 50 hours of behind-the-wheel driving instruction with a licensed parent, guardian, or adult 21 or older (15 of which must be nighttime driving)
- Pass a behind-the-wheel skills test as well as a vision test
The Class E license comes with these restrictions, among others:
- You can’t drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless you’re accompanied by a licensed parent, guardian, or driver at least 21 years old, or a licensed sibling at least 18 years old.
- You can’t transport more than one passenger under the age of 21 unless there’s a 21-year-old licensed driver in the car, or if the passenger is immediate family, between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m.
To upgrade their licenses from a Class E, teens must get the signature of a custodial parent.6