What Is a Provisional License?

States that use graduated driver's licensing systems use the provisional license as the license stage after the learner's permit but before the unrestricted driver's license Although the age for this stage of licensing depends on the state, it is usually designed for drivers between the ages of 16 and 18 years old. Although teens will be able to drive alone unlike with a learner's permit, they still have some restrictions that unrestricted licensed drivers do not have.

Before getting their provisional licenses, drivers must have had their learner's permit, passed the driving test and completed the state's driving experience requirements. After getting their provisional licenses, drivers must follow their state's restrictions. Some of these dictate what hours they can drive and what ages the people in the car must be.