What Is the Legal Age to Drive in America?

The legal driving age varies by state. The minimum age for learners permits ranges from 14 to 16. The minimum age for full drivers licenses ranges from 16 to 21, according to About.com.

Student drivers begin with a learners permit, which requires a fully licensed driver to remain in the car while the student drives. A year or two later, the student may apply for a restricted license, which allows freedom to drive on his own, but only during certain times of the day, notes About.com. Idaho, Montana and South Dakota allow drivers to seek unrestricted licenses at 16, with most other states requiring an age of 16.5, 17 or 18. The District of Columbia is the only state that requires drivers to be 21 for an unrestricted license.