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Minimum Driving Age in Missouri

Nothing is more exciting to a teenager than finally being able to drive a car. It represents freedom and a step toward adulthood.

Across the globe, over 75% of countries set the minimum driving age at 18. El Salvador, Iceland and the United States are the only countries that have set the minimum age at 16. Here at home, the driving age is regulated by each state. You may sail through Montana at the age of 15, but you’ll have to pump the brakes at the Wyoming border where 16 is the minimum driving age. How did we end up with a minimum driving age, and why is it important?

At the turn of the 20th century, cars were not a part of life for the majority of Americans. The elite owned these newfangled vehicles that were mostly driven by chauffeurs. The need for some regulation existed, however, as local governments saw auto registration as a possible revenue stream and also wanted to hold drivers accountable in an accident. The State of New York was the first state to mandate automobile registration in 1901. Massachusetts and Missouri would be the first states to require a driver’s license in 1803.

Minimum Driving Age in Missouri

When Henry Ford introduced assembly line production in 1913, automobiles soon became affordable and accessible for the masses. The need to standardize car and driver registration was growing. Pennsylvania was the first state to set a firm minimum age for driving at 18. Other states set it between 14-16 years old, as younger teenagers often worked and drove on family farms. In 1921, Connecticut introduced a graduated license program. In 1925, New York created the first learner’s permit.

The federal government held the First National Conference for Street Highway Safety in 1924. This body drafted a basic policy known as the Uniform Vehicle Code with a suggested minimum driving age of 16. It was not law, but most states adopted the model by the mid-1930s. Safer cars and less farm work led to an overhaul of many driver’s license laws across the nation in the early 1990s. Today, all 50 states have a graduated license program consisting of a learner’s permit, restricted phase and full license privileges. The youngest age you can secure a permit is 14 in seven states, and the latest you will earn a full license is 18 years old in fourteen states.

While the Show Me State became one of the first states to require all drivers to have a license, Missouri was one of the later states to require drivers to pass an exam, waiting until 1952 to make it law. The last state to require an exam for drivers was South Dakota in 1959. They were also the last state to require a license to drive in 1954.

Right here in metro St. Louis, residents can obtain their Missouri driver’s permit at age 15 and restricted driving privileges at age 16. With a clean driving record, Missourians earn a full driver’s license at age 18. We’re pretty confident that your teenager cannot wait to get behind the wheel.

When it is time to introduce your teenager to driving, start them off with lessons from the professional and patient instructors at Missouri Driving School. From the first day of their permit through to full license privileges, we navigate teen drivers through the graduated license process. One-on-one training with qualified instructors assures that your teen will learn correct driving techniques in a safe environment. Let us take on the responsibility of teaching your teen to drive. Less stress, better drivers. Schedule a lesson for yourself or your teenager today at (314) 849-4590!

Missouri driving lessons are in session. Call to schedule!(314) 849-4590