Delaware

Highway safety laws differ from state to state. The summary information here can be used to compare laws in specific categories. We monitor legislative changes and update this information as needed.

RESTRICTIONS ON CELLPHONE USE AND TEXTING
Hand-held ban all drivers
Young drivers all cellphone ban learner's permit and intermediate license holders
Texting ban all drivers
Enforcement primary
MAXIMUM POSTED SPEED LIMITS
Rural interstates (mph) 65
Urban interstates (mph) 55
Other limited access roads (mph) 65
Other roads (mph) 55
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
To get a learners license you must:
Have a minimum age of 161
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Before getting a license or restricted license you must:
Have a mandatory holding period of 6 months1
Have a minimum supervised driving time of 50 hours, 10 of which must be at night1
Have a minimum age of 16, 6 months1
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Restrictions during intermediate or restricted license stage:
Nighttime restrictions 10 p.m.-6 a.m.1
Passenger restrictions

(family members excepted unless otherwise noted)
no more than 1 passenger1
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Minimum age at which restrictions may be lifted:
Nighttime restrictions 6 months or the issuance of a class D license (min. age: 17)
Passenger restrictions 6 months or the issuance of a class D license (min. age: 17)
REGULAR LICENSING RENEWAL CYCLE
Length of regular renewal cycle 8 years
OLDER DRIVER SPECIAL LICENSING PROVISIONS
Accelerated renewal none
Other provisions none
CHILD RESTRAINTS
Must be in child restraint 7 years and younger and less than 66 pounds2
Adult safety belt permissible 8 through 15 years or 66+ pounds2
Maximum fine 1st offense $25
Seating preference children 11 years and younger and 65 inches or less must be in rear seat if passenger airbag is active2
Children not covered all children covered
SAFETY BELT USE
Initial effective date 01/01/92
Standard enforcement? yes; effective 06/30/03
Who is covered? In what seats? 16+ years in all seats
Maximum fine 1st offense $25
Can nonuse decrease monetary awards for injuries in lawsuits? no
MOTORCYCLE HELMET USE
Motorcyclists covered 18 and younger3
BICYCLE HELMET USE
Covered by state law 17 and younger
PICKUP TRUCKS: RESTRICTIONS ON RIDING IN CARGO AREAS
Restrictions on riding in cargo areas no state law
Gaps in coverage no state law
LOW-SPEED VEHICLES
On which roads are low-speed vehicles permitted? roads, other than dual highways in unincorporated areas, where the posted speed limit is 35 mph or less
What is the top speed permissible for low-speed vehicles? 25 mph
AUTOMATED ENFORCEMENT: RED LIGHT CAMERAS
Statewide or only specified locations? statewide
Violations red light
Citations issued to whom? registered owner
Who is liable? owner
What image is taken? 2 or more images of the vehicle
Traditional enforcement penalty $75-$230 fine
Auto enforcement penalties/record $110 maximum fine; not a record or conviction offense; not to be used by insurers

1In Delaware, a driver education student does not need a permit to drive with a driver education instructor. After completing the on-road requirements of driver education, a driver education student who is at least 15 years, 10 months may apply for a Driver Education Learner's Permit, which allows the student to drive while supervised by an experienced driver. Upon completion of driver education, and if the student passes both the road and written tests, the student receives a Level 1 permit that for the first six months allows driving only while supervised. There also is a passenger restriction during the first six months of the Level 1 permit. No more than one passenger (family members excepted) is permitted in addition to the supervising driver. The Level 1 permit for the second six months is the equivalent of an intermediate license. During that period, holders may drive unsupervised between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. and may only carry one passenger. Applicants for a driver's license who are younger than 18 must have held a Driver Education Learner's Permit and/or a Level 1 permit for at least 12 months. Driver education is required for all license applicants younger than 18.

2In Delaware, children younger than 12 and 65 inches or less must be restrained in a rear seat if a vehicle has a passenger airbag unless the airbag has been either deactivated or designed to accommodate smaller people. Exceptions: no rear seat or rear seat occupied by other children younger than 12 and 65 inches or less.

3In Delaware, every motorcycle operator or rider age 19 and older must carry an approved helmet.