Delaware Driving Laws
- Driving in the state of Delaware is a serious responsibility and thus subject to a number of laws regarding licensure, vehicle insurance and registration and proper driving. Failing to comply with any driving-related law can create a number of potential consequences, including hefty fines, temporary loss of driving privileges and, in serious cases, even jail time. Understanding basic Delaware driving laws is a crucial step before hitting the road.
Basic Licensing Laws
- To legally drive in Delaware, you must have an operator's license or learner's permit. No one under the age of 16 can get a learner's permit in Delaware; drivers under 18 also must complete a state-approved educational course and have a parent or legal guardian's signature.
All drivers, regardless of age, must also insure any vehicles they own. Additionally, new residents to Delaware have 60 days to turn in their former state's driver's license and obtain a Delaware-issued one.
Reckless Driving Laws
- Reckless driving is considered a serious motor vehicle offense in the state of Delaware and can lead to a number of possible penalties, including jail time. Delaware state code does not specify what speeds or manners of driving constitute reckless driving but notes that it is a "willful or wanton disregard for safety of persons or property."
As of 2010, someone convicted of first-time reckless driving will pay a fine of $100 to $300. He may also be sentenced to serve 10 to 30 days in jail. Those convicted of another reckless driving offense within a three-year period will likely pay a fine of $300 to $1,000 and be sentenced to serve 30 to 60 days in jail. Delaware state law notes that only first-time reckless driving offenders are eligible to receive suspended jail sentences. A suspended jail sentence would enable the convicted person to not actually spend time in jail as long as he demonstrates law-abiding behavior in the future.
Cell Phone Laws
- As of 2010, Delaware driving laws regarding cell phone use while operating a vehicle primarily deal with minors. If a person under the age of 18 is caught using a cell phone or similar communication device while driving, her driving privileges will be suspended for one month. Subsequent offenses will result in suspension of the teenager's driver's license for three months. Exceptions can be made for provable emergency situations. A minor whose license is suspended for cell phone use while driving will also be required to pay a $25 license reinstatement fee.