The STANDUP Act ~ S. 528/H.R. 1515






The Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection Act (also called the STANDUP Act) was introduced in the U.S. Senate on March 9, 2011 by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and in the U.S. House of Representatives on April 14, 2011 by Representatives Tim Bishop (D-NY) and Randy Hultgren (R-IL).

This legislation would establish minimum federal requirements for state GDL laws and encourage all states to adopt GDL laws that meet those minimum requirements within 3 years.

For 3 years following enactment of the STANDUP Act, states with the minimum GDL requirements would receive grants to help them with GDL education and enforcement.

For states that don't comply with the STANDUP Act minimum requirements within three years, the Secretary of Transportation would withhold a percentange of certain federal highway construction program funds. Funds that are withheld would be returned to states that comply within 3 fiscal years following the fiscal year for which funds were withheld. Withheld funds that are not recovered by a state within the 3-year period would be forteited and returned to the U.S. Treasury.

Here is an overview of the STANDUP Act:

States must meet the following requirements under the STANDUP Act:

Three stages of licensing – learner’s permit, intermediate stage, and full licensure – should be used

Age 16 should be the earliest age for entry into the learner’s permit process

Nighttime driving while unsupervised should be restricted during the learner’s permit and intermediate stages, until full licensure at age 18

Driving while using communication devices (cell phone calls, texting) should be prohibited at least until full licensure at age 18

Unrestricted, full licensure should occur no earlier than age 18

Passengers should be restricted – no more than one non-familial passenger under age 21 unless a licensed driver over age 21 is in the vehicle – until full licensure at age 18


Any other requirement adopted by the Secretary of Transportation, such as a minimum duration of 6 months and a minimum of 30 hours of supervised driving for a learner’s permit, may be included

Compliance with the requirements within the first three years after enactment will make states eligible for incentive grants

Three years are provided for states to meet the requirements, after which sanctions are imposed to encourage states to meet the requirements


Summary of Provisions in the STANDUP Act


Fact Sheets About the STANDUP Act


Current List of Co-Sponsors of the STANDUP Act


Current State Graduated Driver Licensing Laws
Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) chart on U.S. Licensing Systems for Young Drivers


A History of Success for Federal Laws on Highway Safety