Updated: Wednesday, 05 Dec 2012, 8:52 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 05 Dec 2012, 8:51 PM EST
HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- There are some big changes at the DMV for adults who are learning to drive for the first time. They now need to get learner's permits regardless of their age.
It was not a normal day at the DMV as something was about to be declared unbeknownst to those waiting and waiting in line.
"We are here to announcement a major change, the first of its kind in 106 years," DMV Commissioner Melody Currey said.
Right now if you're 18 or older, you can take a test and get your license, sans a learner's permit, but 2013 will bring a new change. New drivers must get the permit, just as 16 and 17-year-olds have been doing since 1997.
"The stats have come in, and as shown, that fatalities have dropped drastically, that accidents have dropped drastically, that is why we passed this legislation," Democratic Rep. of the 29th District Tony Guerrera said.
The DMV says this will impact about 30-thosuand people a year. Now you might think the majority of these people might be 18-years-old but the DMV says that is not the case, only a third of drivers getting a license are 18 or 19 and the rest are older than that.
Highlights of this new rule include permits must be held a minimum of 90 days, a driver must take a 25 question test for the permit, as well as a vision test. There is also a mandatory eight hour driving course at a cost of $125 dollars.
"This change puts safety first," Currey said.
Those waiting in line never heard the announcement because it was held at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford. The reason is because leaders and doctors say part of this policy is based on public health.
"Our goal, along with that of other agencies, is to prevent crashes from happening in the first place," Dr. David Shapiro of St. Francis Hospital said.
"This new regulation, an adult learners permit, will provide three months of supervised driving. It has worked enormously well for new teen drivers, and we have every reason to believe that it will work for more experienced and new drivers," Garry Lapidus of Hartford Hospital said.