‘Gilmore Girls’: Did Anyone Notice That Rory Was Too Young to Drive in Season 1?

Gilmore Girls main character, Rory Gilmore, was presented, at least in the early seasons of the show, as a compulsive rule follower. Rory, according to her mother, Lorelai Gilmore, was racked with guilt anytime she so much as lied as a child. Strangely enough, though, Rory was willing to break a major law during season 1 of the show, and no one ever talked about it.

Rory drove to school alone in Season 1 of Gilmore Girls

In Season 1, episode 4, Rory was having a difficult time acclimating to life at Chilton. At Stars Hollow High, she was the smartest kid in school, but that wasn’t the case at Chilton. The course material was particularly challenging, and Rory was having a difficult time catching up.

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To help her out, Lorelai stayed up with Rory to study for a big exam. They spent so much time studying that Rory woke up late and didn’t have enough time to get to school if she had taken the public bus. In a moment of desperation, Lorelai tossed Rory the keys to the car and sent her on the way. There is one big problem with the premise. Rory was not old enough to drive alone.  

You must be 16 years old to obtain a license in the state of Connecticut

While some states allow new drivers to obtain a license before they turn 16, Connecticut is not one of those states. According to the State of Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles, an applicant must turn 16 before they apply for a learner’s permit. The holder of a permit may not drive alone. They must be accompanied by a passenger with a license.

Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore and Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore
Rory Gilmore and Lorelai Gilmore in ‘Gilmore Girls’ | Warner Bros./Delivered by Online USA

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In order for a permit holder to obtain a license, they must complete 40 hours of training. They are required to have their permit for at least 120 days before applying for a license. In short, Rory was not even old enough to have a learner’s permit, let alone a driver’s license when she drove to school in season 1.

Rory turned 16 later in Season 1 of Gilmore Girls

Lorelai may have told a passerby that Rory was 16 in the pilot episode of the series, but that wasn’t exactly true. Rory didn’t turn 16 until the sixth episode of season 1, which was two episodes after she was hit by a deer in Lorelai’s Jeep on the way to her big test.

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Assuming Rory began school in late August, the deer incident likely occurred in September. According to Lorelai, Rory was born at 4:03 in the morning on October 8, 1984. That means she was just 15 when she was driving, alone In the middle of Hartford, CT.