The American culture is full of all kinds of family traditions that are handed down from generation to generation. Sunday dinners, family reunions, summer camps, and secrete recipes are some of the most time-honored customs practiced around the country; but one of the most influential and memorable American customs is teaching your teenagers how to drive.
Unfortunately, letting your teenager get behind the wheel of a car may be illegal under certain circumstances, even if it’s just a few innocent laps in an empty parking lot. In fact, many parents and guardians are breaking the law when they first allow their child to drive, all the while, unaware that they are putting themselves at risk of being charged criminally. If your child is still too young, not legally permitted, and uninsured, you could face criminal charges if you allow them to drive.
So before you decide to teach your teenager how to drive, be sure you have all the information you need to stay legal while doing it. After all, it is a time that should be thoroughly enjoyed, and a memory that should be revered. Continue reading to learn 3 tips that will help you make your moment permissible under law.
1. Obtain Legal Driving Certification
If you are teaching your child how to drive before they take a drivers’ education course, be sure to get them legally licensed to drive. Under a certain age, a teenager can receive their Learners’ Permit, which allows them to legally drive as long as there is a licensed adult who is at least 25 years old (varies depending on state) in the vehicle with them at all times. The age limit and requirements for obtaining a learners’ permit varies from state to state. Check with your local DMV for information specific to your city of residence.
For example, In Indiana:
- 15 year olds who are enrolled in a drivers’ education program can obtain a learner’s permit;
- 16 year olds who are NOT enrolled in a drivers’ education program can obtain a learner’s permit;
- Teenagers who are 16 years and 90 days old, and have completed a drivers’ education program, can obtain a probationary drivers’ license;
- Teenagers who are 16 years and 270 days old, and have NOT completed a drivers’ education program, can obtain a probationary drivers’ license;
- An 18 year-old can obtain a full unrestricted driver’s license.
Source: Indiana DMV
2. Get Insurance Coverage
After your teenager is permitted to driver under law, you still need to obtain proper insurance coverage through a valid automotive insurance provider. The policy must be active for it to be legal. Although many states do not require coverage during the learners’ permit phase, it is mandatory everywhere once a provisional license is obtained. Check with your local DMV for specific insurance requirements in your state.
3. Get Your Traffic Laws Straight
The driving laws have changed quite a bit since you learned how to drive, most likely anyway. So before you begin teaching your young one how to drive, be sure to brush up on the current traffic laws. Not only have traffic laws changed, but restrictions for certain types of driving licenses have too. Know all of this information so that you do not pass on inaccurate driving knowledge to your teen driver.