Getting a driver’s license is one of the biggest status symbols that a teenager can have. It is also considered as a rite of passage for most teens. The fact that the teen is able to go somewhere, without his parents tagging along, is a bonus. Unfortunately, there are some teenagers who can’t wait a few years until it is legal for them to drive and take risks by driving without obtaining a license.
A number of minors drive without taking the necessary procedures to get a driver’s license. These underage teenagers believe that their behavior is thrilling and exciting; however, the decision to drive without gaining the skills and experience necessary to be a safe driver can lead to life-changing consequences. For one, minors can get into an accident that involves property damages or personal injuries. Underage driving without a license can also lead to legal penalties, which may include counseling, probation, community service, and delayed time before getting a driver’s license.
Underage Driving: What Happens When A Teen Gets Caught
When a minor is caught driving without a license, it usually results in a fine, and payment for towing, court fees, and impound fees. If the car is owned by the teen’s parents, the car will still be impounded even if they are not the legal owner. Fines for this offense will depend on which state the minor was caught. Typically, fines can range between $100 and $2,000; however, most states charges around$200. In addition, fees involving towing and impounding can range between $100 and $250. However, the legal fees that the minor needs to pay for may vary from state to state as well.
Minors who get caught driving will also get a record; thus, this will affect the period of time when they can obtain a license once they reach the suitable age to do so. Aside from getting a record, the minor might also spend six months up to a year in a juvenile corrections facility; however, in some cases, minors will only need to serve a few hours of community service. In addition, parents might also get charged for negligence because they allowed their underage teen to drive their vehicle.
Get A Learner’s Permit For Underage Teens
Before a teen reaches the age of 18, he can get a learner’s permit or provisional license. This permit allows the underage teen to drive with the condition that an adult or parent must be in the car with them. Getting a learner’s permit can be very exciting for both the teen and his parents. This represents a step towards independence of minors, and it provides the parents with more freedom. Here are some of the requirements for getting this permit.
- The teen must be around 15 years old for him to be eligible for this permit.
- The learner’s permit application must be co-signed by a parent or guardian.
- The teen must submit some proof of identity and age, social security number, lawful status, and proof of ineligibility.
- Passing a vision screening and knowledge test is a necessity before one can obtain a learner’s permit.
- While driving, the minor with this permit must be guided by a qualified driver who is around 21 years of age or older. In addition, the supervising driver must also have a license for a minimum of 3 years, and he/she must be seated at the passenger seat.
It is vital for parents and guardians to educate their children regarding the licensing laws and road rules. Underage teens must understand the legal consequences and penalties for driving without a license. If a child ever gets caught with this offense, it is best for parents to seek the help of a lawyer and a bail bonds company.
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The author, Kris Lim, is a blogger for law and Costa Mesa bail bonds websites. She offers information about the consequences and penalties for underage driving without a license. She also provides information about the learner’s permit which is an excellent option for parents and teens.