Driving Restrictions for Teenagers in California

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by Joshua on March 10, 2014
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With the increasing number of road accidents every year in California, the statistics have shown that almost 50% or more of the accidents happened are involved with the teenagers. The reason is very simple —rash driving, inexperienced driving, texting and driving or mere negligence. Whatever the reason may be, it is very risky to let your teenagers drive without understanding the implications of it. Hence, California State has enforced strict restrictions on the teenagers’ driving.

California DMV

California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is a private organization which assists the public in getting their drivers license through various stages of approval. They are present in many locations throughout the state. The DMV helps in various processes like filling out the application process, taking your pictures for the Driver’s License ID cards, conducting eye examination for approving your license, distributing the driver’s handbook used for referring to various rules and regulations including the sample test details and questions for attending driver license tests, conducting the written tests, conducting behind the wheels test, and many more. Besides this, California DMV also collects and verifies your legal documents to ensure your legal presence in the state. California DMV enforces certain restrictions for obtaining your learner’s permit as well as the permanent Drivers license. Explore more about California DMV rules and restrictions from the official DMV website here :

Learner’s Permit Restrictions

  • The teenager is never allowed to learn driving or drive on their own until they are qualified and get their permanent driver’s license. Hence, they should always be accompanied by a legal guardian, an instructor or one of their parents sitting beside them in the passenger seat.
  • If you are trying to drive with the help of an instructor or a trainer, then he should be sitting with you in the front passenger seat and must have the steering and brake controllers with him. Besides this, parent or guardian can also accompany your instructor.
  • All passengers including the driver must be using the firmly installed seat belt for safety when the teenager is driving the vehicle.
  • You should be accompanied by a qualified trainer at all times during and this is a very strict restriction.
  • Teenagers are banned from using their cell phones either for texting or talking. They are not even allowed to use their hands free while driving. Not just phones, other electronic devices including iPod, ipad or laptops are also not allowed to be used when driving.

Driver’s License Permit Restrictions

This restriction is applicable for the initial 6 months after you get the driver license and will be allowed to drive only with a certified instructor, a parent or a guardian sitting in the passenger seat just as in driving while you are on the learner’s permit . However make sure that the adult passenger sitting beside you should hold a valid California driver’s license. Also, the instructor who is training the teenager should be at least 20 years of age holding a valid driver’s license for California State and has been holding the driver’s license for at least 4 years without getting any suspension infractions from DMV or any other authorized body since last 4 years.

For the next 6 months you may drive with your parents, guardians or instructor or even your brothers or sisters above 20 years of age.

When you are less than 18 years of age, you should not be driving between 11PM in the night to 5 AM in the early morning. However, there may be certain exemptions applied to this where in all the teenage drivers are free to drive on their own in case you are going to school and have no means of public transport, in case of medical necessity, for employment, if you need to attend any religious activities, school events, etc. Until you reach the age of 18 years and above, all teenagers should use the permanently installed seat belts. Above all, you should never text and drive or call when you are driving. You are not even allowed to use your hands free or laptops or any video devices while driving.

Other Restrictions

Teenagers with ages 16-17 years who wish to drive their motorcycles for the first 6 months are not allowed to accompany any passengers with them. Besides this, they will not be allowed to drive any public service vehicle, vanpool vehicle or commercial vehicles. Any other teenagers above 18 years are not allowed to accompany passengers for the first 3 months.

All these restrictions are clearly endorsed in your Driver’s license. For example, one of the restrictions will read as First 12 months of your license tenure, you may not drive with passengers below 20 years of age and should not drive between 11 PM and 5 AM without having an adult passenger carrying valid Driver’s license.

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