Restrictions on Teen Drivers in Virginia
If youíre a teen who just got your license youíre probably excited and more than ready to start driving on your own. Slow down there, cowboy. Before you drive, know the restrictions on teen driving in Virginia to stay safe and avoid legal penalties.
A full list of restrictions can be found here. This guide serves as asimple overview of everything you need to know as a teenage driver in Virginia.
All men under 26 must allow the DMV to send their information to Selective Service in order to receive their license. Registration to the Selective Service is required by federal law as a prerequisite to holding a drivers permit or license. Those under 18 will need their parent or guardian to sign for registration into the Selective Service.
The DMV is not the only entity that has control of your driverís license if you are a teen. If you are under 18 your parent or legal guardian has the right to withhold your license and also request the DMV suspend your license for 6 months. Stay in constant communication with your parents and know what they want out of you as a driver to prevent your permit or license from needlessly being suspended.
Cell Phones and Other Devices
A lot of teens make a bad habit of talking on the phone while they drive. Some even take this carelessness a step further and text while driving.
Not only does this put yourself and others in danger but it is also against the “law in Virginia”: http://www.dmvcheatsheets.com/dmv/VA-Virginia. For teens all cell phones and even hands free wireless phone devices are strictly prohibited while driving. Even in an emergency you will have to pull over to operate a wireless or cell phone.
Texting is not just banned for teens; it is a primary offense for anyone to text while driving in Virginia. Texting is a dangerous distraction that takes causes countless accidents and takes too many lives every year. Maybe you are the reckless, rebel without a cause type and couldnít care less about endangering yourself and others; if this is the case just think of the damage a texting while driving offense will do to your wallet. The penalties for texting while driving are a $150 fine the first time you are caught and a $250 fine for all subsequent offenses.
Just remember that you are driving a two ton weapon. Anything that takes your complete attention away from driving will increase your chances of making a mistake you will never be able to take back. Driving is a privilege and you have the responsibility to do all that you can to protect the pedestrians and other drivers that share the road.
In Virginia there is a curfew for teenage drivers. If you are under 18 you are not allowed to drivebetween the hours of 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. unless you are:
- Driving to or back home from work
- Driving to or back home from an organized activity, such as an event held by a school or church
- Driving with a guardian or adult acting as a guardian in the passenger seat, who is legally allowed to drive and not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Responding to an emergency, such as taking a family member or friend with an immediate medical problem to the hospital
Violation of curfew will result in license demerits and subsequent offenses may result in license suspension.
Number of Passengers Allowed
If you are under 17 you can drive with no more than 1 passenger in your car. If you are older than 17 but you are younger than 18 you may travel with 3 passengers in your car. Family members donít count. Once you are 18 all limits on passengers are lifted.
Again, remember that driving is a privilege and as a driver it is your responsibility to put a full effort into protecting everyone on the road, including the passengers in your car. Statistically, you are more likely to be involved in a crash when you are driving with passengers than when you are driving alone. Donít let your passengers distract you; remain focused on the road to keep everyone safe.
Driving and Demerits
Drivers under 20 who receive their first demerit are required to attend a course aimed to enhance their skills as a driver. If you do not complete this course with a passing grade within 90 days of your demerit your license will be suspended until the course is finished.
Your second demerit will result in a 90 day suspension of your permit or driverís license. A third demerit point will result in a 1 year suspension or a suspension until you are 18. The DMV will select the option of longest duration.