Using a Parent-Teen Driving Contract to Assist in Passing the Drivers Test

by Joshua on August 05, 2013

While the use of a contract is not mandatory in any Department of Motor Vehicles for minors to receive a learners permit or license, many states are urging parents and teens to utilize this excellent study tool for passing the DMV tests. Teen drivers are five times more likely to be involved in an accident while driving and many of these are fatal, accounting for the largest numbers of deaths under the age of 18 in the United States. Many of these accidents main cause is inexperience and nervousness behind the wheel.

Inexperienced drivers make rash and often bad decisions when faced with an emergency situation. Some panic and traffic laws and regulations are forgotten in a moment of pressure leading to accidents. Study guides such as cheat sheets listed on are excellent resources for learning materials necessary not only to pass the written tests and road skills exams but can double as a guide for road time practice. Each states rules and traffic situations vary, so cheat sheets are designed to give parents and teens state specific information. In addition each state produces its own specific Handbook listing detail need-to-know driving information.

Once parents and teens have gathered all of the essential information, having a plan to use the materials successfully is essential for correctly answering test questions found on written skills evaluations. Further research will find that many helpful articles guide new drivers through the road skills portions of testing and offer tips and tricks for behind the wheel training. These articles will give both parent and teen a clear perspective of what to expect during the testing processes and how to prepare for a passing score on the first try.

A Parent-teen driving contract has many uses and can be the backbone of proper driving training. Teens will begin to develop driving habits the minute they are first behind the wheel of a car so it is important to assure your preparing them to be the best driver possible on hazard-filled roadways. The contract can be designed completely from scratch or parents can use one of the many pre-designed templates available online as a guide for writing out the contract. Its purpose to develop clear guidelines, limitations and rules regarding the drivers license process and allow the teen to work with parents as a team to achieve the goal. The contract can also act as a way to open dialog about the drivers license process and begin the conversations necessary to make this exciting and challenging time as useful as possible.

Using a Preset template or From Scratch Contract

The decision to use a preset template or generate the contract from scratch is simply a matter of parent preference. The contract is not mandatory so there are no specific requirements for the Department of Motor Vehicles that need to be fulfilled. The contract needs to be specific to both parent and teen driver needs and as unique as the driving experience itself.

  • Parents can find many pre-made templates available online. These can be printed out and used as the contract if the parent feels it will suit the situation exactly as is written or downloaded and modified. Parent-teen contract templates can be found listed online by some specific state Department of Motor Vehicles websites and even available for download in PDF format straight from the page. In addition, such companies as the American Academy of Pediatrics and AAA insurance have produced free pre-made contracts for use.
  • The parent-teen driving contract can also be created from scratch using a computer and is the ideal way to generate a specific set of rules for the unique situation.

What should be included in the contract?

There are two main goals for generating a parent-teen contract; assisting the new driver in preparing to successfully pass the written and driving tests and teaching those essential skills for safe driving. The following aspect should be listed in a proper contract:

  • Rules and game plans for study time- Allotting specific time to read through the driver’s handbook and cheat sheets is important for successful studying. Set a designated time of day the teen must devote to study materials including the length of time for study. The parent should also agree to devote a specific amount of time to assisting in the learning process.
  • List the plan of action for practice- Using cheat sheets as a guide; map out what aspects will be covered in order while practicing on roadways with a learners permit. Have both parent and teen agree that they will not move onto a new concept until the first has been successfully completed. Concepts should include where the teen may drive and during what time of day. Also include a portion of practice for night driving when states require it for a driver’s log.
  • List out the Rules of Driving Practice- These can include such concepts as when and where the teen will be allowed to practice. The agreement should also state that the teen agrees to follow state rules and never drive without the supervising adult. If the parent sees fit them may also add self-testing as a rule for this section. The teen driver must pass a practice test before being permitted to continue on with the next topic behind the wheel.
  • Additional rules specific to the situation may be added such as grades, homework completion before driving and safety concerns.
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