So your teen has turned 15 and 6 months and wants to drive. What to do now. The truth is that since every family is different, each will decide whether or not their child is ready to handle the responsibility at any age. But when the family has decided to begin the process we find many do not understand the steps, so we are going to lay them out for you.

A teen under the age of 18 years will be obtaining a Graduated Driver’s License. This means that there are certain requirements and restrictions associated with their driving privileges. An applicant for a graduated license must first obtain a Learner’s Permit. This is done by preparing for and passing a written test. Study the Driver’s Manual and when they feel ready, we encourage them to take some quizzes online to get a feel for the type of questions they will be asked. Next, they need to go to the MVD office with a parent or legal guardian who will sign the application. This person assumes legal responsibility for driving conduct of minor and needs to be the same person who will also sign again when applying for driver’s license. They will pay he fee and present the necessary identification documents, which are listed in Driver’s Manual and on MVD’s website.  Don’t worry you have 3 attempts in 1 year to pass. More than that, you simply pay the fee again. After you pass the test and pay the fee, they will take your picture and issue the permit that day.

Now it’s time for driver’s training. While holding a Learner’s Permit, a minor must accumulate a minimum of 30 hours of supervised, behind the wheel practice, 10 hours of which must be at night. This practice may be done with a driving school, or an adult 21 years or older licensed driver who must sit in the front seat, or a combination of both. Teens may not apply for their license until they have held the permit a minimum of 6 months. The Learner’s Permit is valid for 1 year and can be renewed without re-taking the test if renewed before it expires. I say this to take the pressure off the parent and give the new driver enough time to feel they are ready to handle the serious responsibility of driving independently.

Once they’re ready, the applicant goes to the MVD, with the same person who signed the Permit application, to take the behind the wheel driving test. The supervising adult will sign an affidavit indicating that the applicant has met the minimum requirements. If they pass, the minor is issued his Graduated Driver’s License. This license is issued with restrictions for the first 6 months. They are listed in the Driver’s Manual.

Well, there you have it. Don’t forget we offer behind the wheel, driver’s training. We hope this information is helpful. As always, if you found this article helpful, leave us a note on out contact form or facebook page, thanks. Next month we will be offering tips for practicing with your teen. See you then!