40 answers

Drivers Permit for My 15 1/2 Year Old

I'm just starting the move into action to get my son a driving permit. I'm nervous for his safety, but he's perfectly capable of driving. He's a bit cocky though, that's what worries me. Anyway, am I right to assume he needs a driver's training course even before he gets his permit? Anyone else have kids taking driver's ed? What are the steps to take?
It's funny, he hasn't really been bothering us about it, my husband spurred him into action making comments like, "I can't believe you are not bothering us about wanting to drive, I bugged my parents on my 15th birthday".
It's like he wants my son to drive. How funny.
Personally, I don't like the sounds of having to pay for insurance and another car. But we already have two extra vehicles so why not? We tried selling our other cars but no one wanted to pay us what we felt they were worth, so we decided since the kids are 14 and 15 maybe we should just hang on to them for a while longer. But talk about auto insurance!!! whoa! We's goin' broke!

Any advice?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

This was awesome advice! Wow how a class will help ease my worries. At least I'll know he's had all the proper pitches. He's a very smart kid, so I know he'll do well, he thinks he knows it all, and sometimes he really does, but he's a good listener, so a class will definitely help instill what i want him to know. At this age, it's so much more helpful when someone else teaches them something, than if I try to. They want to tune me out like I'm a bag of hot wind. hahahah Yesterday he went to the doctor's office, and I let the doctor tell him about his health and why it's important to drink water, and keep clean etc... It backs me up better than anything. Now he knows I'm not making it up just to nag him. ;)
Teens aren't as bad as they say. :) Thanks for the help!

More Answers

Dear V., well... it looks like you & I are in the same boat to say the least.
Why can't schools teach Driver's ed like when we were in school? I had my driver's license at 16, & that was since at the time they taught these classes in high school, so #1, it was economical for our parents, and #2 was convenient for all.
I have three children ( 19-17 & 13) I paid (a fortune) for my older boy to take these classes,( he was 16) successfully he passed the class. My daughter who will be 18 in April has been bugging me about it, she feels I'm not giving her the "equal treaty" when it comes to this subject. Finally, after all the crying & feeling like the victim, her stepfather registered her for these classes, considering her B-Day is coming up....She starts her first class at 7:45 am on February 9th, but now she's like "why so early, that means I can't stay out late Friday night". She wants to learn, she's gotta give up something is my philosophy. As for the insurance, i think that should be something to worry about after the kids actually get their driver license, in the mean time have your kids in the driver's seat & pray to God you have enough patience.... I know I will do that.
Good Luck!
DGrosso

If he is not bothering you about driving you should just leave it like that. My daughter started driving at 151/2 and you are right about the insurance though someone advice us to give her the oldest car we have and let her drive it for 2 years before buyiong her a new car.Also if he has a good grade you can get discount for that too. goodluck..

HI V.!
I totally understand what you're going through. My 15 and a half year old step daughter is starting to go through the same thing. I don't have a lot of advice, but I do know that when the children are on the honor roll the insurance is cheaper. My parents made me pay for my own insurance if I wasn't on the honor roll. Helped on two fronts. Made me keep my grades up (which helped me get into a good college) and saved them money. Shop around with insurance companies. A lot are cheaper than others. Also something that my husband and I found out when we were working on keeping our insurance costs down is actually calculating your annual miles. If you're not driving as much as you think you are you can tell your insurance company and sometimes it actually saves you money. It saved us 150.00 a month! Good luck!
A.

Hi V.! I have a daughter who is also 15 1/2 & we just finished the (tedious) process to get her a learner's permit or as the DMV calls it, a provisional license. The most efficient way to go through this process is: First, go to your state's DMV web site, click "How to apply for a provisional permit if you are under 18". Print this & follow it word for word! Second: You must obtain an original application form from the DMV and get you & your husband's signature. Third: Your son must be enrolled in an approved behind the wheel driver training program before you show up at the DMV. Forth: Once he has his permit, notify your insurance company to add him on your policy. I have AAA insurance, we do not pay anything until the day she turns 16 years, regardless if she has her license by then. So, at least you have a 6 month reprieve!

Good luck!

From a mom of a 17 1/2 boy, who does not drive & 15 1/2 girl Whewww!!!
K.

Hi V.,

My daughter just finished the driver's ed course in Rancho Cucamonga (All star driving School). She went for four Saturdays. I highly suggest this and I believe the DMV highly recommends this also. We waited till she was 16 before we enrolled her in the course just to be sure she was a little more mature. Friday the 15th she will have her restricted license then we are enrolling her in drivers training so that she can get the correct training on parallel parking and other things that we will not show her because we have been driving so long. In driver's ed they showed them a gross movie on driving under the influence it made an impact on my daughter. Good luck we are both entering in a new phase in our kids. Just know that I will also be biting my nails also! I.

My son has been driving since last year, he is 17 now, I feel I've been a good driver example. That's one thing I notice about him too that he drives like I do. Now keep in mind that I've been the only parent in his life so he has only seen me driving on a daily basis. I've driven with him and his friends and he drives the same whether I'm in the car or just with his friends. He was the one who approched me though, he took Driver's Ed Class on his own when he finished he asked me about driving the car....I think you should wait till he asks, don't rush him, it comes natural, he'll ask when he is ready. Remember my boy was 16, wait till he is 16 too maybe he'll do the same. He might not be mature enough yet, but things change within months specially with teens! Hope this helps you decide, take good care.

Weather or not he needs drivers ed depends on your state. I would highly it, as well as starting him as soon as possible. If/when he gets his permit and eventually his license, spend lots of time driving with him until you feel he is ready to be on his own. The more he drives, the more experience he will have. I know kids who still don't have their license and they are over 18, and their parents still have to drive them around. I can't help but think that if they had started earlier, they would be experienced drivers by now. Also, most states have different kinds of licenses (here is is called a provisional license) which restrict who can and can't be in the car with new drivers and the hours which they are allowed to be on the road. e.g. Not between 11pm and 5am and only family members in the car. If you don't feel that your states restrictions are strict enough, you can impose your own until you feel he is ready. I strongly beleive that parents need to provide as much experience as possible for their children to become responsible, safe drivers.

I also hung onto an old car for my daughter to drive. The insurance wasn't that much more, about $60/month.

Hello,
We just went through the permit process this past summer for our daughter. It's funny that my husband is eager for her to drive as well (although she's been pushing us as well). We heard that the online driver's ed courses aren't that comprehensive and don't allow them to interact with other teens to learn real life tips. We found a school that did classes for Thursday, Friday, Monday and Tuesday (day or evening depending on whether or not regular school is in session or not) and then 3 behind the wheel training sessions. They were reasonably priced and came with recommendations from several people we knew. She took the classes with 2 friends and learned a lot and has completed 2 driving sessions. They recommend reserving the last sesson until right before the driving test at the DMV. We have been practicing with her since.
Insurance is a big deal. We had AAA but our rates would have increased almost triple to add her, so we changed. Many companies do not charge while they have only a permit and then they add them on once they have the real license. For this reason, we are keeping our daughter in the permit stage for the full year allowed to give her extra practice and to keep insurance down. We are not in the position to provide her a car anyway, so it works for all of us.
Good luck!
M.

Hi V.,

Strap on the seat belt and take some valium! (Just kidding--a stiff couple of drinks should be enough!)

I started teaching my son to drive on his 15th birthday. I took him to a big, empty parking lot and started him out on simple maneuvers like starting the car, putting it into gear, moving forward, braking, staying w/in the lines, etc., slowly graduating to turns, reversing, etc. Then, I got him professional driving lessons--lots of time behind the wheel is the key to safety and success. Most insurance companies give you a discount if your child takes on-the-road professional lessons (and it can be less nerve-racking for you). Also, they will give you a discount for your son being a good student. This can save you several hundred dollars each year, and is good incentive for your son to maintain good grades. We told our son that his driving privileges would be revoked if he couldn't get the discount.

Something else to keep in mind -- most driver education courses require class instruction. Many companies will allow your son to complete this online, sometimes at a lesser cost. It's easier for you, since you don't have to drive him anywhere, and it can be easier for him since he can take the course as his schedule allows (some teens are so busy!). BTW, the on-the-road part of the class could not begin until the class time requirement was fulfilled.

It was really important for us that our son be able to get his license when he turned 16, which he did on his first attempt. My husband had to spend that year studying out of the country and I was going to be staying with him for the first month right after our son got his license. Our son, however, was staying home with relatives so as not to miss school and he needed to be able to provide his own transportation. Later in that year, it was very helpful to have him driving to help with picking up our younger daughter and running an occasional errand. It also gave him much greater freedom. Fortunately, we trusted our son's judgment and sense of responsibility -- he's always been a very analytical and careful kid. He did get one speeding ticket, though, at a speed trap. We could have fought it but HE even felt that he deserved the ticket, the fine and the sentence (restricted license for one month, which was difficult for everyone!) -- now, at 18, he tells me to slow down and be more careful! ;-)

BTW, do be ready for minor fender benders during the learning process and handle them calmly. My son took a slow right turn too close to a gate post and smashed in the passenger side door within a few weeks of getting his permit. He felt terrible and swore that he was never going to drive again. I told him I was upset about the door, but that I'd done the same thing myself (he was driving my big fat minivan at the time) and then made him drive with me for the rest of our errands so he could regain his confidence. Yes, I was pretty shaken up, too, but I didn't want him to know that!

I myself have a 15 1/2 yr old daughter to has been harrassing me night and day to drive!! I totally trust her, but am not feeling the same about other drivers. Not everyone is as responsible as we try to make our kids. But how long can we really prolong it?! Its best to get them out there and experienced as soon as possible, so they are good, responsible drivers. As for insurance, I thought about the same thing!! My deal is, she has to get a job and at least pay for that part of it. This way she learns how money is made and spent on "grown up" things, and I dont have to pay it!! Works for me!!

V.: There is a whole legal process in getting a permit and a youthful driver's license. Check with school/DMV, they have plenty of information. If your son isn't excited about driving, don't push it. My son really wasn't interested in driving, since we lived so close to school and was very involved with extracirricular activities. Not to scare you, but male teen drivers are the most dangerous/costly to insure. Remind your husband that things have changed a bit since he was 15, so back off. When he's ready to drive he'll come to you. My son waited until he was 18, since the teen driving restrictions aren't worth the hassle these days.

My son was all over us about getting his permit etc. While my daughter was content with not really wanting to put the extra responsibility on herself. In California, you need to take drivers training prior to applying for a permit. After the permit is achieved then the same school starts taking kids out to have a certain number of driving hours during day and night, mountain roads and highway etc. When they turn 16 they can apply for a license which is provisional until I think 18. So, my advice is don't push, but I wanted my kids to drive for 2 years before college. Contact DMV and they will give you correct info. By the way my son was cocky as well but the driving instructor did corrective behavior. It was great! Good luck.

Hi V.,
I think a driver's education class is the best thing to do. Your son should know all about safety and the correct way to drive. When I was young, I did that through the school I went to and it was a great three weeks of learning. After I passed and got my license my parents allowed me to drive to the grocery store to pick up milk, etc. Maturity is a big thing and I would maybe do something like that for him until you feel confident that he is careful driving because there is a lot at stake.

at 15 no matter how much i said i was ready to drive I WAS NOT! i think its too young, but you can use it to your advantage giving a littlt at a time. yes drivers ed class..

My daughter is 15 1/2 and just got her permit. Since they don't teach driver's ed at most schools now, it is up to you to take care of (and pay) everything. Since your son is not an adult, he will need to take driver's training. The first step is to find a driving school in your area. There is an instructional portion and a behind-the-wheel portion that is required and the school will take care of both. Some driving schools offer the instructional portion online. We opted for that, but you can also have your son attend the classes. My daughter studied all of the rules of the road and went through at her own pace. She then took the online test for the driving school. When she passed the test, the driving school sent her a certificate. Next, she brought the certificate to the DMV where she then took the DMV written test to get a permit. If you pass, you get a permit right away. If not, you need to go back to the DMV and take the test again. Once she had her permit, she was able to start her behind-the-wheel training. A person from the driving school will come three times to your house to pick your son up, two hours/session. The sessions should be spread out since your son must have his permit for 6 months before he can take the behind-the-wheel test at the DMV. During the time inbetween the driving sessions, you must spend 40 hours behind the wheel with your son. It is recommended that you start the first driving session when he has little or no experience, and the last driving session within a couple of weeks of him taking the behind-the-wheel test at the DMV.

The total cost for us was around $250. The insurance will put your son on for free while he has a permit (call them), but once he has a license, you will have to add him on. I live in California, so things may be different where you are at. Good luck and I hope this helped!

V.,

Here in hawaii, all teenagers under the age of 18, are required to take a driving course before being able to take a driving test.
My kids are still too young to drive (19mo. & 9yr) but my sister who is 17, recently got her driver's license about a year ago, at first I was sketchy about her driving me or the kids anywhere but after knowing she took her course and passed the driving test, I felt comfortable. Another great thing about having another driver in the family is that I can send my sister to run those small errands that I just don't have time for, or even if I need a little break from driving, I tell her to drive me. All in all, it's great! Especially when there are those times I need to be at work and the kids have classes or practices to attend no worries, cause she'll take care it including the transportation.

Hope this helps,
D. - mother of 2 boys (19mos & 9yrs.)
Maui, Hawaii

If you're online, go to DMV.org/California-Drivers-Ed. It gives you a complete list of what is needed. I believe the process is taking a Drivers Ed class, either in person or online, and then they need to have logged 50+ hours of drive time with an adult. Some of that can be taken with a driving school, but if you and your husband are already teaching him, I don't think it's necessary. Just make sure you keep a log of when he's driving and who with. But check the website for more details to be sure.

I recommend having a very loving talk with your husband and show him the statitics of 16 year old drivers. The longer you can put off driving the better, I think. But the impulse to want his driver's license should come from your son. I know many kids who procrastinated and I think it was their wiser selves knowing they weren't ready for the responsibility. Also the time spent in the car with a parent can be relaxing for a kid. Not everyone is ready to give that up at 15 1/2. I believe 15 1/2 year olds have to have drivers training before they get their permit. If you are an AAA member they have a really good course. Wishing you the best in this new leg of your parenting journey.

Hi V....You should see howmuch our insurance is here in Winnipeg. For our car, truck and Motorcycle, we pay over $6,000.00 per year! Do you and the kids drink water? How about play sports?
Have you thought of going into business for yourself?
I may have a solution.
e-mail me, ____@____.com
Have a GREAT DAY!
A..........

Yes, they do need drivers education before they get their permit. Most of the kids are taking it online. At first I thought this was a scam but it is not and it does make them know the rules. Then they have to sign up for drivers training before they get their permit. After they get their permit they can start with the drivers training - minimum of six hours.

My daughter was dying for her license and got it not to far after her 16th birthday. But, I had been teaching her to drive since she was 14 in parking lots and private areas. Her best friend is now nearly 17 and really doesn't care about driving although her parents are pressuring her. She flunked the driving test twice and now I am giving her some more drivers training on my own so she will pass. So, they are all different. They are all cocky. Just make sure he stays calm and you don't see any tendency toward road rage. These kids are very impatient!!

V.,

Drivers training course is great they help your kids study for their permit and driving test. they go driving with your kids.

Find out from your insurance company about Part time drivers plan and the GPA student rate.

Don't worry kids have to learn sometime just think you want have to be a Taxi Mom

Hope this helps

I.

Hi V., I have a 16 yr old boy who went through all of the permit/licensing thing this past year. Yes, you have to have him registered with a drivers education course--which you can do with Safety First (Thousand Oaks)which has the online class, before you can get the permit. After that they have the behind-the-wheel training which they schedule from the time of the permit until just before the driver's test. They were pretty good. There is one woman instructor though, that my son thought was a little nuts. She would grab the wheel to correct him. So, it freaked him out, but I don't know if that is something she does intentionally to make them think through that kind of situation. Anyway, he hated that. The other instructors were good though. I think you can also get something through AAA. Good luck! AS for insurance, good grades matter! I have given my son an incentive, too--no moving violations for three years (to develop good driving habits for the long term) and he gets a financial reward. I learned that from a friend, and it helped her daughter.

It's a perfect time to get him enrolled in a course. I had a permit but I think it was just so I could drive during the course? Can't remember, too long ago. These days, I'd have my kids in a driving course plus any extra driving courses that might cover, road rage, peer pressure, safety in relation to what to do if you get a flat, hit a patch of ice, think you are behind a drunk driver, etc...maybe all of that is covered in regular driving school? But yes, have him take a course for sure! He can't know the consequences of his actions so he needs to be taught some things before he is on the road by himself.
M.

There's no need to rush it. Driving is a privilege, not a right. Sounds like your mother's intuition is working,"he's a bit cocky, and that worries me." Always go with your gut feeling. Most 16 year olds are not ready for the responsibility. Besides you will have more worries when he really does get out on the road, plus demands for taking the car. My son was not interested either, and we didn't push it. I think he was 17+ when he got his license. I wish you the best....
Also if you do decide to go forward, I would require him to pay for his insurance or at least pay for part of it.

Just went through this a year ago and about to do it again later this month. Thought I would tell you this. My sons were able to take the driver's ed. part online through a driver's training/ed place near my house in lakewood. There all over. Our high school also provides a class, but it takes up an elective which they don't have time for. After they finish the Driver's ed. part you go to the DMV with papers in hand (see DMV site-teen drivers) and they get their permit...then they can drive with you (after you call your insurance) You don't actually have to pay for them until they get their License. Once they are 16 OR you feel they are ready they can go take their test and you can have your insurance double. Ours went from 200/mo. to 405./month
Good Luck. from a mom with three teens!

V.,

I'm kind of in the same situation with my step-daughter but she lives out of state with her mom in Texas. I think if your son isn't bugging you "wanting" to drive then just wait. Once he starts showing more interest then I'd suggest a driving training course first which is usually offered at school, then he can get his permit. When the time comes it might be be a good idea for him to get a job to pay for gas & insuracne which will make him a bit more responsible (not saying he isn't) also depending on how mature he is that's something else to consider before driving. I know it's scary and you are concerned, that part of being mom never goes away.

Take care and good luck

D. S.

Oh that is soooo weird you bring this up now. My son turned 16 in January 2007. He is REALLY in to engines and "lifted trucks". He was dying to get his permit however, we told him he had to have at least "C" grades before he could have it. He is just how you describe your son....VERY capable, yet cocky. He finally achieved the grades last June. So July came the permit. You have to take on line drivers ed before you could get the permit, AND you have to be signed up for behind the wheel. DO NOT TRUST BEHIND THE WHEEL TEACHERS! My son said he hardly drove, and after the second class the teacher told him he thinks he knows it all so he'll sign his paper of completion. I told him FINE, have him sign it we would rather teach him ourselves. My husband handled this as I panic. He drives VERY well now. He turned 17 this January and I am a BIG worrier! I finally took him for his drivers test yesterday, he passed of course. To add him on our insurance (auto club) cost $1600 a year!!!! However, if he achieves a 3.0 or higher grade point average, it goes down $400! So because of MY worrying, and using the lower grades (as an excuse)he is on a day to day driving privilege. I allow him short distance trips such as the store, or a close friends house until I get more comfortable. He is also NOT allowed to have anybody in the car with him, AND cell phone out of reach. I want him to keep the phone with him, just in case though. Were going to let him drive to school once in a while, but he has to park two blocks up the street. I don't want him driving with the crowd of kids crossing non stop where they shouldn't. We also have an F250 Pickup for him to drive so he is a lot safer than he would be in a small car. I also had a long talk with him on the reality of injuring a pedestrian and how it would affect all family involved. Of course I over exaggerate to get my point across. I hope my similar situation helps you!

Oh, are you going to have an interesting time. The law changed in the last few years in California. Your children will have to take a course first before even applying for the learner's permit. Once they get their certificate from the class, which is usually at a private driving school these days as public schools often do not have these courses anymore, you can go to the DMV. Once the child passes the written test and the eye exam they will get their learner's permit. Then you must document 50 hours of behind the wheel driving before they came take the actual behind the wheel driver's test. They also must have several hours (I think it is six or ten) hours of private instruction from a driving school. So you get to pay for the in class course, the behind the wheel course, the learner's permit, driver's license and insurance. With boys, our rates quadrupled! So shop for insurance. I found that it was better to let a stranger have the first few hours with my sons behind the wheel and then we started out during hours of low pedestrian traffic in the neighborhood and parking lots until I felt comfortable taking them into heavier traffic. It takes a long time to get those 50 hours logged. Make sure you talk to your insurance company that your children are covered with you in the car while driving with a learner's permit. Patience. Keep calm. With three children I only had to grab the steering wheel once. Make sure the car you use has automatic transmission, good tires and brakes. No radio on while they are driving. Seat belts! Keep a log of all the time spent in the car so you can make sure all the hours are logged and you don't forget. Good luck! It can be a good parent child bonding experience and a little frightening.

Dear V.,

We just went through this. I have three teenagers - 19, 17, and 15. Actually, I guess we are in the midst of this . . . Here's what we've found out, and what we've done . . . I, like you, have not pushed for my children to drive. A lot of this was due to the cost - of driver's training, insurance, gas . . . I am a single mother and we receive no child support, so this is a huge consideration. My son did not push me to let him get his license which really surprised me. As time passed, he found out that after he turned 18, he could get his permit and then his license without driver's training (thus saving money). So that is what we did. I would have been much more comfortable if he had taken driver's training - I told him as much as I could think of, but I am not trained to teach someone to drive. I would have felt much more comfortable had he learned from someone who is trained to teach driving. There is also the factor that you mentioned of the whole teenage/parent dynamics - they listen better to other adults (and the other adults, like you said verify that we may know what we are talking about - we are not just blowing hot air . . .) My mother offered to gift my son with driver's training, but he didn't accept (I think he felt he didn't need it and did not want to take the money from her). My daughter just turned 17 and is finishing up her driver's training. Both of them have a hard time taking suggestions from me. When I tell my daughter to do something differently, she says, "I know," or "I am," or "It's no big deal, Mom!" I have had to threaten to not allow her to drive if she can't do as I say. My son got his permit last January, and my daughter got hers last June - my poor heart! There should be a law against teaching two children to drive in one year! And my other daughter keeps reminding me she can get her permit in July (just in time for my birthday - woohoo!) I wouldn't push your son to drive, but I would recommend that you have him take driver's training (to have that "other adult" fortification) before he turns 18 - driver's training is required by law to get your permit before 18.

Good luck!
B.

Absolutley!!! Get him into a drivers education training course. I used to train new drivers to drive school busses and the number one group of people to hit a school bus are teenagers who are trying to beat the bus out of the parking lot. Most teens are unaware of the blind spots in a car and even fewer understand the dementions of their vehicle. A good drivers cource will help with that. I recomend three courses, the first is the normal drivers ed course witch will teach the rules of the road and gets him comfortable behind the wheel. The second is the defensive driving cource (this one teaches them the best manuvers to use to avoid an accident), and the third is the "Slider" course that teaches them what happens in cases of strong weather fronts (snow, ice, heavy rains and winds). Most of these classes can be found with an internet search under the words "Driver's education Classes + behind the wheel".
There are many advantages to having your teenager take these courses, one of those advantages is a lower insurance bill.
Best of luck!!!
H. Stanley

V.,
First, definitely get him into a private driving school. The drivers training in Public Schools is not enough. The kids need more than that and especially they need someone who isn't YOU or your husband. There are many around, just google it in your neighborhood.
Second, If your son has good grades some insurance companies will give you a percentage off, ask your insurance agent. That is a good incentive to do well in school. Also if you have him help with the monthly payment, either by gettting a job or doing errands for you. Just think no more dry cleaning runs or Post Office lines!! I hope this helps....C.

I think he should take a drivers training course. Not only will it give you a discount on auto insurance, maybe it will help him not be so cocky behind the wheel. That usually happens though when he would be with friends. I do understand your husband I wanted my two boys to drive, but they never were in a big hurry. Like we were when we were kids. I was always nervous when they could behind the with out us in the car. But that goes away after awhile.
I hope I help.

The DMV will not let 15 1/2 y/o get a driver's permit without having taken a course. Usually this can be taken through the school he attends. But you can also contact the DMV for all the requirements.

Yes, 15 1/2 y/o old boys may be a bit cocky. That's why auto insurance premiums are higher for them. :)

Good Luck!

Hi Valerie...our 16 1/2 year old is taking her driver's license test friday. We are in So. Ca. Her brother is 18 and has been driving for 1 year. First they take an 8 hour class w/a certified driving instructor...either 1 full day or 4 saturdays the 6 hour driving class (they come to your home to p/u w/their car!!) and then the permit w/all those forms and then you start driving w/them. It's the hardest thing to teach your own child how to drive. My husband was great w/them...very patient and a great teacher. Our daughter did a class called Driving Dynamics...full day for $450.00 however, it's worth their life! It's located in Irwindale, CA and the guy is terrific. Teaches them logic and has them on the speedway in many situations! She loved it and he told us she was a good driver - experience makes them great drivers (3 years or more according to him). If you have them as secondary driver of the car - the insurance is not nearly as expensive and if they have 3.0 or better bring that to your insurance company and may get a discount. Both our kids have part time jobs - so they pay for their own insurance every paycheck!!! Hope this helps. I.

Hi V.,

Here is what I know about young "drivers"... Yes, your son, must be enrolled in a Driver's Education Course. This is a 2 step process. One classroom and the other behind-the-wheel. When he turns 15 1/2, he will be eligible to receive a learner's permit AFTER he has completed the classroom portion of the course.

I hope that helps....good luck on the cocky driver thing....I have had 2 sons go through it and feel your pain. I am on my 3rd child getting ready to drive. YIKES!! I'm sure he'll be fine...

My daughter just got her permit. The state of CA requires you to take an in-class or online drivers education course prior to applying for a permit at 15-1/2. They are then required to take a written test and pass. In addition they must be enrolled in a behind the wheel driving class before the permit will be issued. The permit will not be valid until the school signs it, which they cannot do until he's taken at least 2 hours of his behind the wheel training. Then he can drive as long as an adult over 25 is in the car for six months. After than, he can take the drivers test and get a provisional license. This means that for the 1st year he can't drive after 10pm or with other kids in the car unless there's an adult present. Check your states DMV website, here's the link for California http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/new_driver.htm. Good luck.

if they go to driving school (yellow pages) they can get their permit - i know how you feel - its the scariest thing! and expensive. some people say they should not have the car until they can at least pay the insurance and gas, etc. but they have to go to school and stuff too. preach about drunk drivers out there, that's the biggest danger, and never to get in a car with a friend or someone who might be drinking.

Yes! I totally believe it is wise for your son to take the classes. I am at the end of my "parenting years" My oldest daughter 22, son 19, and then my baby girl 16. They have all agreeded that the classes were a valuable source of info. The classes prepared them for on the road situations that I had forgotten in my 37 years of driving! We just automaticly do it without thought, its become habit, but to our kids its a first! Besides all of that, it really helped me to know that they had been given all the safety advice and training to help ME sleep at night.
My husband and I chose a local driving school with a really good reputation. It was expensive (especially since we were trained for free in our days) :-) I know that you can take an on-line course for the (book) education part thru the DMV. But unless they are 18 they must take the driving education from some approved/licensed org. I hope this helps you, my prayers are with you. This is a very difficult but exciting time in you and your sons life!

p.s. One of the perks.... I didnt have to make those quick grocery store runs! They were more than happy to go for me! LOL

I taught all three of my kids to drive before they took their drivers test. I was tough on them but it worked out all right. I think if you feel that you are up on the "rules of the road" go for some instruction from you, (you can always get a drivers handbook and study up a bit too, would be good for you too, as we all need a "refresher" now and again). We practiced in empty parking lots before going out on the road, practiced at different times of day, including some night driving and driving in the rain. All passed their tests quite handily, all are good drivers today.

Also, because of divorce in the family, all the kids were older before they got their licenses, about 19yrs old. It's actually a good thing to wait. My kids also felt more confident of their abilities to handle various situations when they were older and expressed the same to me. I too was older, 17+ before I got my license, even though I had started driving when I was 13 around the "farm." Being out on the road is a scary thing.

However, if you don't have the confidence to teach your kids, then hire someone to teach them, it will be money well spent, and you will save the good relationship that you have with your kids.

Also, depending on what state you live in check with what the DMV requirements are in your area, check with your insurance company to see if you can afford for them to drive. It might be worth it to wait until they are older, as you may get a better rate then.

Driving is a privilege, not a right of passage.

When we were in that same situation, the best advice I got was to enroll my son in a private driving school, yes it cost a little, but, he to was a little cocky and would take advice from someone other then his father and myself much better. It will make you more comfortable and the great part is that they take them to get their drivers license and will do so until he passes. Also, this is a great asset towards getting insurance they give a small discount because they feel as thought the child has gotten additional training
Hang in there, my son has been driving fully licensed now for over a year and has done a great job.

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