February 08, 2008,
V.M. asks from Palmdale, CA on February 06, 2008
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!
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!
D.G. answers from Los Angeles on February 08, 2008
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.
V.G. answers from San Diego on February 07, 2008
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..
A.J. answers from Los Angeles on February 08, 2008
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!
K.T. answers from San Luis Obispo on February 07, 2008
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!
From a mom of a 17 1/2 boy, who does not drive & 15 1/2 girl Whewww!!!
I.B. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
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.
S.Q. answers from Los Angeles on February 07, 2008
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.
T.L. answers from Honolulu on February 07, 2008
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.
M.R. answers from Los Angeles on February 08, 2008
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.