New Drivers and Temps

Updated on April 20, 2013
M.K. asks from Columbus, OH
15 answers

Well, my 15-year old daughter is mad at me ... again! So, what's new!! I won't let her ride with kids that have only had their driver's licenses a few weeks. She says I let my son ride with his friend much sooner - not true! We waited about eight months before I let him ride with him. Even though her friends go thru driver's education and have the required number of hours before getting their license, I just don't feel comfortable until they've driven several months - even then, I'm still uncomfortable. How long would you wait?

Also, my daughter and her friend work at the same place so her mother and I take turns driving them. But the other day when she was picked up I found out later it was her friend driving who only has her Temps - of course, the mother was in the car - but I was VERY upset!! I later asked the friend not to drive my daughter; she was fine with my request. Would you let your child ride with someone that only has their Temps?

And while we're on the subject - would you let your child get their Temps at 15-1/2 - even if it is allowed?


p.s. Yes, Temps and Permit - basically the same thing.

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So What Happened?

To address a few things: we're following the laws, so that's not an issue. The issue is the safety of my child! And I'm not arguing with my daughter; I've set the rules and she doesn't like them. Same rules were for my son; he didn't have any problem with them. She thinks she should be granted special privileges for some reason. Imagine that!! As for Driver's Education - no, she won't be riding with anyone only having their Temps - she'll be alone in the car with the teacher and that's all. As for the mother being in the car with the girl only having her Temps - not much the mother can do from the passenger seat. While I realize things happen even to people that have been driving forever, it's just not a chance I wish to take. Plus, if something did happen, I certainly wouldn't want that on a young girl's conscience. Thanks everyone!!!

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answers from Anchorage on

I would not have had an issue with the girl with the temp license driving since the mother was in the car, it would be different if she had not been there. I also would not have an issue with my child being in the car with their friend driving as long as they had earned their license. As for age, I find it strange the age is so high now as it is. When I was growing up I got my temp at 14 and my day license at 15. My husband got his farm license at 12.

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answers from Dallas on

What do you mean by "temps"? Is that the permit?

NO, my daughter (now 18) did not drive with someone with only a permit. IF she did and got caught, they both would be in trouble with the police because there are laws here in TX that restrict drivers with permits as well as new drivers with valid license.

My daughter got a permit at 15 and went through driver ed training, private driver training and drove ONLY with one of us or her driver teacher in the car for the first year.

When she was 16, she got her license, HOWEVER, in TX there is a law regarding who can be in the car with her. I don't recall word for word but if she were to drive with a friend in the first 6 months, it can only be 1 friend or get ticketed. You can drive with more than 1 family member but they try to limit the car loads of teens.

You also have to renew the license each year until you are 18 and then at that time, you can get a license that is good until you are 21.

Would I allow my 15 yr old to get a permit.... Yes, I did HOWEVER, if she were not a responsible and mature kid I would not.

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answers from Portland on

You're concerned because the daughter, with a temporary license, was driving while her mother was in the car? If that's the case, I would not be concerned about that. The mother is supervising. The daughter is going to be driving quite carefully. If anything, her driving may be safer than the driving of an older teen or even some adults with a full license.

I'm a bit confused by your first paragraph. It is against the law for someone with a temporary license to drive anyone without a licensed driver in the front seat with them. In Oregon, a teen with a license, still isn't allowed to drive other teens without a licensed adult driver also in the car for a period of time. I don't know how long.

I have mixed feelings about this law. For me and without the law, I would allow my teen to ride with a licensed teen if I believed both my teen and the other teen were safe and had shown that they made good decisions in other areas of their life. So much would depend on the personalities and "track record" of both.

And, yes, I would let my child get their temporary license at 15 1/2 if they were responsible in other areas of their life. I'd require good grades and having seen instances of good decision making.

This is just one more step in the maturation process. I would have rules that gradually allowed my child to become more independent. With a permit, I would first not allow anyone else in the car accept me or another adult that was teaching her to drive. The next step would be to allow other passengers. Once she had the license, I would not allow other teens alone in the car until I was convinced that it was safe. And even then, I would only allow use of the car for transportation. No just riding around.

I wonder if your daughter is mad at you because, in part, because you're so upset. I suggest that we have an easier time with teens when we're able to be calm and non-judgmental while we give them rational reasons for our concern. When we have a discussion and don't issue an angry ultimatum.

When our teen reacts emotionally, it's so easy to become emotional ourselves. Know that you have the responsibility to set boundaries and set them without falling into the drama of the teen. Be firm while being unemotional.

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answers from Austin on

In Texas, the rule is that for the first 6 months (I think?) the only passengers in a teen driver's car have to be family members.......

Annoying, maybe, but it sure makes sense!

And to answer your question, no I would not let my child ride with someone that just had a temporary license, unless it was my own child driving.......

ETA: I also went farther with restrictions...... for the first 6 months, no driving on the interstate, and no driving outside of our city (Georgetown) ... we are fairly close to Austin, but my kids had no reason to be going down there.... we didn't allow them to just go to the mall and "hang out" ...... I wanted to know where they were, and who they were with.....

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answers from Austin on

I agree with you.. None of our daughters friends parents allowed this.

They should have given you a heads up so you could decide.
That is YOUR decision.

Let your daughter know she is not behaving like a person who should be driving on the road. She is acting like a child.

Mature drivers can speak without whining, crying and throwing fits.
And yes, Back in the day, I had my license at 15 (Hard Ship) because my mom was an only parent and I needed to be able to take my sister to school each day..

I also ran a summer camp out of our house since I was 12.. So I was considered pretty mature.. Do not worry, I had plenty of meltdowns and drama.. But my mom would remind me.."Mature people do not act like this."

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answers from Grand Forks on

If your daughter takes drivers-ed she will be a passenger in a car while another driver with a learners permit is driving. I would let my child ride with a driver with a learners permit as long as there is a licensed driver in the vehicle. I was probably the first one of my friends to get my license and my own car, and I don't remember anybody's parents having issues with their kids riding in the car with me. I had my learners when I was 15 and tested for my license as soon as I turned 16. I imagine that is what my boys will do as well.

ETA: When I took drivers ed there were always two students per instructor, and we would take turns driving.

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answers from Dallas on

I wouldn't have a problem with my son being in the car with a friend driving who had a permit with a parent in the front seat. That doesn't bother me at all. As for riding with new drivers, it depends on who the friend is. Some of his friends are extremely responsible, and are very good drivers. Others will probably drive for 10 years and will still probably be reckless.

My son is 15 and 3 months right now, and he will be starting driver's ed in June. He'll get his permit then. He is a rule follower (almost to a fault), and is extremely responsible, so I think he will likely be a good driver. We like the idea of him getting his permit 7 months before he turns 16 so that he will have a long time to practice driving with us in the car before he can get his driver's license.

We live on a farm, and he's been driving a tractor for a couple of years, and he also drives our vehicles on our property (not very far, but at least he can park and knows the feel of the vehicles), so driving won't be completely new to him.

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answers from Chicago on

My daughter has her permit, and we drive to pick up her friends sometimes, but when we have them in the car she never drives. I think that is very unsafe, and I would be upset like you if someone let their kid drive my kid around... even with the mother in the car. What is the mother going to do if the kid crashes? It's very irresponsible, in my opinion, to let a child drive others around if they only have their permit. Huge safety issue. Teens aren't very good drivers and are easily distracted.

In Illinois, for the first 12 months of having a license, the driver can only have one other person in the car. Distracted driving is major factor in teen accidents, and it isn't good to have others in the car. Even one other in my opinion. I'm with you mom.

And yes, my daughter is 15 and got her permit the day she turned 15. She drives only with me or her dad. We wouldn't have anybody else in the car if she were driving.

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answers from Tampa on

You are doing the right thing!!! Read up on the stats Teen Drivers with Passengers have higher rates of accidents!!!

My daughter is 16 and we don't allow her to ride with new drivers either and most importantly not with permit drivers!! Her sisters it will be different they will ride with her when either myself or my husband is in the car (nothing we can do about it at times). Sorry but we have seen too many accidents (and even deaths) with young drivers. Things are different now and I am not apologizing nor should you

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answers from Kansas City on

your kid, your choice, period. i mostly agree with you - except imo, the biggest problem with young drivers is their easy distractability - so i think i'd be ok with the mom being there to keep her daughter focused. you know (i hope) that they wouldn't be headbanging on the interstate in rush hour traffic, texting, playing touch and giggle, etc. it would come down to whether i trusted the mom, for me.

at least you have a girl. something like 90% of boys wreck their first car...imagine my fear when my little one gets that old...*shudder*....

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

In Massachusetts, like several other states, junior drivers can only have family members as passengers for 6 months after getting their license. Additionally, the driving requirements before getting a license have gotten much tighter and more demanding over the past several years. YAY!!!!

In addition to the state laws, however, we had family laws. ;) Like you, we were very selective and conservative about when & where our kids could drive and with whom. The restrictions lessened as the kids got better and more experienced. Additionally, a much as I enjoy all their friends, some are more responsible than others. I loved Shane's comment about "I wouldn't trust her to operate a lawnmower, let alone a motor vehicle." My girls KNEW there was no way in this lifetime that I would EVER let them ride with certain new drivers (heck, even now that these kids are 19 to 21, I'd still shudder!).

Years ago, I used to think that the age to get a license should be increased to, like, 17 or 18 (it's 16.5 in MA if you have driver's ed). My sister had a good point, though. She liked having the younger age because it allowed kids to get their license & get some experience while living at home with their parents before they go off to college and are much more on their own. That made sense to me -- as long as there are parents, like you, who help kids get that experience as safely as possible. We'll never make driving -- or growing up, for that matter -- a risk-free experience. Still, parents like you who do what's right rather than what's easy or what the child might like help to ensure the safety of all our kids.

Keep at it, mama.

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answers from Cleveland on

My son, when he gets off his lazy butt, will finish his first three lessons and get his permit. No, no other child will ride with him for a while.

My son is 15 and 3 months.

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answers from Washington DC on

The law in your state lets kids with only a permit drive other kids? Even with a parent in the car -- that's nuts. As you note-- mom can't do a darned thing if the daughter messes up and loses control.

Stick to your guns. Your daughter would love to get you riled up about this but just get calmer and quieter every single time she brings it up. If you are engaging her, telling her "You're wrong, we did the same with your brother" etc., just stop -- tell her one last time, "We have discussed this; you are not remembering correctly; it is what it is and it is not going to change." And then change the topic but do not continue to engage. If she talks on and on, frankly, ignore her. Deny the attention -- just as you would with a toddler. You have treated her like an adult and talked about it; if she goes on she is no longer acting like an adult about it.

And be SURE that she understands now, not later after it happens, that if she ever is caught riding with someone else there will be very serious and severe consequences. Like a month of grounding, no TV, no phone, whatever it would take to make her say no to that ride in the first place. Be calm and clear: This is what will happen and you will indeed feel it.

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answers from Redding on

In California, even after a child receives his regular and valid driver's license, they are not allowed to drive other minors in the car, I believe, for a year.

When my son got his temporary permit, he was only allowed to drive with a parent in the car.

Laws can be different in each state. I would check to see what the laws for your state are.

My son is very responsible, but he's not into driving around with other kids. He's too busy with his work with the police department cadet programs. Between that, school, and going fishing, he doesn't run around much.

We just followed the law and let that make our decision for us. Even then, like I said, my son doesn't drive other kids. He chooses not to.

I wouldn't let my 15 year old ride with a newly licensed driver.

My daughter had a friend who got her driver's license and in the first week took out a stop sign because she was paying attention to changing CD's in the stereo. She received a citation and a fine for repairing the stop sign.
Then, she pushed the gas instead of the break pedal and drove through the garage of her parents brand new home. So...the garage door had to be replaced and her car had to be repaired.
No way in hell was I letting my daughter in a car with her...I don't care how many years she had her license. That girl was an airhead and a danger to society. I'd known her since she was little and she was a super sweet girl, but I wouldn't trust her to operate a lawnmower, let alone a motor vehicle.

See if you have any laws to back up your concerns.
Safety is a mom's top priority and teenagers don't always understand that.

Check the laws. You'll need to know the ins and outs once it's time for your daughter to begin driving.

Best wishes.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Well, my answer might be considered extreme, but the thought of any young teen driving terrifies me. People worry about all sorts of rare dangers, but the leading cause of death in people under 33 is car accidents, and teenage drivers account for a large percentage of those accidents. The teenage brain is not fully developed, and when teenagers are driving together, their distraction levels and general immaturity usually multiplies. Now I live in a metropolitan area where you can get away with not driving, because there is so much public transportation and taxi services available. I do understand that in other areas of the country, one has to rely on cars more, but I think you are wise to be strict about who your daughter rides with or drives with for as long as possible.

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