Does Your Teen Drive?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-15-2006
Does Your Teen Drive?
Sat, 08-07-2010 - 11:30am

Does your teenager drive?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Sat, 08-07-2010 - 12:27pm

We have a very strict licensing rules here with the result that all 17 year olds are NOT fully licensed.

They can get their learner's permit at 16, provided they pass a written test plus vision check. That only allows them to drive with a qualified fully licensed driver of at least 5 years experience.

If they take a recognized and an acredited driving school course, they are allowed to book their first road test no earlier than 8 months from the date they received their Learner's permit. If not, it is 12 months.
Their insurance is extremely high if they DON'T take driver's education from an acredited school. So, the youngest kids are when they take their first road test is 17, many are 18.

They then have to wait 12 months to book their final road test, during which time there are restrictions on their license. Many kids fail their road tests; they have 5 years to complete the process. If not, they re-start at the beginning.

My DS still has his final road test to do. He will be going on 21, when he hopefully passes. My DD did hers when she was 20.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2003
Sat, 08-07-2010 - 2:08pm

We taught 2 teens (now 19 and 23)to drive at 16. If at all possible I would urge you to teach her on an automatic transmission. It's hard enough to learn the rules of the road, defensive driving, etc. without dealing with the mechanics of shifting. Even though it was at times terrifying, I kind of enjoyed teaching my teens. It was a grown-up privilege they were learning, and I really did have some skills to offer them (they could not use the "I know, Mom, I'm not stupid, line . . . ), and they were a bit scared, which was fine.

Both took drivers' ed, which was OK, but you get nowhere near the practice needed, IMO. We insisted on one year's of driving before letting them get their licenses.

Although they don't drive as conservatively as I do LOL, they are both good drivers and have not had any tickets other than parking.

Good luck!

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Sat, 08-07-2010 - 3:09pm

DS got his permit the day he turned 15, taking the test cold (got bare minimum passing but that's all he cared about) - I don't recommend going that route! Then dh (who has raced in SCCA for years) taught him, plus he attended Street Survival, which I'd recommend to ANY teen new driver (have to have full license) if it comes to your area (comes here 2x/year and fills the day they open enrollment). He learned on a stick, and that's what he drives daily (turns 18 Monday; will go for his full license then; is on intermediate now, as they have that progression here in MO).


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2001
Sat, 08-07-2010 - 4:58pm

My 15yo daughter is driving on her permit. In classroom drivers ed is a state high school graduation requirement, she took it 4th quarter last year. Her dad and I are teaching her now, she's really quite good. She will have the state approved behind the wheel class 3rd quarter. At the end of her required 9 months, 40 day time hours, 10 night time hours, and passing behind the wheel, she can get her license. That will be in March next year, she will be 16 and 2 months old.

We have automatics, but my fil has a manual. He spent some time with her this summer teaching her to drive his truck. He will continue to do that whenever we are visiting. He has promised her the truck once she has had her license for a year with out incident- speeding ticket, drunk driving, accident that is her fault, etc.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sat, 08-07-2010 - 5:26pm
I'll have to answer this one about my 21 yr old because my 14 yr old isn't old enough yet. We have a requirement that in order for a teen to get a license, they have to take driver's training from a school--back then it was 6 hrs in the car watching & 6 hrs driving. I do think a lot of the rules have become more restrictive, but since my DS isn't old enough yet, I haven't researched them. In addition they had to drive 40 hrs w/ a parent and have their permit for 6 mos. before they could get a license. I also think it would be difficult to learn on a standard. I bought a standard car when I was 21 and had been driving since I was 16 and I still had a hard time driving it--it was hard to get the hang of it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Tue, 08-10-2010 - 1:35pm

My two, who turn 16 next month, just finished drivers' ed through the school and have their permits. They are working on their 50 practice hours required within a year to advance to a restricted license. My son is a really good driver, so daughter is doing OK, but not quite as good. The school vehicles they learned in were Suburbans - I'm not sure I could stay off the sidewalk if I had to drive one of those! LOL! Anyway, my husband and I both agree the drivers' ed was a good investment. They had a couple of weeks of classroom time before they ever got behind the wheel - something we couldn't have provided.

My car has a stick, and I don't ever want them to drive this point, I'm not too worried about it since they both think it looks too complicated :-)

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2007
Tue, 08-10-2010 - 2:57pm

I taught both my kids (18 & 22) to drive. Both got their permits shortly after their 15th bday. Both learned on an automatic. Both are good drivers. Older one is very good but she's had over 5 years now.

I learned on a stick so if that is all that is available it sure isn't a problem. I think an auto would be easier just because it is one less thing to pay attention to.

Neither of my kids took drivers ed. Both had to log 100 hours before they could test for their license. Both of them started driving on the dirt roads in the hills just outside of our town. It let them get the car figured out without having to deal with much traffic. My older daughter got most of her time driving to the school in the next city over since that's where she wanted to go. My younger one actually logged most of her hours in Portland, OR where she had some lessons every week.

As difficult as it is at times it really isn't that awful to teach them, especially if you start off with low volume roads. Now my oldest step daughter I wouldn't teach. She is mentally handicapped and panics easily, I told my husband I don't think my nerves can take it. Her learning curve is very long and generally she has to be shown a simple task 10 times before she can get it then often looses it after a bit. I really don't think she has the capacity to drive and we really don't push it with her.