Parental Permission for Drivers Permits

By: Kat Saks June 10, 2012

Many teenagers feel that asking their parents for permission to do things can be a drag. But, when it comes to obtaining a learners permit, parental consent might be necessary. Read on to learn about how parental consent factors into securing a drivers permit.

Most states require parental consent for teen drivers younger than 18.

Parents typically take charge of providing consent for first-time drivers' learners permits. But, in some cases, parents might not be caring for the first-time driver. This situation doesn't automatically disqualify an applicant, though.

In the event that the first-time driver lives with someone other than her parents, her legal guardian can provide consent instead.

Most states require parents to sign an affidavit or a parental consent form before issuing a learners permit to a new driver. Refer to our checklist for teen drivers to see what your state specifically requires.

These forms essentially state that the parent assumes liability for the first-time driver. So, in the unfortunate event that the underage driver gets in an accident or incurs a traffic ticket, the parent assumes legal and financial responsibility for the situation.

Details on these rules vary by state, so consult your state's department of motor vehicles before signing anything.

Parents in the Passenger Seat

With a learners permit in hand, first-time drivers might be tempted to buckle up and go for a ride alone.

Not so fast!

Most states require driver permit holders to spend a portion, if not all, of their driving time with a parent or legal guardian in the passenger seat. A parent or legal guardian can help supervise a learner's driving and ensure they stay safe when they start driving. Consult your states rules and regulations before you hit the road. Start by checking our page on driver's permit driving restrictions.

Did your parents sign off on your learners permit? Tell us your story in the comments section below.

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