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Information for Parents & Teens

Virginia's driving restrictions are not meant to penalize teen behind the wheel drivers, but to help them stay safe while they gain valuable driving experience. Studies have found that these restrictions work to reduce the number of car crashes among young teen drivers.

Curfew Restrictions

Virginia's curfew laws prohibit a teen driver under age 18 who holds a learner's permit or driver's license from driving midnight to 4 A.M. If you hold a driver's license you may drive during these hours:

•in case of an emergency;

•when traveling to and from work or a school-sponsored event;

•when accompanied by a parent or other adult acting in place of a parent;

•when responding to an emergency call as a volunteer firefighter or rescue squad personnel.

Passenger Restrictions

If you are under age 18, you may carry only one passenger under age 18 during the first year that you hold your driver's license. After you have held your license for one year, you may carry only three passengers under age 18 until you reach age 18. Learner's permit holders may not carry more than one passenger under age 18. Passenger restrictions do not apply to family members.

Violations of either the curfew or passenger restrictions can result in the suspension of your driver's license.

Cellular Telephone/Wireless Telecommunications Device Restrictions

Virginia's cellular telephone law restricts a driver under age 18 who holds a learner's permit or driver's license from using any cellular telephone or any other wireless telecommunications device, regardless of whether such device is or is not hand-held. If you are under age 18, you can only use a cell phone or any other telecommunications device:

•for a driver emergency;

•when the vehicle is lawfully parked or stopped.


Learner's Permit Information

You may get your learner's permit when you reach 15 years and 6 months of age. It allows you to operate a motor vehicle when a licensed driver at least 21 years of age is seated beside you. The driver accompanying you may be 18 years of age if he or she is your legal guardian, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, step-brother or step-sister. The driver accompanying you must hold a valid driver's license, be alert and able to assist you and be legally permitted to drive.

When you apply for a learner's permit, you will also complete the application process for your driver's license and pay the fees for both the permit and license. You will be required to pass a vision screening and the two-part knowledge exam.

If you are under age 19, you must provide proof of successful completion of a state-approved driver education program and you must hold a learner's permit at least nine months before you can receive a driver's license.

Plus, your parent, guardian or foster parent must provide his or her driver's license or state-issued identification card number and sign the certificate to certify that you received at least 45 hours of driver practice, 15 of which must have been competed after sunset. You will receive a certificate when you complete the driver education program.

If you are between age 16 years, 3 months and age 18, your driver education certificate and a valid learner's permit allow you to drive without a licensed driver beside you provided you have held your learner's permit for nine months and the certificate is signed by a parent or legal guardian.

Your parent's or legal guardian's signature on the certificate certifies that the statements made and the information submitted on the certificate are true and correct. Certifying false statements can result in prosecution.

After you have held your permit nine months, turned age 16 and 3 months and completed driver education, you will receive a notice that tells you when to appear in court for a licensing ceremony where you will receive your permanent driver's license.

Parents Are the Key to Safe Teen Drivers

Car crashes—the #1 killer of teens—take about 3,000 young lives every year. That's eight teen deaths each day that can be prevented. As a parent, you should know that the main cause of teen crashes is driver inexperience. All new drivers—even straight-A students and "good kids"—are likelier than experienced drivers to be involved in a fatal crash. It's a fact.

The good news is that you can make a difference by getting involved with your teen's driving. Take advantage of the "Parents Are the Key" tools and resources. Learn about the most dangerous driving situations for your young driver—and how to avoid them.

Steer Your Teen in the Right Direction

As a parent, you have the greatest influence over your teen's behavior. In fact, leading experts believe parents play a key role in preventing teen car crashes and deaths. Take the first step: Talk with your teen about staying safe behind the wheel. Then, keep the conversation going. You can steer your teen in the right direction, and "Parents Are the Key" has proven steps that can help. Parents can always trust A Better Choice Driving School to educate the parents so the teen behind the wheel is a easy and great experience for both.

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