So your little one is now a teenager. In addition to having to deal with the typical teen troubles of acne, moodiness, dating, and more, you will soon be dealing with – dare I say it – driving! There is something about turning into a teenager that instantly makes them think about driving. Even my 13-year-old stepson is counting the time down until he can get his license and get behind the wheel! So what can you do as a parent to prepare your teen for driving? Check out these tips below!
1. Find Out At What Age Your State Allows Driver Permits
The first thing you need to do is find out at what age your state allows citizens to get their driver’s permit. This will vary from state to state. In some states, like mine, the age for getting a permit is 15, while in others it is 16.
2. Pick Up A Driver’s Manual to Study
Your next step is to pick up a driver’s test manual from your local DMV for your child to study. This book is basically the Bible of Driving. In it are all the rules and laws of driving, as well as all of the questions that will be on the driver’s permit test. Your child will have to take and pass this test in order to get their permit, so encourage him or her to study this daily.
In addition, there are several great apps that are available to help your child study for the test. These apps take questions from the book and quiz the taker. Since many of them are set up just like the test, it’s a great way for your child to practice and to get an idea of what they need to work on some more.
3. Gather the Necessary Papers
While each state requires its own paperwork, the most common documents needed are the application, birth certificate, social security card and proof of residency. In addition, some states now require a physical before someone can take the permit test. Find out the requirements for your particular state by looking online or contacting your local DMV.
In most states you can find the permit application online, and in some you can even file it online. For proof of residency, a parent’s driver’s license will usually work fine.
4. Don’t forget About the Fee
Again, the driver’s permit fee will vary from state to state. You can find out your’s by calling your local DMV or looking at their website online. Be sure to ask whether or not they accept debit or credit cards as many only take cash or check.
5. Parental Consent
Almost all states will require a parental consent form as well as a parent being present while their child takes the test.
6. Eye Exam
Once the paperwork is finished, your child will have to pass an eye exam. If they fail, they will not be able to take the permit test. Therefore, make sure your child is wearing their contacts or glasses if needed.
7. Pass or Fail
So, you have all of the required paperwork together, and your child has studied for months in preparation. It is finally time to take the test! Encourage your child and be supportive, After all, this is a HUGE deal to them!
If your child fails the permit test, don’t worry! In most states they can come back the very next day to try again. They will be given all of their paperwork back, including the fee.
If they pass, they will receive their permit paper, the rules and regulations about driving with their permit, and a logbook in which they are to record the minimum amount of driving time required by the state before they can take the driving test portion. And then, the real fun begins…teaching them how to drive!
Preparing your teen to get their driver’s permit is a huge milestone in life. Use the above tips to make sure both you and your child are prepared and ready. And remember, once your child has their permit, in less than a year, they’ll have their actual drivers license! Take that year to start researching the best cars for teen drivers. Look online and at local dealerships to find a vehicle you will both be happy with. And if you live in Woodbridge, VA, the professionals at Lustine Toyota can help you find a safe and reliable car that your teen will love.