Learning to drive and getting your driver’s license can be exciting, but you need a learner’s permit first. Typically, you must be at least 15 or 16 to obtain a permit and you must get your parents' permission. You also need to show proof of insurance for the car you’ll use to practice driving skills.
Learner's Permit Conditions
Different states have their own requirements for getting a learner’s permit, but you’ll typically need to get a vision test as well as take your state’s department of motor vehicle test. An older licensed driver who has no impairments must accompany you. The permit typically restricts the number of hours you can drive and the time that you can drive. When you apply for your driver’s license, your driving record must be free of any points, which are awarded depending on the type of traffic violation you commit.
Need for Insurance
New drivers often are more likely to get into accidents because they have yet to master driving skills and develop experience. If you get in an accident, insurance coverage lowers your liability because the insurance company pays for the cost of damages sustained to vehicles involved and for the medical costs if there are injuries. If you drive without insurance, you might have to pay for the damages. You’ll also incur an expensive ticket, and you can lose your driving privileges.
Underage Auto Insurance
You need to check the laws of your state to determine the insurance coverage you need. Insurance companies might not offer you insurance, so your parents or your legal guardians might need to include you in the family auto insurance plan if you’re living with them. If you’re living with a married partner or a roommate, you can add yourself to their policy. If, however, an insurance company does agree to cover you, you’ll probably pay very high premiums. You’ll also have to comply with their rules and conditions. If you own the vehicle you’re driving and it is registered in your name, you’ll need your own car insurance.
Lowering Insurance Premiums
By keeping certain rules in mind, you can keep your insurance rates low. Avoid points on your learner’s permit, and follow your state’s traffic rules. Concentrate completely on the road and don’t let your attention stray. Some states might enforce rules against the use of cellphones while driving, so put your cellphone away when you’re driving, and don’t drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Also, you might be able to avoid high insurance premiums if you participate in a driver-training program, you maintain a good grade average in school or if your car has safety features.
- DMV.org: How to Get Car Insurance Coverage With a Learners Permit
- Florida Department of Motor Vehicles: Florida Learners Permit Penalties
- National Association of Insurance Commissioners: Protect Yourself: Insuring Your Teen Driver
- National Institutes of Health. "Teen Crash Risk Highest During First Three Months After Getting Driver’s License." Accessed Sept. 21, 2020.
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. "Graduated Licensing Laws by State." Accessed Sept. 21, 2020.
- American Family Insurance. "Does Car Insurance Cover Other Drivers?" Accessed Sept. 21, 2020.
- State Farm. "Car Insurance for Teens and New Drivers." Accessed Sept. 21, 2020.
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. "Teenagers." Accessed Sept. 21, 2020.