Blog Post

5 Easy Steps to Licensing Teen Drivers

hand giving car keys to foster care teenThere aren’t many things scarier than putting our children behind the wheel of vehicles that can weigh more than 4,000 pounds. However, this is one of those times when parents are forced to balance their children’s safety and education. On the one hand, we want to keep our children close, but at some point, we must let them go and that means teaching them to drive, whether we like it or not.

The following list of steps will make the process of helping a teen get a driver’s license easier on both the child and the foster parents with which he or she lives.

1. Give Permission

You may be new to foster care, or perhaps have an adolescent in your care that has recently become old enough to begin learning to drive. Regardless, your first question will may be, “Can I give him this right?” The answer is yes, you can, as long as you are the registered foster parent for the minor and he or she lives in your home.

However, you are not the sole grantor of this privilege as the child’s grandparents, siblings over the age of 18, aunts, uncles, probation officer and caseworker all have the ability to sign the driver’s license application for the minor driver in California.

2. Instruct Them

Next, you will need to know how and when a minor may operate a motor vehicle while in possession of an instructional permit. This will not only keep the youth on the right side of the law, but will also teach them to respect all the rules associated with having a driver’s license. For those under the age of 18, California requires teens to be at least 15 ½ years old. During this time they must also obey all traffic laws, drive with a parent, guardian, spouse, or adult over 25 years of age, all of whom must possess a valid California driver’s license.

Parents and guardians are advised to be patient, but instructional during all phases of the learning process and should be sure to explain traffic laws and watch their children closely to be sure those rules are being followed.

3. Certify & Sign

Once a minor is 16 years old, they have the opportunity to obtain their driver’s license. The youth must have been in possession of their instructional permit for at least six months, completed a driver education course and six hours of professional behind-the-wheel training.

Additionally, they must also complete 50 hours of practice with an adult aged 25 years or older and 10 of these hours must be done at night. The adult must be in possession of a valid California license and a parent or guardian must certify the completion of these hours in writing.

4. Follow Regulations

In an attempt to reduce the rate of traffic collisions caused by teenage drivers, graduated licensing was introduced in July 1998. This means that for the first 12 months, minor drivers are not authorized to transport anyone under the age of 20 years old unless there is a licensed driver over the age of 25 present in the vehicle. The new driver must also be accompanied by a driver over 25 if he or she is driving between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Teens may have these restrictions lifted at the end of the 12 month period if the youth has no outstanding DMV or court-ordered restrictions, suspensions, or probations on their driving record. However, California’s “zero tolerance” alcohol policy applies to all drivers until 21 years of age and a blood-alcohol level as low as 0.01 percent will result in a loss of driving privileges for one year.

5. Provide Coverage

Similar to adult minimum liability coverage requirements, foster youth must file proof of financial responsibility. This is usually accomplished with the purchase of a vehicle insurance policy, but may be covered with a cash deposit to DMV, a self-insurance certificate issued by the DMV, or a surety bond.

Parents and other guardians are responsible for any damages caused by the youth while driving a motor vehicle. Likewise, foster parents are also held liable for damages if they have signed the driver’s license application on behalf of the youth.

A driver’s license can go a long way to helping a teen participate in community, school and extracurricular activities while also preparing them for success when they reach adulthood. If possible, biological and foster parents, or other guardians, should look for any way they can find to assist their wards in obtaining their driver’s licenses.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

a boy waiting for reunification after foster care
How to Let Go of a Child After Foster Care

Ideally, foster parents provide a stable family home in which the child can grow...

Fence establishing boundary line
Teaching Healthy Boundaries to Foster Children

Foster children often come from environments that did not have healthy boundaries and relationships....

Happy multi-ethnic foster family
In for the Long Haul: How Foster Parents Can Prevent Burnout

The reports of foster parent burnouts are frequent. This is understandable, given that fostering...

Foster parents with multi-racial children in foster care
The Foster Parent Shortage in the North State

California has 62,000 children in foster care. According to Dr. John DeGarmo of the...

foster care child waking up in bed
12 Requirements for Housing Foster Care Children

For most, becoming a foster parent is a rewarding experience, but becoming approved to...

IQ plus emotional intelligence equals success formula on blackboard
Foster Care Tips: Helping Children Develop Emotional Intelligence

Few skills are as important as emotional intelligence. It’s been shown to be a...

older foster care youth drives family in van
Aging Out: Successful Transitions from Foster Care are Possible

Each year, 26,000 American youth “age out” of the foster care system. In the...

Mother with kids at the kitchen
Foster Parenting: Teaching Practical Life Skills to Foster Kids

When a foster child comes to your home, you’re not only becoming a caregiver—you’re...

eating healthy food
Foster Care Parents Can Promote Healthy Lifestyles

As the need for two incomes has become more necessary many families are finding...

A mixed race mother and daughter at their home
How To Get Started in Foster Care

Around 425,000 children are in the United States foster care system. Unfortunately, in many...

Little girl introduction her new babysitter
Shasta County Support Services Make Foster Parenting Easier

With more than 62 thousand foster children in the California system, it is important...

Boy lying on floor and reading something on digital tablet
Foster Parenting in the Digital Age

Trying to protect a child in your home, whether they be biological, adopted or...

mother with daughter isolated on white
Foster Care Agencies Provide Options for Caregivers

Raising children is no easy task, but when caring for someone else’s children, it...

Mother and toddler
4 Myths About Foster Parenting

Foster parenting is quite a bit different than parenting biological children. For those who...

Multi-racial Family Portrait Children Only
True Success Stories of Foster Care

Too many times, we hear about negative things that happen in foster care, but...

Two teens sharing music on headphones
Discipline for Older Foster Children

Foster children frequently come from traumatic situations, where they’ve faced abuse, neglect, rejection, or...

Brown-haired child in a field of grass
Preparing Your Home for Foster Parenting

So you want to become a foster parent? Whether you are planning to become...

Sad little boy in black and white
The First Day: How To Help a Foster Child Feel At Home

When a foster child comes to your home, it’s often a frightening and overwhelming...

Boy eating a biscuit from a biscuit bowl
Helping Foster Children Overcome Eating Disorders

Some foster children have experienced the trauma of not having enough to eat. Others...

Bullied teen sitting on cement slab on city street
How to Address Bullying, A Problem That Many Foster Children Face

Bullying is a prevalent problem in American schools. In 2015, almost a quarter of...

Developmental process of boy looking at school book
Developmental Challenges That a Foster Child Might Face

Foster children enter the system when there’s been a traumatic situation in their family,...

Young girl with blonde hair smiling
Helping a Foster Child Heal from Trauma

Whether you’re a foster parent or an adoptive parent, you may encounter a child...

Facts and Myths About Foster Care in Shasta County

There are hundreds of children in foster care in Shasta County. These children have...

Resources That Help After You Foster Adopt in Siskiyou County

If you’ve elected to foster adopt in Siskiyou County, we’re sure it was no...

Things to Know When Becoming Involved With Tehama County Foster Care

It’s no small thing to decide to become a foster parent. It takes a...

Foster parenting shasta county
Preparing for Foster Parenting in Tehama County

Every child needs a healthy, supportive home environment. With foster parenting, you can provide...

Things to Know About Foster Care and Foster Parenting in Shasta County

There are plenty of opinions and preconceived notions, as well as a lot of...

Happy Kids
Circumstances That Often Lead to a Shasta County Foster Care Placement

As a foster parent, you must recognize that you’ll be opening your home to...

Shasta County Foster Care Guide to National Adoption Month

It has been 19 years since November was officially recognized as National Adoption Month,...

Key Facts and Figures of the Foster Care System on a National, California and Shasta County Level

Many people don’t realize how many children are placed into foster care on a...

Foster care shasta county
What You Can Expect During the Shasta County Foster Care Home Study Process

Choosing to open up your home and become a foster parent is one of...

Foster parenting shasta county
Differences Between Foster Parenting and Foster Adoption

Providing a foster child in need with a loving, stable environment is a rewarding...

Parenting Wisdom For Those Looking to Foster Adopt in Shasta County

Most mothers and fathers find that just when they conquer one phase of parenting...

Strategies For Successful Shasta County Foster Parenting

Becoming a foster parent is a rewarding experience for families and individuals who are...

fishing with foster dad shasta county
Bonding After Your Shasta County Foster Adoption

While love is definitely an important factor in any relationship, it’s necessary to recognize...

Foster Parenting in Shasta County Changes Lives For the Better

Foster parenting is a term that almost everyone has heard of, but few realize...

How the Decision to Foster Adopt Can Positively Influence a Shasta County Foster Child

Parenting any child, biological or otherwise, takes patience, love and commitment. However, foster parenting...

Types of Shasta County Foster Care Placements

Numerous children continue to enter the foster care system every day, each with a...

Foster parenting daughters shasta county
Support Foster Adoption in Redding During National Adoption Month

Every child deserves to grow up in a loving, stable home environment that promotes...

Foster care shasta county Cake
Is Sugar Addiction Real?

YES! A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by Harvard’s...

Often Unrecognized Safety Hazards in the Household

Accidents can happen in an instant. While most household hazards are commonly known and...

What You Can Do to Help Children in the Foster Care System

Children of all ages and backgrounds are placed into the Shasta County foster care...

Foster care shasta county Baby
Sleep…It’s Overrated! Or is it?

Sleep is one of the most important (and easy) things that we can do...

Foster care shasta county baking
Muddy Snowballs

Chocolate-lovers will devour this cocoa version of snowballs, the classic holiday cookie. To make...

Toys for Foster parenting shasta county
Managing Holiday Stress

Wrapped up with the enthusiasm of holiday fun, excitement, busyness, activities, and celebration is...

Tips For Foster Care Families During the Holiday Season

The holidays are supposed to be an especially joyful and magical time of year,...

Halloween Safety

Fun Fall Party Mix

Have fun with this recipe. Ingredients can be added or substituted for personal preference. Make it...

Baking Foster care shasta county Events
Candy Cottages

This is an activity for those that the thought of actually making and cutting...

Creative Gift Idea

Foster care Family walking shasta county
4 Reasons Foster Parents Are Always Needed in Shasta County

If you are sensitive to the plight of abused children who have been removed...

Exercise Makes You Smarter

What????!!!  It’s true! Exercise can boost your intelligence with benefits from children through seniors...