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S/O: License - Teens driving alone with only a learner's permit?


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MIL is visiting with us this week.  Over the years, she has relayed some stories about her neighbors who are extremely permissive with their children.  The latest story was a bit of a shock to me.

Apparently, their son comes home from school each day, hops in the family's Jeep and drives off to see his friends.  The issue is that this boy does not have a driver's license.  He only has a learner's permit.

For reference, this is in the state of Maryland.  This boy is driving in the vicinity of Quill's house. ;)

That raises a host of questions in my mind:

  • What happens if this boy gets into an accident in which someone is injured or killed?
  • What happens if this boy gets into an accident where no one is hurt?
  • What happens if this boy gets pulled over by the police?

 

I realized that I have no idea what the consequences would be in these cases.  Not good thoughts come to mind, but I simply don't know.  Does anyone have any idea about how those situations would be handled?

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Is she sure he's going to see friends? Does he possibly have a job and a work permit?

As others have said, I would guess penalties would be losing his permit, and possibly not getting his license until 18. Since he's 14/15 I don't think there would be much more than that. 

Kelly

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2 minutes ago, SquirrellyMama said:

Is she sure he's going to see friends?

Yes.  They are good friends and MIL has spoken with both the boy and his parents about this.  He is old enough to have a learner's permit but not old enough to have a driver's license.

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1 minute ago, RegGuheert said:

Yes.  They are good friends and MIL has spoken with both the boy and his parents about this.  He is old enough to have a learner's permit but not old enough to have a driver's license.

A work permit is something you get before you have your driver's license. Usually, between 14 and 15 so you can drive to work. It looks like Maryland has that option.

BUT...

The parents know he is taking their jeep without a license to go see friends?! I would think they would get into a lot of trouble if any of your above scenarios happened. It's one thing if he's doing it without their knowledge, another if they actually are aware.

My daughter's driver's license is not something I want to mess with. We've been very careful since she's gotten it, because they can lose it until they're 18 or older.

Kelly

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1 minute ago, SquirrellyMama said:

The parents know he is taking their jeep without a license to go see friends?! I would think they would get into a lot of trouble if any of your above scenarios happened. It's one thing if he's doing it without their knowledge, another if they actually are aware.

That's exactly how I feel.  Specifically, I believe the insurance company would be completely absolved of any liability leaving the parents entirely exposed to lawsuits in the case of an accident.  As MIL says: "They could lose their house if anything happened."

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6 minutes ago, SquirrellyMama said:

A work permit is something you get before you have your driver's license. Usually, between 14 and 15 so you can drive to work. It looks like Maryland has that option.

BUT...

The parents know he is taking their jeep without a license to go see friends?! I would think they would get into a lot of trouble if any of your above scenarios happened. It's one thing if he's doing it without their knowledge, another if they actually are aware.

My daughter's driver's license is not something I want to mess with. We've been very careful since she's gotten it, because they can lose it until they're 18 or older.

Kelly

AFAIK, a work permit has nothing to do with driving.

Drivers with a driving permit must have a licensed driver in the front seat.  Always.  Even if the person is going to work/school.

Drivers with a license who are under age 18 are allowed to drive to and from work/school activities even during hours when they are normally restricted from driving.

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2 minutes ago, Junie said:

AFAIK, a work permit has nothing to do with driving.

Drivers with a driving permit must have a licensed driver in the front seat.  Always.  Even if the person is going to work/school.

Drivers with a license who are under age 18 are allowed to drive to and from work/school activities even during hours when they are normally restricted from driving.

I was searching around a found a driving work permit for MD, but now I don't see it. In Iowa, at least when I was a kid, you could get a work permit that allowed you to drive to work before you were 16, we do still have school permits that you can get at 14 to drive to and from school and school activities (dances, sports, speech, etc...). It might include work along with school.

Kelly

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4 minutes ago, SquirrellyMama said:

I was searching around a found a driving work permit for MD, but now I don't see it. In Iowa, at least when I was a kid, you could get a work permit that allowed you to drive to work before you were 16, we do still have school permits that you can get at 14 to drive to and from school and school activities (dances, sports, speech, etc...). It might include work along with school.

Kelly

Wow.  Where is that fainting emoji when I need it?

I can't imagine any of my kids driving at age 14 or 15.

Of course, Iowa roads are probably different than the ones in MD that the OP is talking about...

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4 minutes ago, Junie said:

Wow.  Where is that fainting emoji when I need it?

I can't imagine any of my kids driving at age 14 or 15.

Of course, Iowa roads are probably different than the ones in MD that the OP is talking about...

Fourteen year olds can vary so much in looks. Sometimes I swear it is a 10 year old driving around!  

I don't know much about Maryland, but Iowa roads tend to be straight and flat :)

Kelly

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31 minutes ago, Junie said:

AFAIK, a work permit has nothing to do with driving.

Drivers with a driving permit must have a licensed driver in the front seat.  Always.  Even if the person is going to work/school.

Drivers with a license who are under age 18 are allowed to drive to and from work/school activities even during hours when they are normally restricted from driving.

When I was growing up in AR there was a 'hardship' license.  You could drive alone at age 15 if you had a good enough reason.  I can't recall all the reasons but I do remember some kids had them in the rural area I was raised up in.  

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Alabama does not allow anyone to drive by themselves anywhere before 16.  I checked and in order to drive a farm vehicle on a road (tractors, combines, etc), you have to be 18.  I do not want people under 16 driving.  I especially do not want unlicensed, uninsured drivers under 16 driving.  What can happen in worse case scenarios is the parents lose everything (house, savings, etc) and the child is put into juvenile detention or prison (if he is driving below age and ends up killing).

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1 hour ago, SquirrellyMama said:

Fourteen year olds can vary so much in looks. Sometimes I swear it is a 10 year old driving around!  

I don't know much about Maryland, but Iowa roads tend to be straight and flat :)

Kelly

Busy.  Maryland roads are busy. ;)

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Farm country here (but not Iowa). School permits as young as 15 and a school learner permit (requires adult in the car and limited to 3 months) before that. Farm kids drive the vehicles all the time.

I think we had "work permits" like a previous poster mentioned while growing up, but I don't see them now. Not a permit to work but a license to drive alone just to and from work before you were 16 (legal age to drive where I grew up). School permits are only to and from school or school activities. If you are caught driving other than that, they will sometimes revoke the permit and assign community service. Or, they make you wait longer for your full license. Around here, you mostly just get off with a verbal warning and the officer calls your parents (small town).

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7 minutes ago, Danae said:

 Once they're 14 they can drive into town instead of just in the fields, and at that point they are safer drivers than 16 year old city kids with little to no driving experience. 

This. So much this. I'd trust the farm kid over so many other teens, even at 14.

The Maryland situation is likely stupid and illegal.

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I would hope this would be stopped before something happened.  parents do it as a convenience for themselves.  I would think if anything happened - the parents would also be on the hook since they are knowingly allowing him to drive.

my mother allowed my brother to drive with only a learner's permit. he drove me around, etc. as she was working.  not a good situation.

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2 hours ago, Junie said:

AFAIK, a work permit has nothing to do with driving.

Drivers with a driving permit must have a licensed driver in the front seat.  Always.  Even if the person is going to work/school.

Drivers with a license who are under age 18 are allowed to drive to and from work/school activities even during hours when they are normally restricted from driving.

in WA - they can get their license at16 -IF they have taken driver's ed.  they are also supposed to have 100 hours minimum practice time.  they have a probational license for the first six months.  NO non-related minors (re: friends) in the car for the first six months.  (siblings are fine.)   and there are restricted hours.

1 hour ago, SquirrellyMama said:

Fourteen year olds can vary so much in looks. Sometimes I swear it is a 10 year old driving around!  

I don't know much about Maryland, but Iowa roads tend to be straight and flat :)

Kelly

I know a 16 year old boy  who if I didn't know he was 16 - I'd swear was 10.  and he's super short too.  (I've wondered if he had a problem with growth hormones).   another one of normal height  (and very fresh faced) - but sounds like a 10 year old. (or younger.) his voice is *finally* starting to drop.  he may be closer to 17 now.

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