It’s one of the most exciting days in a teenager’s life: the day they get their driver’s license. But it’s also one of the scariest days in a parent’s life. Letting your child have the responsibility and freedom of having control of a vehicle is exhilarating and terrifying. Knowing that they have the knowledge and experience that comes with them having a learner’s permit can help give a parent peace of mind that their child is as prepared for this important new milestone as possible.
What Exactly is a Learner’s Permit?
Many teenagers in a rush to get their license do not understand why a learner’s permit is important. The permit is the first step to getting a license in most states, and is required for people between the ages of 15 and 18.
What a permit allows varies from state to state. In Florida, once you have completed the necessary steps to obtain your permit, you are allowed to drive during daylight hours only for the first three months, then until 10 p.m. after that unless you have an accident or infraction, in which case your curfew is rescinded.
During this learning time, you must complete at least 50 hours of supervised practice driving.
Why is a Permit Important?
The laws of when a learner is allowed to drive are set in place to help combat the high accident and fatality rate among young drivers. Statistics show that the crash rate for 16 to 19 years old is between 2.7 to 3.7 times higher than that of drivers of all other ages combined. Requiring new drivers to pass exams and have a certain amount of supervised driving hours has proven to reduce these crash statistics.
With the learner’s permit, the driver can learn the routines and laws of driving and develop safe habits while being guided by a licensed driver 21 years or older sitting in the front passenger seat.
How Do You Get Your Permit?
There are a few steps to obtaining a learner’s permit. First, you must be at least 15 years old and have completed a Traffic Laws and Substance Abuse Education (TLSAE) course. This can be done in a classroom or online.
Once you have completed the course, bring proof of your completion and your driver’s license fee to the Department of Motor Vehicles with a parent. You must also have proof of your identity, your social security number, and proof of residence. From there, you will have to pass a vision and hearing test.
There is also a test you must pass. This can be done through a Driver’s Ed course or online. You can also take it at the DMV directly. After you have all of this completed successfully, you can bring it to your local DMV and get your learner’s permit.
Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect, But It Helps!
No driver is ever perfect, and no matter how long you have been driving, you can still make mistakes or get in an accident. Driving is an enormous responsibility in which you take your safety and the safety of others into your hands when you get behind the wheel.
Giving yourself or your child the time to learn the laws of the road and safe driving habits, and time to build confidence, can literally mean the difference between life and death. Learning to drive is an exciting step in a teenager’s life; use your time with your learner’s permit to make it a safe one as well.