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Understanding California Teen Driving Laws

When you get your license, it comes with all kinds of new freedoms. Don't forget, however, that it's important to abide by all California teen driving laws. Breaking the rules can have serious consequences, including having your license suspended. Keep reading to learn more about California teen driving laws as they apply to drivers of different ages and experience levels.

When You Have Your Permit

The most important thing to remember is that permit holders are not allowed to drive alone for any reason. You can only practice driving with a licensed driver who is 25 or older in the front seat.

It's important to log plenty of safe driving hours when you have your permit so that you'll be prepared to get your license.

For New License Holders

During the first year that you have your license, there are two important restrictions you must follow:

  • You are prohibited from driving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • You cannot carry passengers who are younger than 20.

California teen driving laws, however, do allow for several exceptions. You can drive after curfew or with teenage passengers if you are accompanied by a California licensed driver who is at least 25. You can also drive past 11 p.m. if you have signed documentation stating:

  • You're traveling to or from a school-related activity.
  • Driving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. is required for your job.
  • You need to travel for medical reasons and have no alternative transportation options available.

Once you turn 18, regardless of how long you've had your license, these restrictions will no long apply and you'll be able to drive whenever you wish as long as you maintain a safe driving record.

Penalties for Violating Teen Driver Laws

Your license will be restricted for 30 days if you receive two points for violations within a year. If you receive three points, your license could be suspended for six months and you could receive a year's probation, so be sure to follow all California teen driving laws.

Other Things to Keep in Mind

In addition to the aforementioned restrictions, California has a couple other teen driving laws in place that are important to consider before getting behind the wheel.

It's illegal for teens to use electronic devices while driving, even if they're hands-free. Also, California is a zero tolerance state. If an underage driver is found to have a blood-alcohol concentration of .01% or higher, their license will be suspended for a full year.

Remember, these laws exist to help keep all drivers safe. It's important to follow them so that you can hold on to your license and all the exciting freedoms that come with it.

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