California Teen Driving Laws and Enforcement

In the state of California, provisional license holders will have restrictions for the first year. During the first year, teen drivers are not allowed to: 

•    Drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
•    Allow passengers under the age of 20 in the car with them

If driving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. is necessary or if passengers under the age of 20 are present in the car, the driver must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, a licensed driver over the age of 25, or a licensed driving instructor. 
The California Department of Motor Vehicles lists the exceptions to these restrictions below, when reasonable transportation is not available. In addition, the teen driver must carry a note at all times, which explains the necessity and the date when the necessity will end. This rule does not apply to emancipated minors.

•    Medical necessity when reasonable transportation alternatives are unavailable. The note must be signed by the physician containing the diagnosis and probable date of recovery
•    Schooling or school-authorized activity. The note must be signed by your school principal, dean, or his/her designee
•    Employment necessity and the need to operate a vehicle as part of your employment. The note must be signed by your employer verifying employment.
•    Your necessity or the necessity of an immediate family member. The note must be signed by your parent or legal guardian
•    If you are an emancipated minor. No documentation is needed. However, you must have already declared yourself emancipated and provided DMV with
•    Proof of Financial Responsibility (SR 1P) in lieu of the parent’s or guarantors’ signatures

The California DMV monitors all minor drivers closely. If you:

•    Get a traffic ticket and fail to appear in court, your driving privileges will be suspended until you appear in court
•    Get a traffic ticket and neglect to pay the fine, your driving privileges will be suspended until you pay the fine or get in an Orlando car accident
•    Have one “at fault” accident or conviction within 1 year, you will receive a warning letter from the DMV
•    Have a second “at fault” accident or conviction (or combination of both) within 1 year, your driving privileges will be suspended for 30 days. You will be allowed to drive with a parent or other licensed adult (25 years or older) during the 30-day period
•    Have a third “at fault” accident or conviction (or any combination) within 1 year, your driving privileges will be suspended for 6 months and you will be placed on probation for a minimum of 1 year
•    Have additional “at fault” accidents or point count convictions while on probation, your driving privileges will be suspended again

•    All teen traffic violations are reported to the DMV and will remain on your record for a period of time to be determined by the courts. In some cases, these violations can become a part of your permanent record

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