Joint Legal – Minors And Driving


In divorce situations many times parents will have joint legal custody responsibilities set out in their Judgment of Dissolution. Joint legal custody, unlike physical custody, deals with joint decision making responsibilities with legal rather than day-to-day decisions. One such joint decision is the authorizing a minor’s drivers license. It dawned on me that while I deal with this legal custody label practically daily, I did not even know the current laws regarding a minor obtaining a permit, what was required, and what restrictions there were for young drivers that parents should know when authorizing a minor’s driver’s license. Recently, The California Bar Foundation published


Kids and the Law, An A – to – Z Guide for Parents. Here is what I learned:


– Child must be 15 ½ years

– Submit an application form and a form showing completion of driver education and enrollment or completion of driver training signed by parents or guardians

– Pass a vision exam

– Provide social security number

– Verify birth date and legal presence

– Have picture taken

– Pay application fee

– Pass written examination.


Once the above is completed DMV will issue a learners permit. A permit driver cannot drive alone of course. They need an adult (25 or older) with a valid license to be in the car at all times and be able to take control if necessary.


To get a provisional license, your child must


– Be at least 16 years old

– Finish driver education and 6 hours of professional driver training and receive the proper certification

– Have a learner’s permit for at least 6 months

– Provide a parent’s signature (or other acceptable signature) on his or her learner’s permit stating that all the driving practices required have been met.

– Complete 50 hours of supervised driving with an adult 25 or older who has valid license. 10 hours must be done at night.

– Pass the behind the wheel driving test (must show proof of insurance for the car testing in) and written exam.

Once they get a provisional license your child can drive alone. However, the first 12 months child cannot drive anyone under the age of 20 in the car and may not drive between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless accompanied by a licensed driver 25 years of age or older. Teenagers under 18 cannot be employed as drivers. Getting driver’s licenses authorization from a former spouse can sometimes be difficult but it may be required under your Judgment. It is generally not the authorization that is problematic but knowing more about the specifics of what one is actually authorizing. Hopefully this will help.

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