• Newly licensed minor in California and hoping to take your friends out for a ride? Bad idea.

    The law

    For 12 months after being licensed, a minor cannot transport anyone who is under age 20 unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian, a licensed driver over the age of 25 or a driving instructor, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

    Other restrictions

    Minors also cannot, for the first 12 months that they are licensed, drive between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent or guardian, a licensed driver over the age of 25 or a driving instructor. Minors are also not allowed to use cell phones while driving.


    The state keeps a close eye on new drivers and has the authority to restrict or suspend provisional licenses if accidents or violations of the law occur. And it's not just when behind the wheel that new drivers need to be on their best behavior. California law allows the courts to restrict or revoke driving privileges for habitual truancy from school.

    Full privileges

    Provisional licenses, which are granted to minors, turn into regular licenses once a person turns 18.

    Why is the law so strict?

    The law is strict because new drivers aren't, as a general rule, very good drivers. A couple of statistics from the California Driver Handbook say it all: - Almost half of drivers between the ages of 15 and 19 are convicted of a traffic violation in their first year of driving. - Teenagers average twice as many accidents as adult drivers, while driving only half as many miles. This means that their accident rate per mile is four times that of adult drivers.


    CA Driver Handbook section on minors

    Actions against provisional licenses

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