I’ve done it! I’ve passed every test that the DMV has thrown at me. Driver’s ed, driver’s training, the written exam, getting a driver’s permit, even the road test. All of it is over and done with.
Now I can sit back and relax as I cruise all over town. Maybe I’ll drive down and see the night sights right now. Wrong!!! Take this approach and you are virtually guaranteed to end up in major trouble. It is true that you have passed all the requirements to get a driver’s license, and you will be issued one, but certain restrictions apply.
Until you are eighteen years old, you are issued what is called a provisional license. With this license, you are allowed to drive alone, but anytime that you are transporting people under the age of twenty or driving between 11 P.M. and 5 A.M., you are required to have a licensed driver in the car with you. There are some exceptions to this rule, if you are employed and need to drive within the restricted time frame, your employer can sign a form allowing you to drive alone during that time period. Other exceptions are medical needs, or the immediate need of a family member. By law, however, you must have a note for all exceptions explaining why you need to drive during that time and when you will no longer need to do so. It is critical that you do not forget this and always carry a note. If you get pulled over for any reason and don’t have a note, you will end up in major trouble even if you do need to be driving at that time. If you don’t need to be driving and are out driving anyway, well what can I say? Act the fool and you will reap a fool’s reward. You will be excessively lucky if you get off nothing more than a warning. The most likely scenario is getting stuck with a small fortune in fines to pay, so make sure that you do not do this. As soon as you turn eighteen, your provisional license ends and you are home free. Until then, don’t do anything stupid, obey all the laws and drive carefully or traffic school and massive fines are just around the corner.
After you turn eighteen, your license will still say provisional on it, but there are zero restrictions; you have all the freedom and rights that all drivers across the nation have. If you want, you can even pay $20 for a duplicate license that does not have the word provisional on it. The state now considers you to be an adult, drive responsibly and you won’t have any problems at all.