Driving without a license could upset your future in a major way. If you were caught, you and your parents would face a number of fines, including a fine for the offense itself, court fees, the price for towing the car to the impound yard and the price to release it back into your parent’s possession. Depending on the circumstances, your parents could also be in trouble for allowing an unlicensed minor to operate a vehicle.
The cost of the ticket for driving without a license will depend on the state you live in, but in general, it will run you anywhere from $200 to $2000. It could also delay or prevent you getting your real license in the future. Teenagers who are caught driving without a permit could spend up to six months in a juvenile corrections facility or be put on probation and forced to do community service. Pretty scary, isn’t it?
Getting a Learner’s Permit
If you want to drive, it’s important that you go through the proper steps to be able to legally do so. Depending on the laws within your state, you should qualify for a learner’s permit anywhere between age 15 and 16. The permit will allow you to drive with a licensed driver present.
To get your permit, bring one of your parents with you to the DMV. You will need them to sign the paperwork. Next, pay your fees and take the test. If you don’t pass on the first try, you will need to come back later to take it again. If you find yourself failing more than once, then it’s likely that you didn’t study enough. Be sure to spend a great deal of time reading through the DMV handbook, and if you still don’t feel confident, consider taking a few online practice tests. Reading through the handbook can be overwhelming, and practice tests can give you some idea of what information is most important to study.
How to Replace a Lost Permit
What if you have your permit, but it isn’t in the car? What if it was lost or became damaged somehow? Unfortunately, passing the test and receiving the permit doesn’t mean that you can legally drive without it present. Just like you need to carry your driver’s license with you in order to legally drive, you need to have a physical copy of the permit. Therefore, if you lost or damaged your learner’s permit, then you need to have it replaced so that you can drive.
You should be eligible for a new permit as long as it wasn’t about to expire before you lost it. The DMV will not replace suspended, revoked or expired learner’s permits. You also may have a difficult time getting a replacement if you owe any money for tickets or citations, which hopefully, you do not. Depending on your state, you may be able to order a new permit online. If your state doesn’t allow for this, you will have to go to the DMV in person.
When you go to replace your permit, bring the following items with you.
1. Two different documents that show your age and identity, such as a certified birth certificate, passport, social security card, state identification card, school identification card or military identification card.
2. Cash, a personal check or a money order for the permit fees, which can vary depending on your state.
When you get your new permit, take care not to allow the same mistake to happen again. Keeping track of paperwork and identification materials is an important part of becoming a responsible adult.