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Lesson 39: Creating a Written, Signed Driving Agreement

Lesson 39: Creating a Written, Signed Driving Agreement

A written, signed driving agreement with your teen is a great way to help reduce crash risk. It can be very simple, and we offer a version (called The New Driver Deal) you can download, print and discuss. If you prefer, you can also create your own agreement.

1. Why written driving agreements are a good idea
Written agreements help you set clear expectations. Make sure you both understand how these expectations can change over time. Restrictions should be set early in the process and later relaxed as your teen gets more experience on the road.

The best agreement is a written document. It contains restrictions, privileges, rules and consequences. It is a reference. It makes it hard for either you or your teen to “forget” or bend the rules. It’s a big help when the inevitable request for an exception arises. And if that exception is granted, it helps to ensure that it stays an exception.

Your agreement might also include financial issues, personal safety, maintenance procedures and how the family will share the car. We advise you keep the document as simple as possible and focus on driving safety.

2. Graduated Driver License rules
The New Driver Deal is based on Graduated Driver License (GDL) rules. Every state has its own GDL program. GDL programs gradually phase in driving privileges for new teen drivers as they gain experience behind the wheel.

For your guidance, some best practice GDL provisions are listed below. It is important for you to know what your state law requires; laws can change. It is also important for families to know that it is okay to require their teens to adhere to stricter provisions than their state law requires.

3. Current Strongest GDL State Driver Licensing Laws

  • Practice hours required before teen may take road test: 70
  • Minimum age for permit: 16
  • Mandatory holding period for permit: one year
  • Minimum age for licensing: 17
  • Night driving: Driving not permitted sunset to sunrise
  • No teenage passengers for one year