There are rules and requirements in the state of Tennessee by which a teenage driver (minimum age of 15) must abide. From the very start, parents are involved, beginning with the signing of the Minor/Teenage Affidavit and Cancellation form, which finds the guardian responsible for his/her child’s actions and places full financial liability on the guardian. In addition, applicants for the learner’s permit who are under 18 must show documentation of high school enrollment or graduation. Teens must also submit a Certificate of Compulsory School Attendance form signed by an administrator or school representative and successfully complete a written test, and screening for vision.
Once these requirements have been satisfied, the teen will receive their permit.
There are restrictions that accompany this permit:
- Teens must have a fully licensed driver present in the passenger seat over the age of 21 whenever driving.
- Teens can only drive within the timeframe of 6 AM-10 PM.
- Teens cannot use a mobile device if operating a vehicle.
In order to qualify for a Tennessee Intermediate Restricted License, the applicant must be at least 16, hold a Tennessee learner’s permit for 180 days, and successfully complete a driving exam. A total of 50 hours must be documented by a guardian or qualified instructor, and 10 of those must occur at night. The teen driver may not have more than one passenger in the car at a time.
To qualify for the Level 2 Intermediate License, the teen must have held the prior license for one year and be at least 17 years of age. The teen must also be free of traffic violations totaling more than 6 points. Teens 18 years or older, or high school graduates, will be able to receive a Class D regular driver license. For further information on Tennessee Law and insurance requirements, click here.
There are steps a parent can take to help their child progress and earn a driver license. Before taking off, develop a route based on your child’s skills. If they are new and nervous, consider a small neighborhood. If the idea of driving on a road with other cars is too intimidating, setting up cones for the teen to drive and park between is a great icebreaker. Now that you’re in the car, the best thing to do is stay calm regardless of how frightening your teenage driver is. Keep the talking to a minimum so they learn to concentrate, and explain a mistake when they make one, pulling over if needed.
When returning home, it’s best to use positive reinforcement.
Tell the child what they did right, and go over the mistakes that can be worked on during the next session. Kids learn by watching, and people learn through experience; teenage driving is no exception. Also, remind them of the dangers of texting while driving to support safe driving.