Teens can start the licensing process in California at 15 ½ years old. However, they cannot drive with others in the vehicle who are under 25 years old without a licensed adult in the car. But what about after you turn 18 years old? Can an 18 year old drive with passengers in California?
Applying for a License Over 18
Can an 18 year old drive with passengers in California? Knowing the laws is a big part of becoming a safe driver. Applying for a driver’s license when you are over 18 years old is very different from being under 18 years old. In fact, 18 is the cutoff age where things make a drastic shift.
Teens become legal adults, which means they are expected by law to know the laws and follow them to a T. That is why there is more leniency for teens over 18 years old. For example, teens do not need to take driving classes or attend driver training if they are over 18 years old. Instead, those teens will just take the written test at the DMV.
However, it is recommended that they attend a driving school to learn everything needed to pass the written test. The teen will then be given a learning permit which is different from the provisional learner’s permit that teens 16 years old would receive.
A learning permit is a lot like a license; however, there is one restriction that teens must follow. Teens with a learning permit over the age of 18 don’t have curfew hours like younger teens will have. Can an 18 year old drive with passengers in California under a learning permit?
No, teens can drive with a licensed driver 18 or older, but they still cannot drive with minors in the car unless there is an adult present. The 18 year old licensed passenger must also be sitting in the front passenger seat just in case they need to take over the wheel. That is the single restriction 18 year olds with a learning permit must follow.
Getting a License
Can an 18 year old drive with passengers in California? The answer is no, not with a learning permit. But things change when you receive a driver’s license. Teens who are 18 must have their learning permit for 6 months before applying for their license.
They must pass the driving test at the DMV in order to get their driver’s licenses. However, once they have an official license, paper, or card, they can drive without restriction. That means 18 year olds can drive with passengers so long as they have a driver’s license, just not during the 6 months they have a learning permit.
It is important to remember that all driving laws still apply, but their driver’s licenses will not be provisional licenses.
Importance of Driving School
Can an 18 year old drive with passengers in California? The answer is no, and then yes. However, driving school is not mandatory for any stage of the process; instead, it is voluntary. Teens should always attend driving school. Varsity Driving Academy makes it easier for teens to complete the course online, which means they can create their own schedules.
But driving school is where teens will get help with the DMV handbook and get clarifications on any of the driving laws they may be curious about. The information learned in driving school is invaluable and could even save lives.