California Driving Rules For Teens and Do They Differ From Other States?

August 31, 2018

Based on what we see in the movies, cruising all night in a cool car has long been a teen pastime. In most states, however, 16 year old driving laws are stricter today than they were in decades past. These driving tips for beginners will help you follow California’s regulations for new drivers.

California’s Provisional License Program

Since the 1990s, most states have implemented some type of graduated driver’s license program. California’s provisional driver’s license, which was introduced in 2006, requires new drivers to have a parent, guardian, driving instructor or licensed driver older than age 25 in the car in these situations:

  • When driving with a passenger who is younger than age 20
  • When driving between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Drivers in the provisional period and school bus drivers are banned from using cell phones behind the wheel at all times, even with a Bluetooth headset or hands-free device. Other California drivers are banned from texting and using handheld phones but may use hands-free devices.

These new driver rules apply to anyone younger than 18 for one year after the date the license was received.

Teen Driver Laws Nationwide

The driving curfew in California isn’t just a state phenomenon. In fact, every state but Vermont prohibits new drivers from being on the road alone during certain hours. Restrictions on the age and number of passengers exist in 46 states including California, as well as in Washington, DC. California’s cell phone laws for novice drivers are also in effect in 37 other states and DC.

The traffic ticket lawyers at The Ticket Clinic can assist you with issues that arise while you’re a new driver. If you receive a ticket during your provisional license period, call us for a free consultation. We advocate for clients who have been accused of driving under the influence, speeding, reckless driving, texting behind the wheel and other traffic offenses.