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Teens Must Hold Their Permit for 6 Months

The licensing process for a teenager can be confusing,  to say the least.  Here is an example of one of the most misunderstood rules for teens.  From the DMV website:

Before being eligible to take your driving test you must:

AND

  • Have held your permit for a minimum of six months

This means that a teenager has to wait 6 months from the date the permit was issued, until they can take the Behind-the-Wheel test.  The intent of this rule was to ensure that students had adequate time to practice before obtaining a California Driver License.  Sounds reasonable, right?

Unfortunately, it has not worked.  Teens are not using this 6 month period to practice and perfect their driving skills.  What they are doing, is procrastinating.  The mandatory 6 month waiting period has allowed student drivers to put driver training on their mental back burner.  Students and parents commonly tell us that the reason they are not practicing often or scheduling regular lessons is that they “have a whole 6 months to do it”.

To a teenager, 6 months is an eternity.  Imagine that you are a teacher,  and you assign a term paper to your students that is due at the end of the school year.  When do you think they will begin to work on that paper? The day before the end of the school year of course!  The same logic holds true with learning to drive.

Procrastination has become the norm in the industry, and the DMV is encouraging it with their well meaning but poorly planned rules.  When will we realize that these arbitrary time limts are not making our drivers safer.  Only better training and thorough testing will make them safer.

Agree?  Disagree?  

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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