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Special Issues of Traffic Violations For Virginia Drivers Under The Age of 18

The steps for a teen to get a learner’s permit and then a license involve education, supervised driving, and passing a written and on-the-road examination in Virginia. The special effort to educate does not cease there.

Demerit points are the penalties given for infraction by teens of the Virginia laws regarding operation of their cars on the roadway. Demerits are assigned for speeding, excessive or reckless lane changes, and moving violations of any kind. Accumulation of demerit points by a teen under age 18 (including for seatbelt and child restraint rules) will cause automatic loss of license.  The first requirement will be completion of a Driver Improvement Clinic. If that is not done within 90 days, then the teen’s license will be suspended by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles until the program is completed.

Incurring the second demerit point (including for seatbelt and child restraint rules) while under the age of 18 will cause an automatic license suspension for 90 days. A restricted permit to drive to work or school may potentially be obtained after petition to Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. This restricted license is discretionary. Most teens will be walking at this point until the suspension ends.

After a third demerit point (including seatbelt and child restraint rules) for an act committed while the teen had not yet reached the eighteenth birthday, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles will revoke your permit or license for one year or until you reach age 18,  whichever is longer.

Teens can receive 5 safe driving points if they take and voluntarily complete a Driver Improvement Course, however those point would not be available if the course were required by VA Department of Motor Vehicles or a Court. Please note:  Virginia does not accept online courses as equivalent to the driver improvement clinic. Attendance at a classroom course is required.

What has not been spoken of during this review of the penalties for under 18 drivers in Virginia is that their ability to be covered by insurance has become more remote and expensive with each demerit.   Costs of insuring a single driver under age 25 are high but those costs escalate when there have been demerits, accidents or citations from another jurisdiction. Parents often pay the VA car insurance costs for these young drivers, therefore they should be diligent in supervising the teen long after the driver’s license has been issued. Costs for insuring a reckless, speed driven teen is often so high that the expense alone requires that the teen come off the parents’ policy, and is therefore uninsured. Being in a collision with an uninsured teen driver with a suspended license can be a horrific experience.   Your own auto insurance should be your security in a time such as this.   If you want to have coverage to pay for damages done to you, your passengers and your own vehicle, you should at least have your own coverage on which to rely.

Put your zip code in the block at the top of this page and receive information on cheap, competitive rates by some Virginia car insurance companies approved to transact business in Virginia. This information will give you a starting point to be able to make wise insurance decisions.