Teen Driving Laws: What You Need to Know

With students back in school, many teens will be eager to hit the road for the first time. Driving is one of the greatest rites of passage for teenagers in America, and there is nothing more exciting than the freedom and independence that a car can provide for young drivers. Driving laws in Kansas have changed significantly over the past several years, and it is important to understand the specifics.

Teens are first eligible to start driving at the age of 14 with a Learner’s Permit. With parental consent, 14 year olds can apply for an instructional permit at a local DMV office. Teens will be expected to provide proof of identity, proof of Kansas residency, and $31 in fees for licensing, photos, and testing materials. New drivers will also be expected to pass a written test created by the DMV, and a vision test. The written examination can be waived with documentation of completion of a state-approved driver’s education course.

Upon successful completion of these tests, teens will obtain their Learner’s Permit. This allows teens to drive only if they are accompanied in the front seat by a licensed driver that is at least 21 years old. Only the supervising driver may be in the front seat, and use of electronics while driving is prohibited except in cases of emergency.

After logging at least 25 hours of driving experience with a Learner’s Permit, teens that are at least 15 years old may apply for a Provisional License. In order to obtain a provisional license, students must provide proof of a state-approved driver’s education course. Also, one must provide an Affidavit logging 25 hours of driving experience. Furthermore, the same vision tests, identification, and fees will be required at the time of application.

With a Provisional License, teens can begin to drive without supervision. However, unsupervised driving is only permitted over the most direct and accessible route between home and school for the purpose of attendance, and to and from or in connection with any job, school, or farm-related work. With a Provisional License teens may drive at any time with the supervision of a licensed 21 year old adult. No non-sibling passengers are permitted, and the use of electronics is still prohibited except in the case of emergencies.

When teens turn 16 years old, they face fewer restrictions if they have successfully logged an additional 25 hours of driving. It is important to note that 10 of these hours must be conducted at night. If these steps are successfully completed, teens may now drive without supervision anywhere between the hours of 5 a.m. and 9 p.m., and to and from a religious worship service held by a religious organization. One non-sibling passenger is now allowed, but the use of electronics is still prohibited. Teens are still permitted to drive to and from work, school, and farm related purposes, and they may still drive at any time with proper supervision.

At the age of 17, teens are allowed to apply for and unrestricted Driver’s License. By passing a vision test and driving test, teens will be allowed to drive without restriction. Proper documentation and fees will be collected upon application.

It is very exciting as many students will be driving to school for the first time this year. It is important to notify your insurance agent about new drivers on your policy. Furthermore, make sure that you carry the correct insurance liability limits for teen drivers. Even the most diligent teen drivers can lack experience, and teens are at higher risk for serious accidents. Not only does this create a physical risk, but also a financial risk for families. This is especially true if parents/guardians are listed on the titles of vehicles operated by teen drivers. We encourage you to contact our agents for any questions regarding new drivers in your family. Safe travels!

Want more information? Visit the Kansas DMV website for more details about teen driving laws, and information about Farm Permits, Teen Motorcycles Licenses and more!

September 3rd, 2015 by J. Goodman Insurance Agency