Several parents have asked how they can tell if their teenager is ready to drive. DrivingMBA emphasizes readiness vs. eligibility as there is a significant difference between the two. In Arizona, teenagers are eligible for their learner’s permit when they are 15 1/2 years old. They are eligible for their license when they have held their permit for a minimum of 6 months and have reached the age of 16. We ask parents not to place a lot of emphasis on a student’s 16th birthday but rather to pay attention to the following:
- Are they mature enough to understand driving is a significant responsibility?
- Can they follow through on their day-to-day responsibilities without prodding and coaching from mom or dad?
Once they start the process of learning to drive, the questions you need to ask are:
- Have they developed the necessary skills and decision-making to drive without coaching from an instructor or parent?
- Can you sit in the vehicle as a passenger and not feel you need to hold onto something or hit the brake?
Swerve Driving School out of Washington suggests three signs your teen is ready: Meeting Expectations, Knowing Boundaries, and Understanding Consequences.