Teen Driver

Commonwealth Seal










Some of you may have read my post a while ago about Learning to Drive.  If not, go ahead, I’ll wait.

If you can’t be bothered, it is about riding around with my son while he is learning to drive.  But it is also about my father and his early driving experiences.  Here is an excerpt:

When I was 14, I was able to get a driver’s license and began to deliver the milk in bottles door to door in Shenandoah each morning as well as to two grocery stores before school. Floyd had taught me to drive our Model T Ford when I was about 10 years old, so I had no trouble getting a driver’s license. The dairy really saved us during the Depression.

My son is not 14 and has no need to deliver milk.  Although any additional income would obviously be welcome.

No, times have changed.  In the Commonwealth of Virginia – yes, it is a commonwealth, not a state, although there is no difference – anyway, in the Commonwealth of Virginia, in order for a minor to get a driver’s license they have to:

  • Pass a multiple choice written test and eye exam.  This gets them their Learner’s Permit.
  • Attend a state-approved driver education program
  • Attend a one hour session with parent or guardian on driving safety.
  • Hold  the Learner’s Permit for 9 months during which time the student must drive a motor vehicle for at least 45 hours, at least 15 of which were after sunset, as certified by his parent or legal guardian.
  • Attend 14 hours of behind the wheel training by a certified official.
  • Pass the on road driving test.
  • This will get them a provisional license which is good for 180 days.
  • They will then get a court summons to go before a Judge for a licensing ceremony.  This usually lasts about 30 minutes, after which they will get their valid driver’s license that will expire when they turn 20.

Whew!  I seriously doubt my father went through any of that.

So we are now waiting for a court date.  And my insurance has tripled.



  1. My mother told me she got her drivers license by driving to the sheriffs office and asking him for a drivers license. He said, “You drove here didn’t you?” She said, “Yes.” He said, “I better give you a drivers license then!”

    She was a self taught driver, drove her whole life with left foot for break, and right foot for gas. She would not drive in the city, we would have to meet her north of the cities. Barb would drive her car, and mom would ride with me back to our house.

    My dad drove without a license his whole life till he got stopped for speeding in ’66.

  2. These days we have a lot more drivers and a lot more cars on the road, and don’t get me started on people using cell phones and texting while driving.
    Just a little note of my own. My dad taught my mother to drive with left foot for brake and right foot for gas—and she failed the test because of it. Good thing b/c one day during a lesson, with my sister and me in the backseat, she nearly drove us off the side of a hill. Fast forward thirty-plus years. My dad passed away and my mother needed to drive, so she took lessons and passed her test—at 78 years old. Fortunately she lived in Henderson, Nevada, where there are no hills. Seriously, though, we were very proud of her. You should have seen how pleased she was when I taught her how to pump her own gas 🙂

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