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Teen Driver’s License Laws & Traffic Ticket Penalties

Published on April 28th, 2020

Understanding the specific ins and outs of the law can always be difficult, but especially for teens. There are specific laws and regulations designed to help keep teen drivers safe referred to as the Graduated Driver Licensing Program. Our driver’s license reinstatement lawyer in Illinois breaks down the different laws that apply to teens of varying ages below. 

Instruction Permit State – 15 Years Old

During the instruction permit stage, teen drivers are expected to operate vehicles while supervised by an adult who is 21 years or older who holds a valid driver’s license. Teen drivers must not be convicted of any traffic violations while they have their permit, and everyone in the vehicle needs to be wearing a seatbelt at all times. Specific nighttime driving restrictions need to be followed as well. Teen drivers are prohibited from driving Sunday-Thursday between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., and Friday-Saturday between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Of course, the use of cell phones is not permitted while operating a vehicle. If a teen driver sustains their first conviction for a traffic violation, it will result in a 2-month license suspension.

Initial Licensing Stage – 16-17 Years Old

Teen drivers must not be convicted for any traffic violations for at least 6 months before they turn 18. Only one passenger under the age of 20 is allowed in the vehicle unless the passengers are siblings of the driver, in which case more than one passenger is allowed. This specific rule applies for the first 12 months of holding a license or until the driver turns 18, whichever comes first. Local curfews must be followed and the use of cell phones while driving is prohibited unless there is an emergency.  

Traffic Tickets for Drivers Under the Age of 18

In the case that a driver under the age of 18 receives a traffic violation, they must appear in court accompanied by a parent or legal guardian or be represented by an attorney. Teens are required to complete traffic safety school if they receive a sentence of court supervision. Some examples of serious traffic violations that could result in this include speeding more than 26 MPH over the speed limit, driving without a license or permit, possession of alcohol within a vehicle, reckless driving, etc. 

Traffic Ticket Suspension for Drivers Under 21 Years Old

Drivers under the age of 21 will have their license suspended if they receive two moving violation convictions within a 24-month period. In the case of a single traffic ticket, the parents and the teen will receive a warning letter. 

Our Team Can Help

We are knowledgeable in representing teen drivers and their families who are navigating this stressful time. Properly approaching the system can help minimize the repercussions and keep insurance rates from skyrocketing. If you need assistance from a driver’s license reinstatement lawyer in Illinois, please call our team at Johnson & Goldrich today.

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