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My youngest turn 14 in a few days. Back when I was turning 14 (in KS), I couldn't wait because that meant that I was eligible to take a test for my learner's permit. I'm not sure what my parents were thinking when they took me to take the test, but there's no way I'd let my 14 y.o. get behind the wheel.

So, what age is appropriate to get a driver's license?

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That's rather difficult to answer as I feel it varies a lot. It used to be there was no age limit for obtaining a private pilots license you just had to do the work and pass the test. I feel that might be a good way to handle it but of course you need to be large enough to operate the thing. On farms kids operate tractors as soon as they're able to do it.

There is a lot of pressure now to raise the age from 16 to 18 or even 21 which I feel will not help. All that does is give us a bunch of 18 or 21 year olds with no experience, having the same accidents as a 16 year old with no experience.

 

My first driving experience was at the age of 12. I was working in a TV shop/store in 1952. My neighbor bought his second TV and wanted to take the old one to his camp so he needed to put up an antenna. He asked me to do it with him so I brought home the materials on Saturday night, put them in the back of his Model A pickup truck and Sunday morning we were heading to camp. It snowed about 2 inches during the night. When we were leaving I went to get in the truck and he said get in the other side, you're driving. I got behind the wheel and he said you've ridden with my boys when they drove this all over the field in back of the house so you know how it works. I drove it to the camp along a state highway of the two lane concrete type I found in Kansas in 1962. Except it was crooked so you couldn't drive 100 -120 mph for sustained periods which I found was common in KS at that time. I was in Emporia and the new turnpike went trough there but most people didn't like it because it had a strictly enforced 80 mph speed limit which they felt was way too slow.

So my first drive was in the snow when I was 12 in a Model A pickup that steered about like herding pigs. The following summer when I was 13 my father had a heart attack and was in the VA hospital 35 miles away up that same highway. My mother did have a license but was afraid to drive on that highway so I drove her up there to visit him several times in our 1949 Studebaker which handled much better than that Model A. The following summer when he was back there for a bronchial infection I was on tap to drive her up there again. Of course I couldn't wait to turn 16 so I could get my license and make it legal.

I got my commercial license at 22 when I got out of the army after a little experience driving "deuce and a halfs" in the army. I drove dump trucks on local road projects and tractor trailers hauling eggs and the US mail into Boston. Hauled my dragster to Indianapolis a few times and all over the northeast and Canada. Never had an accident that was my fault. I was rear ended once while stopped at a draw bridge between Kittery ME and Portsmouth NH and another time when I stopped at a new traffic light on the first day it was in operation. I just gave up my CDL-A last year when I renewed my license because I figured at 75 years old I probably would not need it any more. Besides the feds insisted I renew my physical even though I wasn't actively driving truck at the time and I could no longer get the physical at my local doctor's office. I now had to go to their "approved doctor" who was a chiropractor I never heard of in the next town. Sounded a lot like the way they chose post masters when I was a kid. If a Democrat won the presidential election and you were a favored Democrat in town the job was yours. Next election when a Republican won, a favored Republican replaced you.

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probably 16 with restrictions on time.
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I agree, 16 with restrictions (not out past a certain time, etc)
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Probably 16. I couldn't imagine 14.
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I think the graduated driver's license is an excellent idea. I would say 16 with restrictions, 17 or 18 for full privligages.
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16 with restrictions, one of them being not more than one other passenger in the car. so many accidents are caused by distractions inside the car.
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i didnt get mine untill i was 18. and let me tell you how much i appreciated it since i had to wait so long...
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It really depends on the kid themselves. Unfortunately that isn't a realistic approach to setting age limits on receiving a driver's license. I'd venture that 16 with restrictions is a realistic starting point. My youngest son, who will be 15 in December, would make a better driver than 95% of the 18 yr olds on the road. I didn't think the Marine was a particularly good candidate for a driver's license even at age 16 though.
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:1: I had the learner's permit since I was 16. I think 15 is appropriate to teach them to drive, let them get a permit at 16, and then whatever from there.
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Depends on what the kid wants and needs, too. In PA we have junior license 16-18 and then 18+ for full license.

I didn't start driving until I was 21, one day before my 22nd birthday, in fact. Just situational--I didn't really need a license between 16-18 and then moved to an urban college in the heart of DC where no one kept a car because it was so cost prohibitive.

Then I moved to Houston, and within one month had my license. I would have wasted away there without one!!
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My almost 15 yo nephews just informed me that because they were born in 1989 that they will still be eligible to get a learners permit and license when they are 16. I was told that in PA, those born in 1990 or later are not eligible until they are 18. That will be inconvenient for kids (and their parents) who work part time jobs in the suburbs.

I was ready at 16 when I got it.
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I started driving around 14 years old, but that was just on the farm.

I got my license at 16. As soon as I got my license, I had full privledges.

When my brother and sister got their licenses, they had the time limits before they could have passengers. I like that law.
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I agree with this too. My son will be 16 in 1 month. He has his learners permit now. It scares me that he will have his license in a few months. 8O 8O 8O
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I say 16 for a learner's permit. I think they must take and pass a driver's ed class. They should be restricted on times they can drive and the amount (and age) of their passengers. Then, when they are 17-18 take and pass a more advanced driver's ed class in order to get their license.

Living in DC, however, has shown me that it isn't just the teens that make the poorest driving choices. Many internationals need to have restrictions as well.
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