What happens to a parent who lets an unlicensed child drive a car?

UPDATED: Sep 9, 2010

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What happens to a parent who lets an unlicensed child drive a car?

My mom was caught letting my 17 year old brother drive without a licence or permit. She was letting him drive because he was planning to get his license in a couple months when he turned 18. He was speeding almost 40 in a 25mile per hour zone. The cop gave my mom and my brother a court hearing. And my mom got a letter in the mail today saying that she has to get her fingerprints before the court hearing. I looked it up and I thought you only had to pay the fine. My mom doesn’t have any criminal record or a driving ticket in the last 8 years. What will happen to my mom?

Asked on September 9, 2010 under General Practice, California


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Letting a minor drive without a license and without supervision (I am assuming he didn't have a learner's permit and she wasn't with him) is an offense whose penalties differ in each state.  In California, your brother rightfully received a ticket and will probably be delayed in being able to obtain his driver's license.  A driver's license in the United States (in any state) is a privilege and not a right.  A provision within the California Vehicle Code absolutely prohibits a parent to cause or knowingly permit a minor to drive unless licensed under the California Vehicle Code. The fine should be about $200.00 but what troubles me is they wish to obtain her fingerprints.  A traffic violation without an arrest doesn't require fingerprints.  Your mom better speak to counsel.

Related article:  Your Legal Rights in Traffic Court

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