Teen drivers (under the age of 18) will take time to build valuable driving experience. As new drivers, they are likely to encounter more issues, including accidents, simply due to their inexperience. To help ensure their safety and to emphasize the importance of safe driving habits, there are certain restrictions for teen drivers in Massachusetts.
Underage Passengers Prohibited
Teen drivers may not carry passengers under the age of 18 unless those passengers are immediate family members or they are accompanied by a licensed driver over the age of 21 that is sitting in the front passenger seat. This restriction applies for the first 6 months after receiving a driver’s license. Exemptions to this rule are not granted, even for teen drivers looking to carpool to school with classmates. Violating this rule will result in a 60-day license suspension for the first offense (or 180-day for the second and 1 year for the third offense).
Restricted Driving Hours
Teen drivers are not allowed to operate a vehicle between the hours of 12:30 am and 5:00 am unless accompanied by a parent. The parent does not need to hold a valid driver’s license. Failure to comply with this law will result in license suspension of 60 days for the first offense, 180 days for the second, and one-year for the third. There is also a $100 license reinstatement fee for each violation.
Increased Penalties for Violations
In an effort to discourage violations and save lives, teen drivers will receive harsher penalties for certain types of violations. Penalties often include license suspension (from 60 days to 3 years) and license reinstatement fees ($100 to $500). Some offenses even require driver’s education courses before reinstatement. Below are a list of several motor vehicle violations with increased penalties for teen drivers:
- Drag Racing
- Reckless Operation or Operation to Endanger
- Using a Mobile Device While Driving (for Texting or Calls)
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident
- Negligent Operation and Injury from Mobile Phone Use
- Operating Under the Influence
Other Restrictions for Teen Drivers in Massachusetts
For additional details on these restrictions for teen drivers in Massachusetts and other important driving guidelines, visit marmw.com.Getting teens to develop good driving habits when first licensed is critical to their transition into safe driving adults. Complying with these laws and maintaining a safe driving record will also help teens (and their parents) save money on MA auto insurance.