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Proposed law would require drivers under 21 to have provisional licenses

In California, drivers under the age of 18 are currently issued "provisional" licenses - meaning during the first 12 months they cannot drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. and they cannot have passengers under the age of 20, unless they have a parent, a certified driving instructor or a licensed driver over the age of 25 in the car.

While these restrictions were put in place to help reduce auto accidents among inexperienced drivers, some California lawmakers think the restrictions don't go far enough. In fact, a recently introduced California bill seeks to extend these driving restrictions to anyone under the age of 21.

What does this mean for young adult drivers? Well, for one, if this law is passed, many college students would no longer be able to drive at night or with friends in the car.

Details of the new bill

It is important to remember that this proposed law - otherwise known as Assembly Bill 63 - still has a long way to go before it ever becomes law. However, if it is passed, the same restrictions that apply to 16- and 17-year-olds would apply to drivers as old as 20, although there are some exceptions, including situations in which:

  • The licensee needs to drive because a medical necessity, and reasonable transportation facilities are inadequate
  • The licensee needs to drive for school or school-authorized activities, and he or she has a signed statement/authorization from the school principal or dean OR has a copy of his or her class schedule (this second option is only available to 18-, 19- and 20-year old drivers)
  • The licensee needs to drive for work, and he or she has a signed statement/authorization from his or her employer OR a copy of his or her work schedule (this second option is only available to 18-, 19- and 20-year old drivers)
  • The licensee needs to transport an immediate family member, and he or she has a signed statement/authorization from the parent, unless the driver is 18, 19 or 20, in which case he or she can transport an immediate family member as long as other reasonable transportation facilities are inadequate (no signed statement/authorization is required)

While it is certainly admirable that lawmakers are trying to make the roads safer, it remains to be seen whether this proposed legislation will actually become law.

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