Owning your vehicle is a huge responsibility, so if you're buying your teen his or her own car, it is important to teach them the three most important responsibilities of owning a car. There are certain laws that every car owner must adhere to if they want to keep their driver's license and avoid legal problems after an accident.
When you own a vehicle, you must register it in your name right away. Once registered, you most likely need to renew the car registration each year. In most states, the driver also has to show proof of liability car insurance before registering the car.
Teach teens to keep track of their yearly registration so they renew on time. The penalties for driving with expired license plates can vary by state, and the amount of time the plates have been expired, so it's important to know the penalties in your state.
When you own a car, you must meet the minimum safety standards set forth by your state. This means you must teach your teen the importance of having his or her car inspected annually at a state-authorized repair shop or dealer, or at a government inspection station. The vehicle may also need to meet certain environmental standards.
If these inspections are not done and the car is not up to muster, the driver has a short period of time to get the car up to standards and have it reinspected. If not, he or she cannot continue to drive. Driving a car that has not passed inspection can lead to penalties and fines.
Every state has financial responsibility laws. Most states require that a driver has liability insurance, but some states allow drivers to slide on the liability insurance if the driver can provide proof that he or she has other means of paying for state-specified amount of damages in the event of an accident. However, for a teen driver, it is best to have at least the minimum amount of insurance coverage required by law.
Liability insurance helps protect the driver legally and financially if an accident is his or her fault and if the other driver or passengers are injured or killed, or if there is severe damage to the other person's vehicle. The insurance pays the legitimate claims of the injured party and defends the driver in court if he or she is sued. Teen drivers need this protection, because if an accident does happen, the parents may also be held responsible.
Driving and car ownership are huge responsibilities that shouldn't be taken lightly. Teens who understand the legalities of car ownership are more likely to grow into responsible adult car owners. Talk to an insurance provider, like Ed Ramming Insurance Agency Inc, to discuss what type of car insurance your teen should carry.