Family Law

Am I Responsible for my Teen’s Traffic Tickets?

Getting a traffic ticket is enough of a hassle when one’s own actions led to the ticket, but it can be even more annoying when a parent’s child gets one of these citations. Like most other things in a teen’s life, a parent is responsible for handling a ticket that their teen gets while driving. It is important for parents to know how to handle these situations both legally and at home. How a parent chooses to handle a teen’s traffic ticket could likely have long lasting effects on how their child behaves behind the wheel.

Legal and Insurance Issues

Teenagers under the age of eighteen will have to get their parent’s consent to have a driver’s license in most states, and this means that the parent becomes responsible for their teen’s actions on the road. There are several issues that can occur when a minor gets a traffic ticket; one of which includes insurance hikes.

A teen’s traffic ticket will not always cause insurance rates to go up; which leaves many parents wondering if they should even report the ticket to their insurer. Many people debate on this issue, but the best answer in most situations is ‘no’. Insurance companies often check the driving records of everyone on a policy yearly, and if a ticket will cause rates to go up, the insurance company will do so at that time. There is no reason for a parent to expedite the process since their rates could rise immediately.

The question also arises of how a teen’s driving record will be affected. Many states have programs set up that allow teenagers to avoid points on their licenses by taking certain driver’s classes. This is often a good idea since it allows the teen to avoid repercussions while also teaching them valuable driver safety rules. It is also a great way to steer clear of court battles that could end up costing more money than they’re worth.

Home Issues

Most parents will understand that their child has made a mistake and try to lessen their potential consequences, but it is also important that the teen learns that further troubles will not be tolerated. The state may suspend a teen’s license if they get several tickets or are ticketed for reckless behavior, but even if they don’t, a parent should consider whether or not revoking their teen’s driving privileges would influence the child to behave more suitably behind the wheel in the future.

Parents are the ones who will face insurance hikes and have to pay a ticket if their teen causes a wreck or is simply given a citation, so it is important that they fully explain the repercussions of dangerous driving to their teens. According to our attorney at ,, the teen should be informed that getting more citations could lead to a suspension of their license and restrictions on driving from their parents. They also need to understand that there are certain laws that are meant for their protection. These laws can include restrictions on how many passengers a teen can have. Explain that these restrictions are only temporary, and that once the teen has proven themselves behind the wheel, the restrictions will eventually be lifted.

Parents always want to be there for their kids, but there comes a time when a teenager is going to need their own transportation without the supervision of their guardians. The best way to handle a teen traffic ticket is to instill the lessons that will prevent the child from getting a ticket in the first place. Parents are their kids’ main models for driving behavior, so the only way a teen is going to behave behind the wheel is if their parent teaches them to.

Bianca Ochoa is a freelance writer and legal researcher with an interest in family law. She is also a contributing author to, a firm that specializes in finding the best Miami traffic lawyers and matching them with clients who have been in serious car accidents.