Can my Underage Son or Daughter Get a Driver's License?
In Kentucky, a minor is considered to be anyone under 18 years of age. In order for a minor to be able to obtain a Kentucky Operator's License, or Permit, their parent/legal guardian must sign his or her application for a Permit or Operator's License (see the section on how one can obtain a permit or license for someone under the age of 18). KRS 186.470(1).
Unless proof of financial responsibility is deposited on the child, the co-signer, in this case a parent or guardian, will be jointly and severally liable for damages caused by the minor's negligence in operating any motor vehicle (KRS 186.590(1)), and both parents are responsible, even if only one actually signed the minor's application. KRS 186.470(1).
Every owner of a motor vehicle who causes or knowingly permits a minor to drive the motor vehicle, or furnishes an motor vehicle to a minor, is jointly and severally liable for the same. KRS 186.590(3). So be careful when you make the decision to let your son or daughter drive your car.
In order for the above provision to apply, the following criteria must be met:
i. The parent's ownership of the motor vehicle;
ii. The actual giving of permission to the minor to drive that vehicle; and
iii. Actual minority (under 18) of the driver (it does not matter if the minor is emancipated).
The parent or guardian may be able to free him or herself from liability to an injured party if he or she can show proof of liability coverage minimums. But this coverage is limited and may not necessarily include coverage for the separate imposed liability from allowing the child to use an automobile in the first place.
If you or a loved one need help with obtaining a license for your son or daughter, or have been in a car accident, you need competent and experienced counsel to help you with your case. Do not delay, call Larry Forman today.