Strategies, Challenges, and Answers

Read Before Signing! Parents Who Sign Minor’s Driver’s License Application Are Liable For The Minor’s Driving

In Nevada, a teenager can get a learner’s permit at 15 ½ and a driver’s license at 16.  NRS 483.250; NRS 483.280 and NRS 483.2521.  However, 16 and 17-year-olds must have an eligible adult sign their driver’s license application.  Usually it is the parents who sign.  However, there is a list of other eligible adults at NRS 482.300:

78227_teen&car NRS 483.300  Signing and verification of application of minor by responsible person; liability.
1.  The application of any person under the age of 18 years for an instruction permit or driver’s license must be signed and verified, before a person authorized to administer oaths:
(a) By the applicant’s parent who has custody of him or by either parent if both have custody of him;
(b) If neither parent has custody of him or if neither parent is living, by the person who has custody of him, including an officer or employee of the State or a county if the minor is in the legal custody of the State or county;
(c) If neither parent has custody of him or if neither is living and he has no custodian, by his employer; or
(d) If neither parent has custody of him or if neither is living and he has no custodian or employer, by any responsible person who is willing to assume the obligation imposed under NRS 483.010 to 483.630, inclusive, upon a person signing the application of a minor.

It is one thing for a parent to decide to let his or her child drive.  However, I can’t imagine the daft employer who would sign the license application of a minor teenage driver.  This is especially true considering the extent of liability that would be imputed to the adult, should the minor driver become involved in and accident.  The law goes on:

2.  Except as otherwise provided in NRS 41.0325, any negligence or willful misconduct of a minor under the age of 18 years when driving a motor vehicle upon a highway is imputed to the person who has signed the application of the minor for a permit or license and that person is jointly and severally liable with the minor for any damages caused by such negligence or willful misconduct.

This statute makes any insurance coverage or assets of the adult subject to recovery by the Plaintiff for a driving claim made against the minor.  This potential additional exposure to the family or guardian or other statutorily allowed adult should be kept in mind when there is a motor vehicle claim against an insured in Nevada who is under the age of 18.

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About Michael Mills

Mr. Mills practices in the area of civil litigation and appeals, with particular experience in matters involving trucking liability, insurance defense, insurance coverage, premises liability, products liability and defense of personal injury. Mr. Mills is a member of the Trucking Insurance Defense Association, the Defense Research Institute Trucking Committee and the Nevada Motor Transport Association. Mr. Mills is licensed to practice before the Nevada Supreme Court and the Utah Supreme Court. He is also licensed to appear before the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. District Courts for the Districts of Nevada and Utah, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Mr. Mills has created 3 Blogs for the benefit of the insurance industry. He serves as editor and publisher of the Nevada Insurance Law Blog, the Nevada Coverage and Bad Faith Blog and the Nevada Trucking Law Blog.

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