What happens if I'm caught driving without a permit in New York?

I'm 15 and haven't gotten my permit yet. I want to practice driving, but can anything happen if I am caught without a permit?

Answer
“Learning to drive is exciting and a part of growing up, but there can be serious consequences if you choose to drive without having a permit or license.
Based on your age, it’s illegal for you to operate a motor vehicle in New York. The law states that any person operating a motor vehicle must be at least 16 years old. If you are pulled over while driving, you’ll likely get multiple tickets and could face fines. You may be liable for any damage you cause if you’re in an accident as well.
Even if the vehicle you’re driving has car insurance, the company could choose to deny coverage because you’re not legally able to drive.
You also risk having your driving privileges revoked or suspended until a certain age. This means you wouldn’t be eligible to get a learner’s permit or driver’s license until a certain date. When you do get licensed, it’ll likely be harder to find affordable car insurance based on your record.
While learning to drive is exciting, you’ll need to wait until you turn 16. If you don’t, you may have to wait even longer to get a license and you may pay way more for car insurance.
Do yourself a favor and hop on the Jerry app to compare car insurance rates for a new driver without any violations. It’s not cheap for a teenager. Now imagine that price going way up as a result of driving without a permit. It’s probably not worth it. Keep that in mind the next time you feel the urge to drive your parents’ car.”
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Emily Maracle
Answered on Sep 10, 2021
Emily Maracle is a car insurance specialist living in New York. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she has a degree in English Literature and a background in customer service. She enjoys cooking, gardening, and living sustainably. In the future, she can't wait to upgrade to a hybrid or electric car.
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