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What happens if a parent forces a minor to drive without a license? Is it the minor's fault?

Asked by user in Virginia.

Answered by Enjuris Editors:

Under Virginia law, it’s a Class 2 misdemeanor to operate a vehicle without a license or learner’s permit (Code of Virginia 46.2-300). Additionally, it’s a Class 1 misdemeanor to knowingly let a minor operate a motor vehicle without a license or learner’s permit (Code of Virginia 46.2-301.1(E)).

In other words, both the minor and the parent could face penalties, though the minor may be able to escape liability if the parent forced the minor to drive against their will.

If an accident occurs, the insurer will probably not cover the claim. Most insurance policies have a clause that exempts coverage if the vehicle is driven by someone without a valid license.

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