THE CONTRACT

 

We wrote the original version of our contract 20 years ago and have revised it many times. There are a lot of excellent free contracts out there. Ours just happens to be the best.  Bear with us as we go through some guidelines for using the contract well.

 

  • Decide now, and tell your teenager, that he or she will not be able to drive by themselves without a SIGNED, WRITTEN contract. Period.

 

  • We recommend that you NOT use the contract to try to achieve other things you want from your teen. We recommend NOT to put a provision in the contract requiring a certain grade average, for example. Safety is too important. The contract should be about SAFETY and not trying to motivate a teenager to do chores or study harder.

 

  • Make sure the contract is consistent with state laws. It can be more strict than state laws–and it should be–but obviously can’t be more lenient than the law.

 

  • Our contract has a unique feature which we’ve not seen in any other similar document.  The consequence of breaking a rule, according to our contract, is the withdrawal of INDEPENDENT driving privileges and NOT taking the teenager off the road for X number of weeks or months. This requires explanation. First, there certainly could be things that could happen that would be so serious. that a parent should take the teenager off the road. Driving while drunk would certainly have moved me to suspend my teenager’s driving privileges. But, for most violations, I think it is better not to pull their privileges to drive but, instead, to REVERT BACK TO LEARNER’S PERMIT MODE for days, weeks, or even months following a violation of the contract.  Why? People become better drivers by driving. Taking a teenager off the road for X amount of time takes away the valuable experience. Plus, I ask you, if you go back to learner’s permit mode for, say 3 weeks, isn’t that punishment??  And, it gives you a chance to get back in the car and provide more instruction and supervision.

Here is the contract in different file formats and in a long form and a short form. Use both the long and short forms. Keep the short form handy…it’s easier to read and refer to.

FULL CONTRACT in WORD (RTF) FORMAT

SHORT CONTRACT in WORD (RTF) FORMAT

RIDING CONTRACT in WORD (RTF) FORMAT

 

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