Teenage Work Driving Rules

Many summer jobs, particularly in agriculture and construction, require employees to drive various vehicles as a part of the job. Small companies, especially, may be tempted to put young people in positions of responsibility in general, and have them driving in particular, without really knowing what the rules about teenage driving on the job are.

There are very strict federal rules about teenagers driving on the job.

First off, in general, nobody age 16 or younger can drive as a part of employment. And there are many specific restrictions on anyone driving at the age of seventeen.

ALL of the following conditions must be met in order for a seventeen- year- old to drive on the job, per the DOL:

1. The driving is limited to daylight hours;

2. The 17 year-old holds a state license valid for the type of driving involved in the job performed;

3. The 17 year-old has successfully completed a State approved driver education course and has no record of any moving violation at the time of hire;

4. The automobile or truck is equipped with a seat belt for the driver and any passengers and the employer has instructed the youth that the seat belts must be used when driving the vehicle;

5. The automobile or truck does not exceed 6,000 pounds gross vehicle weight; AND
6. Such driving is only occasional and incidental to the 17 year-old’s employment. This means that the youth may spend no more than 1/3 of the work time in any workday and no more than 20% of the work time in any workweek driving.

Prohibited Activities:

–Towing vehicles;

–Route deliveries or route sales;

–Transportation for hire of property, goods, or passengers;

–Urgent, time-sensitive deliveries (such as pizza deliveries);

–Transporting more than 3 passengers including employees of the employer;

–Driving beyond a 30 mile radius of the teen’s place of employment;

–More than 2 trips away from the primary place of employment in any single day to deliver the employer’s goods to a customer;

–More than 2 trips away from the primary place of employment in any single day to transport passengers other than employees of the employer.

If you think that you, your child, or someone you know is being asked to work in violation of these or any other safety rules, you should contact an employment lawyer.