Is a policy or terms and conditions invalid if a minor signs it?

UPDATED: Sep 13, 2011

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Is a policy or terms and conditions invalid if a minor signs it?

I work at a driving school and we have them sign a policy form. We recently had a parent say that we cant hold them against it because they are minors, is that true?

Asked on September 13, 2011 under Business Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Legally, a minor may generally not execute an enforceable contract; therefore, if you have anything you want to make sure that is binding and enforceable, while there's no harm in having the minor sign it as well, you need to have the parent or legal guardian sign it.

On the other hand, even if the signed policy is not legally binding, it can still serve an informational purpose, which is valuable. For example, say that the document lets the minor driver student know that he or she may not drive your school car without an instructor in it, then if the minor does  that and gets into an accident, it becomes easier to establish the minor's wrongdoing, since you put them on notice.

So you should have anything important signed or countersigned by a parent if you want it to be binding, but presenting useful information itself does have a value.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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