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This bill is an effort to tie school attendance to the issuance, renewal, and revocation of driver’s licenses. Several provisions are objectionable.
Section 2 of the bill prohibits issuance or renewal of a license to anyone who is “deemed to be habitually truant by an attendance officer.” There would be no right to due process of law whereby a court would decide whether school absences were unlawful. The attendance officer would be empowered to make this determination alone. This section would also permit the issuance of a license to a 17-year-old only if the attendance officer of the school where the minor was enrolled certified that the student was not habitually truant. There is no provision to accommodate students in a home education program.
Section 3 of the bill provides that before a person under 18 may take an exam for a junior driver’s license, he must obtain a certification from the attendance officer where he is a student that he is not habitually truant. No provision is made for students in a home education program to obtain the required certification.
Section 4 of the bill requires that drivers of compulsory attendance age who move to a new school district must submit an updated certification from the attendance officer of both the old and new districts that the student is not habitually truant. This section also provides that the department of transportation shall revoke the license of a student when the attendance officer of the school where the student is enrolled notifies the department that the person is habitually truant.
HSLDA has always opposed efforts to require school attendance as a condition to obtaining and maintaining a driver’s license. The particular problems for homeschoolers with this bill are two-fold. First, all students would be expected to obtain the certification that they were not habitually truant, but there’s no provision for them to get the certification since they’re not enrolled in any school. Second, this law could be used against students whose parents want to withdraw them from public school if the school district will not recognize the withdrawal and maintains that the students are still enrolled in public school and are truant.
See "Bill History" link below.
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