House Bill 560: Requires GED or High School Diploma for Drivers License

Virginia
HOME | LAWS | ORGANIZATIONS | CASES | LEGISLATION
Virginia

Last Updated: February 21, 2012
House Bill 560: Requires GED or High School Diploma for Drivers License
Sponsors:
Delegate Daniel Marshall, III
Summary:

This bill prohibits issuance of driver's licenses to any person less than 21 years old unless he is either a high school graduate or has earned a GED.

HSLDA's Position:
Oppose.
Action Requested:
None at this time
Status:

01/10/12     (House)     Introduced, referred to Transportation Committee
01/26/12     (House)     Passed by indefinitely in Transportation by voice vote

The sponsor of this bill requested to have it passed by in committee. This bill is now dead.

Background:

HSLDA opposes this bill for two reasons.

First, HSLDA opposes any measure that attempts to link academic performance to the issuance of drivers licenses. Virginia already has laws requiring school attendance until a child is 18 or graduates from high school. Not only is this requirement unnecessary, it brings the Department of Motor Vehicles into the role of enforcer of school attendance, a role it is neither qualified for nor equipped to perform. This is essentially a back-door method of regulating school attendance and performance and would invite further academic regulation of homeschoolers and private and public school students alike.

Second, although HSLDA would support the claim that a diploma issued by a homeschooling parent in Virginia is a legal "high school diploma," this conclusion is not yet solidified legally. There is no guarantee that the Department of Motor Vehicles would honor parent-issued diplomas as "high school diplomas" for the purposes of fulfilling this requirement. If they did not accept them, this would have the effect of keeping homeschooled students from getting a drivers license until the age of 21, or forcing them to get a GED. Neither of these possible outcomes are acceptable.

The DMV should have no role in evaluating or enforcing academic standards. Potential drivers should receive or not receive a license based on their ability to drive, not their academic achievement. The two are unrelated.

 Other Resources

Bill Text

Bill History