From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


4/4/2002 2:32:10 PM
Scott A. Woodruff, Esq., Staff Attorney of HSLDA
Virginia--Home School Discrimination Ends at the DMV

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

April 4, 2002

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Following the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Virginia Department
of Motor Vehicles (DMV) enacted an extra security measure, effective
September 23, requiring additional proof of residency before issuing
driver's licenses and learner's permits. A number of home schooling
families have recently contacted Home School Legal Defense
Association regarding problems they have experienced when trying to
obtain learner's permits for their children.

For students in public and accredited private schools, it is
relatively easy to comply with the new security procedures. These
children merely submit a certified copy of school records or a
transcript from their school. For home educated students, however,
providing proof of residency has been no simple task.

Over the past several months, HSLDA sent letters to numerous local
DMV offices on behalf of member families. These letters confirmed
that the student is enrolled in the family's home school program,
that he is in good standing and full attendance in the home school,
and that the family has fully complied with Virginia home school law.

In most cases, the local DMV refused to resolve the matter based on
HSLDA's letter. Instead, they insisted home schoolers ask the local
public school superintendent to issue a form stating that the family
has filed a notice of intent or a religious exemption.

Many home schooling families still had difficulty obtaining this

On March 11, HSLDA Senior Counsel Christopher J. Klicka spoke with
Karen Ruby, Director of Driver's Services, at DMV headquarters in
Richmond to discuss the new policy. Klicka explained that Virginia
law governing the licensure of drivers requires only a letter from
the parent to certify the child is in compliance with the compulsory
attendance law. (HSLDA had worked hard approximately 10 years ago to
pass that law.) Ruby agreed that the policy would be changed.

HSLDA received a copy of the new DMV policy on March 14, superceding
and revoking the troublesome September 23 policy.

This new policy lists the same "Proof of Residency" documents, but
specifically states: "Applicants under age 19 can have a parent or
legal guardian certify their Virginia residency." In order to do
this, the parent/guardian must appear in person with the applicant.
The parent/guardian must provide a photo identification card and
proof of his own Virginia residency with a document from the
residency list.

It is generally much easier for a parent than it is for a student to
provide a document from the proof of residency list. Examples include
a cancelled check, Virginia vehicle registration, a utility bill, a
receipt for personal property taxes or real estate taxes, a deed or
mortgage, etc.

If local DMV offices follow this new March 14 policy, home schoolers
should no longer find proof of residency requirements standing in the
way of their teens obtaining driver's licenses. However, if you
encounter a problem despite the new policy, please let us know.

Sincerely yours,

Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.

The HSLDA E-lert Service is a service of:

Home School Legal Defense Association
P.O. Box 3000
Purcellville, Virginia 20134
Phone: (540) 338-5600
Fax: (540) 338-2733

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