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West Virginia

November 29, 2001
Miss L v. Commissioner of Division of Motor Vehicles
DMV suspends home school teen's driver's license.

Filed: May 2001, Berkeley County.

Nature of Case: Sixteen-year-old Amanda L's driver's license was suspended by the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) at the request of the local school superintendent when her parents did not give notice of their intent to home school Amanda for the 200001 school year. But Amanda is beyond the age of compulsory attendance (16). Under West Virginia law she is, however, entitled to maintain a driver's license if she remains "enrolled in a secondary school in this state or any other state." Amanda is enrolled in a distance learning academy in Pennsylvania that is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council and licensed by the Pennsylvania State Board of Private Licensed Schools. Nevertheless, her license was suspended.

Rulings:
4-24-01 The Commissioner of the West Virginia DMV issued a Final Order suspending Miss L's driver's license.
11-19-01 Judge Wilkes of the Berkeley County Circuit Court overruled the DMV: "According to the plain terms of the driving privilege statute ... a 16-year-old child enrolled in a secondary school of another state (like Harcourt High School) is eligible for a driver's license." It is now clear, therefore, that 16-year olds do not need to comply with the West Virginia home school statute to be eligible for a driver's license.

Last Updated: November 29, 2001.

 Other Resources

Final Order Granting Petition for Appeal and Reversing Commissioner's Final Order.