May 15, 2006

House Bill 51: No Pass, No Drive

Representatives Cherry and Richards

House Bill 51 would have reinstated the "No pass, No drive" law that the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional in 2003. Under this law, if a public school student who is 16 or 17 drops out of public school, or is deemed to be "academically deficient," he or she will lose their driver's license. Any student who is withdrawn from the public school to avoid this provision of the law would also lose their license.

However, the greater concern for homeschool families is that H.B. 51 added a requirement that a parent must release their minor student's attendance and academic records in order for them to obtain and keep a driver's license. This would have required all homeschoolers to prove that their 16 and 17-year-old children are attending their private homeschool and that they are doing well academically.

01/27/2006(Senate) to Education Committee
01/25/2006(Senate) received in Senate
01/24/2006(House) 3rd reading, passed 82-14 with committee substitute
01/19/2006(House) 2nd reading, to Rules Committee
01/18/2006(House) reported favorably, 1st reading, to calendar with committee substitute
01/05/2006(House) posted in committee
01/03/2006(House) to Education Committee
01/03/2006(House) introduced in House
10/06/2005(House) to interim Joint Committee on Education

HSLDA's Position:

Action Requested:

The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled Kentucky Revised Statutes 159.051 unconstitutional because the "No pass, No drive" law would not revoke a 16 or 17-year-old's driver's license unless the local school district had an alternative educational program available. The intent of the law was to avoid punishing students who live in public school districts that did a poor job of teaching.

When House Bill 51 was introduced it originally stated that students who are withdrawn from public school to be homeschooled with the intent of avoiding being classified as academically deficient would still lose their licenses. Working with Christian Home Educators of Kentucky, we were able to amend the bill to state "nonpublic schools" instead of "home schools."

The addition of the requirement that a driver's license application for a 16 or 17-year-old included a release by the parent for the attendance and academic records of that student was made along with that amendment. We were concerned that this would require homeschool parents to prove that their child is enrolled in a private homeschool program and provide some demonstration of their academic progress in order to get a driver's license.

 Other Resources

Jan.-30-2006—Kentucky—Calls Needed to Oppose Driver's License Bill

Bill Text

Bill History