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June 20, 2017

Driving Through Red Tape in Kentucky

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Tj Schmidt TJ SCHMIDT
HSLDA contact attorney for Kentucky

Earlier this year, a number of homeschooling parents in several counties reported problems when they attempted to get driver’s permits for their children.

Parents said that when they applied for permits at the circuit court clerk’s offices in Pike, Bourbon, Hardin, and Warren counties, they were given false, conflicting instructions.

Some parents were told that they needed to have their local public school district’s director of pupil personnel (DPP) sign the No Pass/No Drive permit form, which verifies the student is in school and making appropriate educational progress. Other parents were asked to show proof of homeschooling. Still other officials told parents they needed a letter from the local board of education stating that their students were homeschooled and in good standing.

Many families reached out to Christian Home Educators of Kentucky (CHEK) and Home School Legal Defense Association for help. CHEK relayed these parents’ frustrations to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and worked with HSLDA to contact various county offices. We also provided families with the latest information about what the law actually requires for obtaining a learner’s permit for student drivers.

Setting the Record Straight

Clarity on this issues was supposed to have been provided in March, when the director of driver licensing within the Transportation Cabinet confirmed that they would be notifying all clerks from the Department of Vehicle Regulation that homeschool students only need to “fill out and submit a school verification form with their parents’ signature.”

The director of driver licensing went on to say that “this enables the parents to attest that their child is home schooled” and that no further “verification should be expected from [any other] private or public school.” The Transportation Cabinet once again confirmed that “there are no requirements for [homeschooling] parents to submit grades in a manner that equates to the … No Pass/No Drive program” within a public school.”

This issue is something that HSLDA and CHEK have had to deal with from time to time. It is our hope that the most recent acknowledgement from the Transportation Cabinet will make it easier for homeschool students to get their driver’s permit.

Homeschooling parents should be able to get the No Pass/No Drive verification form from their local school district, typically from the high school or district office. Bring the most recent notice of attendance that you submitted for your child. You will be able to sign the form, since you are the homeschool representative verifying your child is in compliance.

If your school district or local clerk give you or your child any trouble, please let us know.