COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 42
June 21, 1996

ADMINISTRATIVE

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM:
 
William C. Bosher, Jr.
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT:
 
Changes in the Laws Governing Instructional Permits 
and Driver's Licenses to Become Effective on July 1, 1996

 
  During the 1996 General Assembly Session, several bills were
  passed amending the provisions in the law governing a
  minor's eligibility for a learner's permit and driver's
  license.  This memorandum addresses those changes as set
  forth in Senate Bill 149 and House Bills 106, 520, 1068,
  1284, and 1462 pertaining to the minor's eligibility for a
  learner's permit and driver's license that will become
  effective on July 1, 1996.  
  
  Provisions eliminated
  
          Eliminates the provision allowing a minor who is
  unable to furnish evidence of compliance with Article 1
  (22.1-254 et. seq.) Of Chapter 14 of Title 22.1, to provide
  evidence that they have received counseling on the
  importance of school attendance, school enrollment and
  completion of an educational program.
  
  Provisions added 
  
  Learner's permit
  
          Requires that any minor under the age of fifteen
  years, six months, when applying for a learner's permit
  provide evidence that they are in good academic standing. 
  For applicants attending school, good academic standing may
  be certified by the public school principal or any of his
  designees.  For applicants attending nonpublic schools, such
  certification shall be made by the private school principal
  or any of his designees and for minors receiving home
  schooling, such certification shall be made by the home
  schooling parent or tutor.
  
  SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 42
  Page 2
  June 21, 1996
                                                             
          Requires that the person accompanying the minor
  driving under a valid learner's  permit be a licensed driver
  who is (1) lawfully permitted to operate a motor vehicle at
  the time, (2) twenty-one years of age or older, or the
  parent or legal guardian, or brother, sister, half-brother,
  half-sister, step-brother, step-sister eighteen years of age
  or older; and (3) actually occupying a seat beside the minor
  driver. 
  
          Requires any person under the age of eighteen who
  applies for a learner's permit under 46.2-435 and fails the
  motor vehicle knowledge test to wait at least fifteen days
  before being eligible for retesting.
  
          Requires any person under the age of eighteen
  years who has been issued a learner's permit under 46.2-335
  to hold the permit for a minimum of six months or until he
  reaches the age of eighteen years to be eligible to receive
  a driver's license. This does not apply to minors holding a
  valid license from another state, who qualify for a
  temporary license under subdivision 3 of 46.2-334.
  
  Note:   There is no statutory provision allowing for
  written parental authorization for minors applying for a
  learner's permit who are not in compliance with Article 1
  (22.1-254 et. seq.) of Chapter 14 of Title 22.1.  The
  statute also does not allow for written parental
  authorization for minors under the age of fifteen years, six
  months applying for a learner's permit who are not in good
  academic standing.  Therefore, minor students who are not
  enrolled cannot be issued a learner's permit.  Minors who
  are not in compliance with  Article 1 (22.1-254 et. seq.) of
  Chapter 14 of Title 22.1 cannot be licensed until age 18
  because a minor must hold the permit for at least six
  months.
  
  Driver's license
  
          Requires any person under the age of eighteen
  years who has been issued a learner's permit under 46.2-335
  to hold the permit for a minimum of six months or until he
  reaches the age of eighteen years to be eligible to receive
  a driver's license. This does not apply to minors holding a
  valid license from another state, who qualify for a
  temporary license under subdivision 3 of 46.2-334.
  
           Allows for written parental authorization for a
  minor to obtain a driver's license when the minor is not in
  good academic standing.   Parent is defined as a parent,
  guardian, legal custodian, or other person having control or
  charge of the child.   
  
          Requires that minors applying for a driver's
  license also provide certification that the minor is
  regularly attending school.  
  
    SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 42
  Page 3
  June 21, 1996
                                                             
  Note:   The Department views "regularly attending schools"
  the same as "in compliance with Article 1 (22.1-254 et.
  seq.) of Chapter 14 of Title 22.1."
  
          Allows for written parental authorization for a
  minor to obtain a driver's license when the minor is unable
  to provide evidence that the minor is in compliance with
  Article 1 (22.1-254 et. seq.) of Chapter 14 of Title 22.1. 
  Parent is defined as a parent, guardian, legal custodian, or
  other person having control or charge of the child.
  
  Note:   For minors applying for a driver's license, if the
  student is not in good academic standing and/or regularly
  attending school, written parental authorization must be
  obtained in order for the minor to be issued a driver's
  license.  Consequently, the DEC-A cannot be issued unless
  written parental authorization has been returned to the
  school.
    
          Changes the requirements related to points on the
  driving record so that persons under the age of eighteen
  years who accumulate nine demerit points in twelve months or
  twelve demerit points in twenty-four months will be required
  to attend a driver improvement clinic within 90 days and
  will be placed on six months probation.
  
  The following resources should assist you in the
  implementation of these new requirements:
  
       Flow chart illustrating the before and after July 1,
       1996 licensing process.
  
       Written explanation of the licensing process for minors
       as of July 1, 1996.
  
       Copy of the Public and Non Public School Students'
       Certification of Enrollment and Academic Standing form
       (SIP-1116).
   
       Copy of the Homeschooled Students' Certification of
       Enrollment and Academic Standing form (SIP-1117).
  
       Copy of the Parental Authorization for Licensure in
       Lieu of Certification of Regular Attendance and Good
       Academic Standing form (POF-1115).
  
       Order form for the new DEC-A Ninety-Day Temporary
       License certificates.
  
  If you have any questions, please contact Vanessa Wigand at
  (804) 225-3300.  
  
  WCBjr/dta
  
  Attachments: This memo and its attachment will be sent to
               the superintendent's office.