SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 34
May 21, 1999
|FROM:||Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
|SUBJECT:||General Assembly Action Relating to Learner's Permits, Driver's Licenses and Driver Education Program Requirements|
Action was taken by the 1999 General Assembly on several new juvenile licensing provisions and driver education program requirements. Specifically, changes were made in the following code sections: 22.1-205, 46.2-334, 46.2- 335, and 46.2-340. Following is a brief overview of some of these changes that will go into effect July 1, 1999. I. 22.1-205. Driver education programs (HB 2696) This bill requires the Board of Education to approve correspondence courses for the classroom component of driver education. Students completing the correspondence courses, who are eligible for behind-the-wheel driver training, may receive in-car instruction (i) from a public school, upon payment of the required fee and if space is available, or (ii) from a commercial driver training school licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The bill specifies that it is not to be construed to require school divisions to provide behind- the-wheel driver training to nonpublic school students. Currently, there are two approved correspondence schools whose classroom driver education courses may be used to comply with Section 254.1 (A), Option (iii) of the Code of Virginia pertaining to home instruction. They are (1) University of Nebraska-Lincoln (402) 472-4321, http://www.unl.edu/conted/deishs.html, and (2) Keystone National High School, (717) 784-5220, email@example.com. Parents or tutors who have met the requirements for home instruction may enroll the student in a driver education correspondence course. II. 46.2-334 and 46.2-335. Good academic standing and regular school attendance parental waivers for driver's licenses and learner's permits (HB 2483) A parent, guardian, legal custodian, or other person standing in loco parentis can provide written authorization for a minor to receive a license, on forms provided by the Department of Motor Vehicles, that indicate the Commonwealth's interest in good academic standing and regular school attendance. Parents will provide this authorization on (1) the DMV learner's permit and driver's license application; (2) the in-car driver education parent permission form, and (3) the 90- day temporary licensing certificate. Consequently, school personnel will no longer be responsible for issuing enrollment and good academic standing form SIP-1116A, the home schooling form SIP- 1117, and the parent override form POF-1115A. III. 46.2-334 and 46.2-335. Parental signatures on temporary driver's licenses (HB 2575) Evidence of successful completion of a driver's education course must be signed by the minor's parent or guardian before that evidence, together with the minor's learner's permit, can constitute a temporary license. Schools can order the revised 90-day licensing certificates (DE-TLC) on the enclosed form. As of July 1, 1999, the current 90-day licensing form (DEC-A) will no longer be recognized as a valid licensing document. At that time, unused DEC-As must be destroyed. IV. 46.2-340. Information regarding driver education instructors(HB 2672) As of July 1, 1999, at the beginning of each school year, and whenever staff changes need to be made, each public and private school with a state-approved driver education program must furnish classroom and in-car teachers' names and drivers' license numbers to DMV. Whenever a driver education teacher's license is suspended or revoked-the teacher is convicted of reckless driving or driving while intoxicated-or the teacher's driving record accumulates more than six demerit points in a calendar year-House Bill 2672 requires DMV to immediately notify the affected public or private school. Safe driving points may not be used to reduce the six demerit points. No public or non public school driver education program will retain its approval by the Department of Education unless the teacher, who has accumulated the six demerit points, is removed from providing behind-the-wheel driver education instruction for a period of twenty-four months. Your cooperation in completing the enclosed form as soon as possible is appreciated. DMV will check each teacher's driving record and, if necessary, provide feedback to you by the July 1 implementation date. Please remember to include driver educators teaching at your alternative schools. V. 22.1-254.1 Inclusion of certain students in average daily membership (HB 284) This bill amends Standard 1 of the Standards of Quality to add health education, (which may include driver education) or physical education to the list of courses for which nonpublic or home school students may enroll, at the discretion of the local school board, and be counted in the average daily membership (ADM) in a school division on a pro rata basis as provided in the Appropriation Act. VI. Upon further review of 46.2-334 and 46.2-335, DMV has determined that, to qualify for a driver's license, 18-year-old students are required to successfully complete both the classroom and in-car phases of instruction. Therefore, as of July 1, 1999, classroom certification forms (DEC-1s) will be distributed only to students who successfully complete the classroom phase at one school and plan to enroll in the in-car phase at a different school. The enrolled version of these bills can be accessed at http://leg1.state.va.us. If you have additional questions, please contact Vanessa C. Wigand at (804) 225- 3300, or
. PDS/vcw Enclosures: A hard copy of this memo and its attach- ment will be sent to the superintendent's office.