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Florida Teens Must Stay in School to Drive

Teens Must Stayin School to Keep Learners Permit

Florida teens can get their learners permit or drivers license suspended for a number of reasons just like adult drivers. Unique to teen drivers under the age of 18 is the State of Florida requirement to attend school in order to keep their driving privilege.

Skipping School

A Florida teen under the age of 18 cannot miss more than 15 days of school with unexcused absences within a 90 day period or their learners permit or drivers license will be suspended indefinitely.

Florida schools automatically send a computer-generated list of students with unacceptable attendance to their school districts. Then each of the 67 Florida school districts transmits the data to the Florida DMV. The student's privilege to drive is then suspended until age 18 or until a documented pattern of acceptable attendance is established. Students are informed of the suspension in the form a letter from the Department of Motor Vehicles in Tallahassee.

Drivers License Suspensions for Poor Attendance

In the 2006 - 2007 Florida school year 9,234 students lost their driving privilege because they did not attend school. This applies to learners permits and drivers licenses. Connecting school attendance to driving privileges for teens may be having the desired effect. The number of repeat suspensions over the last seven years is consistently around 5 percent. 499 in the 2006 2007 school year.

This suggests that teen drivers who lost their Florida learners permit or drivers license for lack of attendance maintained acceptable attendance 95 percent of the time after their first suspension. The data has not been studied to determine if other factors influenced these results.

Truant Teens Get No License

Truancy in Florida also prevents a teen from applying for their learner permit or drivers license. Students under 18 that do not have a learners permit or drivers license and are not meeting attendance requirements will receive a letter from the DMV indicating they cannot get their license until they meet school attendance requirements.

Drop Outs are Walking

Florida Teens who drop out of school have their driving privilege suspended until they are 18.

History and Statistics of Connecting School Attendance to Driving

The State of Florida sent out the first letters suspending teen driving privileges on February 16, 1999. Since then the DMV has sent letters to 353,580 Florida teens.

The majority of those teenagers (262,948) were non-licensed minors meaning that based on their age they were eligible to drive but did not have a learner permit or drivers license. And because of poor school attendance would not be permitted to get any drivers license until they started attending school.

Below are the Number of Suspension Orders issued to Licensed Florida Teen Drivers since 2000. This data is tracked by the Florida DMV in cooperation with the Florida Department of Education.

School Year1st Suspension2nd Supension
2000 - 20019,776300
2001 - 20028,788438
2002 - 20038,782337
2003 - 20048,400322
2004 - 20058,633350
2005 - 20069,088457
2006 - 20079,234429

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