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September 5, 2015

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Threat of losing driver’s license at heart of teen truancy bill

Students who often skip school could lose their driver’s license under a bill approved 21-0 by the Senate Friday.

The bill, which goes to the Assembly, says school officials may impose “administrative sanctions” on a pupil who has been designated as a habitual truant.

A student who has missed classes more than three times in one year is declared a habitual truant. If this is the first infraction for a student 14 years and older, the school officials may order the suspension of the driver’s license for anywhere from 60 days to one year.

If the student does not possess a driver’s license, officials can decide that he or she cannot apply for a license for 60 days, according to Senate Bill 269.

The truant must surrender his license to school officials who will then notify the state Department of Motor Vehicles of the suspension.

Parents are given the right to appeal the sanctions.

The school principal can provide a student who is 14 to 18 years old with a letter showing the pupil has complied with the attendance requirement and is eligible for a permit.

The current law sets the standards for issuance of a license to a person who is 16 or 17 years old. And a restricted license can be approved for those who are 14 to 18.

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