A Senate subcommittee advanced a requirement Thursday that high schoolers stay in school to get/keep their driver’s licenses.
Those who drop out would lose their license until their 18th birthday.
Exemptions would be made for students who enroll in the military or in a high school diploma equivalency program such as the GED and students who must work to support their families.
“It’s an incentive to keep students in school,” said Rep. Tom Young, R-Aiken, who sponsored the bill and ushered it through the House of Representatives last session.
About 20 other states have a similar law on the books, Young added.
But the state Department of Motor Vehicles has some worries. The change would require three new employees to handle the increased workload, said Kevin Shwedo, DMV director.
And Sen. Wes Hayes, R-York, said the change could negatively affect schools.
“If they’re just there to keep their license, they are a distraction to other students,” Hayes said who reluctantly backed the bill.
It now moves to the full Senate Education Commission for consideration.
-- Gina Smith