Under new Nevada law, chronically truant students will lose driver’s licenses
By Tiffany Murphy
Las Vegas (KVVU) — A new year brings with it new laws, and one that’s going into effect in 2015 will hit high school students where it hurts.
If a student has too many unexcused absences, his or her driver’s license will be taken away for 30 days on first offense and 60 on second. If a student has yet to obtain a license and has numerous unexcused absences, that student won’t be able to get one until the situation is rectified.
SB 269 will take effect Thursday. It’s designed to ensure students are in classrooms at least 90 percent of the school year.
Students will have to print a form available on the Department of Motor Vehicles’ website which their respective schools will sign off on. Only then will they be able to obtain a license.
In the event a student has too many unexcused absences, a truancy officer will confiscate that student’s license and mail it to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
If a student breaks the rules a third time, he or she will have to become compliant and repeat all the steps needed to obtain a driver’s license, including having a picture taken.
David Fierro with the Department of Motor Vehicles said that other than creating the aforementioned form, his office has had no formal discussions with the Clark County School District about enforcement.
“There’s not been a coordination of how the school districts will enforce this. Our only piece is their license,” Fierro said.
Clark County School District Assistant Superintendent Tammy Malich said some parents in the district are disengaged. Others, Malich said, will drop their kids off at school, but those students won’t attend.
“I am a parent and I don’t necessarily need a statute that needs to tell me how to parent, as a parent. If you live in my house and I pay your bills, I don’t need a statute. You won’t drive to school, and not because of Senate Bill 269,” Malich said.
If a student turns 18 years old during his or her ineligible period, that student will still not be able to obtain a license.
“We’re looking forward to any initiative that encourages kids to attend school, because if they are not in school, it makes it very difficult for them to pass classes and then graduate,” Malich said.
There are a handful of other new laws which will take effect on Jan. 1. Nevada’s first-ever court of appeals will be launched. It’s designed to reduce the Nevada Supreme Court’s caseload.
Also, a new law will give people the option of registering recreational vehicles and some utility trailers for three years rather than annually.