Country Living Series

Friday, January 3, 2014

Another driver!

I'm pleased to report that we have another driver in the house! Well, sorta.

Older Daughter (who just turned 18) went in this morning and took the written exam to get her Driver's Permit -- and passed 100%.

I realize 18 is old (by American standards) to get a driver's permit, but weirdly enough the fact that she was homeschooled threw the licensing department off. I don't know why, since there are homeschoolers all over this county, but there you go.

In fact back when she was 16, I called up the licensing department for our county, and the conversation went something like this:

Me: "I have a 16 year old homeschooled daughter who would like to get her driving permit. What do we need to do?"

Them: [The licensing department outlined the requirements, i.e. driver's ed, driver's training, minimum number of hours behind the wheel, etc.] "And she'll need proper documentation."

Me: "What kind of documentation?"

Them: "She'll need her social security card..."

Me: "No problem."

Them: "...and her birth certification..."

"Me: "No problem."

Them: "And a form of photo ID."

Me: "That's a problem. She doesn't have any."

Them: "Oh, a student ID is fine."

Me: "But she's homeschooled. She doesn't have a student ID."

Them: [Silence. A long silence.] "Oh."

As it turned out, this initial conversation led to additional conversations with county officials, then a call to Boise, then a call to the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, then another call to Boise, yet more calls to our county, etc.

It was a Catch-22: How do you get a form of photo ID without some preceding form of photo ID?

In the end we decided to wait until she was 18 before dealing with the bureaucracy. This meant we could skip driver's ed and driver's training (that is to say, we could supply those ourselves).

So today Don took her in for her test. We still had to provide her social security card and birth certificate... and you know what we used for a photo ID? A group picture from a newspaper clipping with her old Venture Scouts crew. Go figure.

So now Older Daughter will be getting behind the wheel a lot more than before. She's driven quite a bit on our non-county road, but of course speeds are very slow on a pothole-y country dirt road. She'll have to learn to drive at night, in the snow or rain, in icy conditions, etc.

What fun! (/sarc/)


  1. I still remember one of the multiple choice answers on my test. If your car is in a skid you should: A slam on the brakes, B steer into the skid and keep a neutral throttle, C speed up, D get on the floor and pray. I really wanted to answer "D" but thought I would try for a 100% instead and chose "B"

  2. They do make photo IDs for homeschool kids if you feel like looking into it. My neighbors had them and I plan on getting one for our daughter once she's old enough :)

  3. I can't imagine having to do it with DD without a SS number.

    1. Your daughter doesn't have a SSN? Why ever not?

    2. Lots of kids don't have SSN. It is not a requirement, and officially isn't "supposed" to be used as ID anyway. If kids aren't working why should they need one?

  4. It's a little late now, but if this becomes an issue for younger kids, you can just join the Homeschool Buyers Co-Op online (free) and then you can make your own student and teacher ID cards. We just upload a photo for each child at the beginning of the new school year and print, then laminate, the cards. If you want a more solid "real" ID you can order it for a few dollars. Maybe that would fulfill their photo ID requirement?

  5. You can also get an i.d. from the DMV to use if you don't have a drivers license. We did this with our home schooled daughters.

  6. In Idaho you can also go get a photo ID done at the DMV at least in larger counties at age 16. Not sure what the current cost is, used to be $15 and was valid for 4 years, since that is required to get a job pretty much everywhere. People who also can't legally drive can go and get one as well so they have photo ID to show places. My friend can't drive because of a brain condition and has one and her son recently got one at age 16 so he could get a job because he wasn't enrolled at a school that had IDs. But really I think the driving age should be raised to 18 in the US, so many high schoolers are irresponsible drivers in the area I live in.

    1. So irresponsible drivers should make it more difficult for responsible drivers to obtain a license at 16? Maybe it would be best for proficiency to dictate when a person should drive....or when one should STOP driving.

    2. Doctors are encouraged to contact family/DMV when they feel a patient is no longer capable of driving. Living in Florida I think it's a really, really good idea - do prefer contacting the family but for some it's not easy to do as they are out of state/out of touch.

  7. After my son turned 17, we went to the DMV in CDA so he could take the written test for his permit. We also homeschool and I have always made a photo I.D. by putting a small photo on the back of my kids HSLDA student ID. Anyway, he hands the clerk the SS number, the birth certificate and the HSLDA card with his photo. She looks at the card and then asks about a ID, and I told her that was his school ID, so she calls Boise and tells them that all he has is an HSLDA student ID card with his picture on it. After a minute or two, she came back and said that the card was ok. Also, if you join, for a small fee, CHOIS (Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State) or ICHE (Idaho Coalition of Home Educators), they send a student ID card for each of your students with a place to put a photo. You also get a discount on your HSLDA membership. We will probably go get our daughter a state ID card this year before she turns 17 then they won't have to call Boise when it is her turn to get a license.
    Also, congratulations to Older Daughter on getting her permit. My son took his time and finally got his license at 19. You can keep renewing your permit without retaking the written test as long as you do it before the permit expires.

  8. In our county, the Sheriff's Dept. owns a "skid car" that they use for training officers, and it can be rented for us regular folks to learn to handle those skids. If there is not one in your area, there is one in Deschutes Co., OR. Blessings, DWLee3

  9. Two of my kids got their licenses at 16. One at 18 and one still doesnt have hers at 22( slight special needs). We just figured when they were ready they will get them. Traffic around here is insane so we arent in too big of a hurry.

  10. My Sisters kids are all home schooled. Her teenage Son has no problem using his passport for ID.

  11. We got Oklahoma state IDs for our students, which required only birth certificates and a SS card (originals only). We needed them as photo IDs to fly last summer. A friend here just made homeschool IDs for her kids from a website. I've never tried to fly with those, but when we belonged to a PSP they issued IDs to us and we never had them questioned.

    We also needed the photo ID when our oldest started taking tests such as the SAT and ACT. They are very strict about seeing ID before letting the students test (lost of cheating, I suppose.)

  12. Our state CHEK group in KY outlines the KY law for driving for home schoolers. We just followed the directions and have gotten learner permits for 3 home schoolers with no issues. I did make a copy of the actual law to bring along if I had any problems.

    Also, one of my children did get the state issued ID card, as she was a page at the State level. She needed it for security clearance to do the page job at 14.

  13. We got passports for both our kids when they were really little, (9 mos and 1 1/2 years). I guess technically, all they'd need are certified birth certificates to drive them across the border into Canada, but the passports probably make it less of a hassle. Besides, if we ever do make it to Germany again, it'll be better to not have to run around trying to get expedited passports for the kids.

    In Illinois, at least, you can have a state ID and a driver's license. The state IDs are available for kids down to newborn, but looking at the requirements to get the ID, it seems as if the child doesn't go to a school with an ID card, you're stuck having to get a passport first in order to prove to IL that your kid is who you say he is.

  14. Oh boy. You are in my prayers! :)

    Steve Davis
    Anchorage, Alaska

  15. Oh my! I had to laugh out loud because we have the SAME issue here in Georgia. What's worse was when I needed to replace my 10 year old's SS card. They do not take a birth certificate. THey wanted a school record (we home school) or a vaccination record (we don't vaccinate). The poor SS agent was at a loss!!!

  16. I let my son at age 8 sit on my lap on our back-country roads and learn to drive. At age 10 he was driving me on those roads. Now at age 22 he's never had an accident, never lets anyone drive his vehicle and never drives if he's had a beer, or two. I'm proud of him and glad he had extensive experience prior to getting his license at age 16.