At what age can my 14 year old be eligiable for a hardship license due to our family situation?

03/26/2007 - Automobiles - State: TX #1027

Full Question:

My wife has been diagnosed with stage 4 mestatic cancer. I work in the construction field and need to be at work early. Is my 14 year old son eligible for a hardship drivers license to assist with driving his younger brothers and himself to school?


(a) A minor's authorization certificate for licensing privileges is obtained by submitting a minor's restricted drivers license application for driver license to the department establishing the necessity for a minor age 15-18 to drive under the provisions set out in Texas Transportation Code, §521.223. Such applications may be obtained from any Texas Department of Public Safety office or by writing the Texas Department of Public Safety, Driver Records, Box 4087, Austin, Texas 78773-0360.

(b) Persons applying for a driver's license under the provisions of Texas Transportation Code, §521.223, must provide evidence of:
(1) completion of a driver training course approved by the department; and
(2) an unusual economic hardship that is affecting the applicant's family to the extent of being denied the basic necessities for existence. Persons who can meet the criteria in subparagraphs (A)-(H) of this paragraph will be considered for licensing under the unusual economic hardship provisions.
(A) The applicant is married and maintaining a separate household apart from the parent or guardian.
(B) The applicant is the head of a household other than as a married person.
(C) The applicant has dependent children and must drive to ensure the welfare of the children.
(D) The applicant is the only person eligible for a driver's license in the household.
(E) The applicant is the only person eligible for a driver's license other than the head of the household and when the head of the household is absent from the residence for sustained periods of time due to work and it is not practical to return home each day and licensing of the applicant is necessary to sustain the household.
(F) The applicant attends school and must work to provide the basic necessities for existence of the family and the transporting of the applicant would create a hardship on the applicant's family if other family members must be absent from their employment to transport the applicant to or from work and other means of transportation are not available.
(G) The applicant needs transportation to and from school and school bus or public transportation is not provided or unavailable. Travel to participate in school activities such as sports, band, etc., will not be considered a sufficient reason to establish an unusual economic hardship.
(H) The applicant is engaged in farm or ranch work for parents or guardian and driving by the applicant is necessary in order for the family to carry on essential farming or ranching activity which is the primary source of family income.
(3) a sickness or illness of a family member that makes driving by the applicant necessary in order to provide medical attention to such family member and no other practical means to do so are available or licensing of the applicant is necessary to sustain the household because of such family member's physical condition. Person applying for a license under this provision must present a signed statement from the attending physician attesting to the fact that the family member in question should not drive because of the medical condition. Such statement must include the nature of the illness.
(4) enrollment in a vocational education program by presenting certification from the school principal attesting to enrollment of the applicant and the course is approved under the Texas Education Code, §21.101, and the course is recognized by the school for academic credit and that driving by the applicant is necessary to pursue such program.

(c) Applicants for a driver's license under the provisions of Texas Transportation Code, §521.223, must present evidence of:

(1) an economic emergency that is of such a nature that immediate relief is necessary to prevent the applicant's family from being denied the basic necessities for existence. Those conditions applicable to unusual economic hardship under subsection (b)(2) of this section also apply to economic emergency.
(2) a family illness or disability that is of such a nature that licensing of the applicant is necessary to provide a family member with transportation to receive medical attention or to sustain the household. The applicable requirements for sickness or illness under subsection (b)(3) of this section also apply to family illness or disability.
(3) a death of an immediate family member makes temporary driving by the applicant necessary to provide relief to the applicant's immediate family in carrying on routine or special family needs because of such death.

(d) Fourteen-year-old applicants applying for authority to enroll in an approved driver training course under the provisions of Texas Transportation Code, §521.223, must present evidence as required of applicants under subsection (b)(2), (3), or (4) of this section. Applicants approved for early enrollment authority may only be enrolled in the classroom portion of the driver training program.

(e) The department may require evidence or make any investigation necessary for the purpose of confirmation information furnished on any application for a driver's license or early enrollment authority under Texas Transportation Code, §521.223.

(f) The driver training course referred to in Texas Transportation Code, §521.223, must conform to 19 TAC §§77.471-77.480 concerning Standards for an Approved Course in Driver Education for Texas Schools and/or §§31.1-31.6 of this title (relating to Standards for an Approved Motorcycle Operator Training Course).

(g) Minors restricted driver's license application for driver's license must be executed by an authorized adult in behalf of a minor with the adult and the minor signing the form and presenting it in person at a driver's license office.

(h) Only a parent, guardian, or person having custody of a minor may make application in his behalf, or if such minor has no parent, guardian, or custodian, then an employer or county judge may apply in behalf of the minor.

(i) The minor's authorization must be presented within 45 days after approval as the required authorization for the minor to be given a driver's license examination, except 14-year-old applicants applying for early enrollment in a driver education class.

(j) Any restriction approved on the minor's restricted driver's license application by the department or by court order, and found by the department to be necessary and not in conflict with the original authorization or court order, must be added to the license. Restrictions will normally be the time frame and area necessary to relieve a hardship or emergency.

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03/26/2007 - Category: Automobiles - State: TX #1027

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