There is a remedy for the school administrator who approved issuance of a Minor School License (MSL) to a student only to witness the student violate the terms of the MSL time and time again. According to Steve Tudor of the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT), there is a process for suspension of MSLs within IDOT's rules. Below is that agency's rule:
761-Iowa Administrative Code 615.21
615.21(1) Suspension of a minor's school license.
a. The department may suspend a minor's school license upon receiving notice of the licensee's conviction for one moving violation or evidence of one or more accidents chargeable to the licensee.
b. The department may also suspend a minor's school license when the department receives written notice from a peace officer, parent, custodian or guardian, school superintendent, or superintendent's designee that the licensee has violated the restrictions of the license.
c. The suspension period under this subrule shall be at least 30 days.
615.21(2) Suspension of a minor's restricted license. The department may suspend a minor's restricted license upon receiving notice of the licensee's conviction for one moving violation. The suspension period shall be at least 30 days.
This rule is intended to implement Iowa Code sections 321.178 and 321.194.
Mr. Tudor also offered the following explanations:
When his office receives a letter on school stationary properly identifying the student and with some brief explanation as to why the suspension is being requested, the Minor School License will be suspended. In the last few years IDOT has been using suspension periods well in excess of the minimal 30 days; more like 6 months to a year. Keep in mind that any suspension extends the period of time the student must hold their Instruction Permit (IP) before upgrading to an Intermediate license under Graduated Driver License (GDL) rules. The minor must hold the IP for 6 months immediately preceding the upgrade with no suspensions, revocations or moving violations or at-fault crashes.
The letter should give some indication that it is coming from the superintendent or the superintendent's designee to comply with the rule. Generally, IDOT assumes that something coming from the school on the school stationary has the express or, at least, tacit approval of the superintendent.
IDOT would appreciate enough identification on the student that it can be sure it is suspending the correct person. The IDOT system is based on full legal name, date of birth and Social Security number so as many of those items as possible would increase certainty.
There is also a set of Frequently Asked Questions about the broader subject of Minor School Licenses on the web site for the Office of Driver Services, http://www.iamvd.com/ods/msl.htm.
IDOT has asked that we also remind school leaders of the IDOT's ability and responsibility to suspend any and all licenses of students who have dropped out of school until the student turns 18 or re-enrolls in school (it is possible for students to regain their privilege after re-enrolling in school again). This would include Instruction Permits, Moped licenses, Minor School Licenses and Intermediate licenses. This is found in Iowa Code section 321.213B; the administrative rule for which states as follows:
761-IAC 615.23(2) Suspension for juvenile's failure to attend school.
a. The department shall suspend the driver's license of a person under the age of 18 upon receipt of notification from the appropriate school authority that the person does not attend school.
b. "School" means a public school, an accredited nonpublic school, competent private instruction in accordance with the provisions of Iowa Code chapter 299A, an alternative school or adult education classes.
c. "Appropriate school authority" means the superintendent of a public school or the chief administrator of an accredited nonpublic school, an alternative school or adult education.
d. The suspension shall continue until the person reaches the age of 18 or until the department receives notification from the appropriate school authority that the person is attending school.
e. The department may issue to the person a minor's restricted license in accordance with Iowa Code section 321.178 and rule 761-602.25(321) if the person is eligible for the license.
This rule is intended to implement Iowa Code sections 232.52(2)"a"(4), 299.1B, 321.213, 321.213A, 321.213B, and 321.215.
A superintendent may (but is not required to) send a letter or e-mail to Steve Tudor (contact information below) including as much identifying information as possible on the student to ensure the action is taken against the appropriate person. (There is no requirement that a superintendent report dropouts to IDOT, but there is a requirement that IDOT take action when it receives such information.) As a reminder, the IDOT system is based on full legal name, date of birth and Social Security number so as many of those items as possible would increase certainty.
Contact information for Mary Schaer is as follows:
Mail: Office of Driver Services, P.O. Box 9204, Des Moines, IA 50306-9204