Alabama’s teen driver’s license law enforcing new, stricter system

Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 8:38 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Getting a driver’s license is a significant milestone. One that can be impacted by how you act in school, starting at age 13 in Alabama.

That’s because years ago, Taylor’s Law went into effect honoring David Keith Taylor, who was killed when a teen driver ran a stop sign at 85 miles per hour, hitting Taylor’s van.

Now, the law is being enforced more strictly with a new system.

Turning 16 and getting to drive is a special moment, but it’s also a privilege.

Taylor’s Law means a student’s behavior in school starting at the age of 13 can make or break if they will receive a driver’s license.

“State database was mandated and be created to keep up with the points systems,” said Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones.

Here is a breakdown of that point system Sheriff Jay Jones is referring to.

  • One day in-school suspension is one point.
  • One day of out-of-school suspension is two points.
  • Alternative education placement is six points.
  • Expulsion from school is 20 points.

“At the age of 13, I’m not denying I was never in any kind of trouble,” said Gatlin Oxendine, a Freshman at Beauregard High School.

Oxendine said this disciplinary action was just brought up within his school as of this year. However, the principal says they didn’t know about the law until a new enrollment form was updated in April of 2022, asking for a student’s number of disciplinary points.

Gatlin Oxendine currently has 25 points but said his actions when younger do not represent who he is now.

“My dad has dementia taking him to his doctor’s appointments. My mom works out of town, so me being able to drive would definitely deeply help her out,” said Oxendine.

With ALEA adding those disciplinary points to the process, Oxendine could not get his driver’s license when he turns 16 next month.

But it turns out he will be eligible to drive soon since he filled out an old form last February -- before disciplinary points were added on the new form of April of 2022.

The updated system shines a new light on Taylor’s Law and is a reminder for students ...if you act up, it may keep you from getting behind the wheel.

Now, if you are denied your permit or license in Alabama, you will not have to wait more than 1-2 years to obtain one.

Once you receive a license, schools can revoke your privileges for bad behavior.

To pick up an updated form, you can visit the front desk of your school.