For these students, no rush to get their license

Seniors express a variety of reasons why they don’t drive

Cars+line+up+to+exit+the+H+lot+after+school+on+Oct.+13.+Not+every+student+who+is+eligible+to+drive+has+chosen+to+do+so.

Emma Kress

Cars line up to exit the H lot after school on Oct. 13. Not every student who is eligible to drive has chosen to do so.

Emma Kress, Reporter

At age 16 and 90 days and after a driver education program, students are allowed to take a test to get their license. Many students can’t wait to get their license. But for others, not so much. lots.

Senior Caoimhe Knutson is one senior who has not gotten her license. She wrote in an email, “The primary reason I don’t have my license is actually just because I am somewhat unmotivated, and just simply haven’t gotten around to it. I do plan on getting it at some point, though, hopefully sooner rather than later. I know I will love having it once I get it.”

Senior Emily Nevins is another student who is eligible for a license, but has not gotten it yet. Nevins said, “I enrolled in online driver ed as soon as I could and I got my permit the day after my 16th birthday. I tend to be constantly running late to everything, so it was difficult to find times where I was able to drive instead of having my mother drive me.

“I’ve had my 50 hours completed since August, but either because it didn’t seem like the most important thing on my to do list or because there weren’t any slots available, I never got an actual driver’s license test scheduled until recently. I’m scheduled to take my driver’s test on Halloween morning.”

Nevins said that she wants to have hers badly, and as soon as possible. “I’m not worried about passing; I just can’t wait until the day finally comes,” she said.

Senior Brooklynn Thorpe also does not have her license, but for her it is because of an issue with documentation. “My last name is different from the one on my social security card and I have to update my card before I can get it.”

According to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles website, people getting a driver’s license require “one document proving your identity, one document proving your lawful status in the United States, one document proving your Social Security number and two documents proving your Indiana residency.”

Because Thorpe needs to update her social security card, she is unable to get her license until she does so. She said, “I’m in the process of doing that now so that I can get my license by next spring.”

Mr. Greg Bamrick, director of transportation and coordinator of driver education, helps offer driver education to students. He said, “By far the majority (of students) are freshmen going into their sophomore year or some sophomores going into their junior year. We’ve had some kids that were seniors that never got their license but wanted to get it before they went to college.”

Bamrick said that many students are less motivated to get their license as soon as they can, especially when they can find rides so easily from family members and friends. He said, “I can reflect back to my son, Michael (Bamrick), who graduated from Cathedral three years ago. He had no desire to want to get his license. I almost had to force him to get his driver’s license. He ended up getting it mid-junior year, even though he was eligible since the middle of his freshman year.” 

Many students who are not able to find rides to hang out with friends are still able to do so without their license. Bamrick said, “I think a reason (that students do not get their license) is that kids are so much into staying in touch through social media that they can stay at home and are able to still contact their friends. You don’t have to actually drive anywhere and hang out.”

However, Bamrick recommends that students get their permit and license as soon as they are eligible. He said, “I feel that as soon as you’re 15 you should get your learner’s permit and then go through a certified driver ed program to get the training. Then get your license at 16 and 90 days. That way you get a good two years of driving experience before you’re on to a college campus and away from your parents. So I think it’s beneficial to get it as soon as you can.”