Society

S.C. Law Prevents Teen From Obtaining Driver's Permit

| by Emily Smith

A 15-year-old South Carolina boy was denied a driving permit after the state decided that his foster father wasn’t a valid guardian.

The teen, identified only as Timothy, earned his driver’s permit in May in Anderson County, South Carolina, WYFF reports. However, he later received a letter from the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles in September revoking that license.

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“It devastated me," Timothy told WYFF. "I didn’t feel complete anymore because they took something away from me that I earned."

The driver's permit was reportedly revoked because his foster father, Bradley Cullum, was told he couldn't sign the permit as the boy's guardian.

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Cullum insists that the rights of Timothy’s biological parents had been terminated by the courts, Fox Carolina reports. Although the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) and the DMV originally granted Cullum a waiver and allowed him to sign as Timothy’s guardian, that right was later revoked.

“I’d like for him to have a permit just like every other kid at the lunch table at school,” Cullum told Fox Carolina. “It’s a right of passage for a teenage boy.”

In a statement to WYFF, DMV Executive Director Kevin Schwedo noted that the department is sympathetic to Cullum and his foster son. However, Schwedo explained that it’s against the law to issue a permit to a minor if it is not signed by the minor's mother, father or guardian. Foster parents are not recognized as official guardians and thus cannot sign the permit.

Schwedo added that the DMV is currently working with legislators to give foster children greater flexibility.

Cullum told Fox Carolina that kids in foster care already have a hard time and that getting a permit should be simple.

Currently, Cullum is in the process of adopting Timothy.

Cullum later contacted multiple representatives, including Republican Rep. Anne Thayer of Anderson. Thayer noted to WYFF that DMV and DSS officials are expected to meet on Monday to resolve the issue. She added that if a resolution is not reached, she will work to craft legislation to prevent this from happening to other foster children.

Sources: Fox News, WYFF

Photo Credit: Capolitical Review, Fox News