What a driver's license means to me...

Youth share stories and testify on the significant impact a driver's license has made in their lives.


Bre Carpenter

"Another “normal”  adolescent experience and milestone for young adults is obtaining a driver's permit and license. With the support of the courts, my attorney, my DCS Case Specialist and my foster parents who were willing to take on the cost and the liability, I was in the rare 4% of young adults in foster care who get a driver's license. This was instrumental, as it allowed me to attend a high school outside of my school district that offered the International Baccalaureate program. It also allowed me to participate in extracurricular activities, maintain employment, and overall develop independence. I want to reiterate, my experience is not the norm, as often youth in foster care are unable to obtain their driver's permit and license because they do not have a parent or caregiver willing and able to take on the liability or add them to their insurance policy. As a result, they lack these crucial independent skills and feel less prepared to enter adulthood.

Full Testimony

Frank Smith 

"When I left my foster families home at age 18 to attend ASU, I lived downtown and the majority of my classes were downtown, strategically limiting my need for a car. By my sophomore year I received an internship with Vanguard, but it was dependent on my ability to secure reliable and consistent transportation. With the last minute, generous support of a long time mentor, at age 19 I was finally able to get my license, a vehicle and auto insurance all in a matter of one week.

As a result of not going through driver’s training or driving for the previous three years before I turned 18, when I contracted for my own car insurance, my rates were exponentially higher than they would have been if I would have received my permit. I was paying over $300 dollars a month for auto insurance, which is expensive in general, let alone for a college student who was not receiving any financial support from family.

Full Testimony

If you would like to submit a story, please email rricham@firstfocus.org