Farm Driving Permit Signed into Law
OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Carl Newton, R-Cherokee, this week thanked the governor for signing into law a bill that will allow teens as young as 14 years old who live or work on a family farm to be eligible for a driving permit to go directly to or from home, work or school. House Bill 1962 becomes effective Nov. 1, which will allow Service Oklahoma time to prepare the new permit. "Those who run family farms work from dawn to dusk to raise food and other crops to provide for families across the nation," Newton said. "Allowing these responsible teens to be a more effective part in meeting the needs on the farm by using their driving skills in work around the farm or driving to school will be a major benefit for family farms. I've already heard from a number of constituents that this will help them tremendously, and I'm very pleased to be able to offer them this added benefit." Sen. Darcy Jech, R-Kingfisher, was the principal Senate author of the bill. “Many children from rural communities begin working on their family farm at a very young age," Jech said. "By the time they are teenagers, they are well-versed in agricultural practices and ready to take on larger roles on the operation. The farm permits and licenses available under House Bill 1962 will aid these teens in their work on their own farms and ranches, as well as make it easier for them to work at other local operations. I’d like to extend my appreciation to Representative Newton for his work on this legislation, as well as Governor Stitt supporting our state’s young agriculturists and entrepreneurs by signing it into law." Newton pointed out the neighboring state of Kansas has had this legislation in place for over 60 years and has found it beneficial. Newton also issued the reminder to teens that this is a special permit to help their farm families. It is a privilege that comes with responsibility. Applicants must pass all driving requirements as any other licensed driver. The measure also specifies restrictions for teens operating a motor vehicle while in possession of a farm permit as well as penalties for those who violate the terms of the new law, including the potential revocation of their driving privileges.