Kansas to let 15-year-olds drive alone to religious events

April 19, 2022 GMT

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Fifteen-year-olds in Kansas will be able to drive by themselves to and from worship services and other religious activities, starting in July.

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly on Tuesday signed into law a bill approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature to expand driving privileges for holders of restricted licenses.

The law already allows 15-year-olds to drive by themselves to and from work. The change will allow them to drive to and from religious activities from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. A restricted license also already allows 15-year-olds to drive anywhere at any time if an adult with a valid license is sitting in the front passenger’s seat.

Supporters said the change would help busy parents and that going to and from religious services is as safe as other driving allowed under a restricted license. The measure had strong bipartisan support.

When drivers turn 16, they are eligible for a restricted license allowing them to drive alone anywhere from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. and to and from work, school and school activities. The law has allowed them also to drive to and from religious worship services, and the measure Kelly signed Tuesday covers all religious activities.

Kansas residents are eligible for an unrestricted license at age 17.