82R306 SLB-D
  By: Gallego H.B. No. 132
  relating to the issuance of a driver's license to a person who has
  not obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent.
         SECTION 1.  Section 521.201, Transportation Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         Sec. 521.201.  LICENSE INELIGIBILITY IN GENERAL.  (a) The
  department may not issue any license to a person who:
               (1)  is under 15 years of age;
               (2)  is under 18 years of age unless the person complies
  with the requirements imposed by Section 521.204;
               (3)  is shown to be addicted to the use of alcohol, a
  controlled substance, or another drug that renders a person
  incapable of driving;
               (4)  holds a driver's license issued by this state or
  another state or country that is revoked, canceled, or under
               (5)  has been determined by a judgment of a court to be
  totally incapacitated or incapacitated to act as the operator of a
  motor vehicle unless the person has, by the date of the license
  application, been:
                     (A)  restored to capacity by judicial decree; or
                     (B)  released from a hospital for the mentally
  incapacitated on a certificate by the superintendent or
  administrator of the hospital that the person has regained
               (6)  the department determines to be afflicted with a
  mental or physical disability or disease that prevents the person
  from exercising reasonable and ordinary control over a motor
  vehicle while operating the vehicle on a highway, except that a
  person may not be refused a license because of a physical defect if
  common experience shows that the defect does not incapacitate a
  person from safely operating a motor vehicle;
               (7)  has been reported by a court under Section
  521.3452 for failure to appear unless the court has filed an
  additional report on final disposition of the case; [or]
               (8)  has been reported by a court for failure to appear
  or default in payment of a fine for a misdemeanor that is not
  covered under Subdivision (7) and that is punishable by a fine only,
  including a misdemeanor under a municipal ordinance, committed by a
  person who was under 17 years of age at the time of the alleged
  offense, unless the court has filed an additional report on final
  disposition of the case; or
               (9)  except as provided by Section 521.207, has not
  obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent or is a student:
                     (A)  enrolled in a public school, home school, or
  private school who attended school for at least 80 days in the fall
  or spring semester preceding the date of the driver's license
  application; or
                     (B)  who has been enrolled for at least 45 days,
  and is enrolled as of the date of the application, in a program to
  prepare persons to pass the high school equivalency exam.
         (b)  Subsection (a)(9) does not apply to the renewal of a
  license issued before January 1, 2012.
         SECTION 2.  Subchapter J, Chapter 521, Transportation Code,
  is amended by adding Section 521.207 to read as follows:
  DIPLOMA OR EQUIVALENT. (a) The department may issue a restricted
  license to an applicant who has not obtained a high school diploma
  or its equivalent that allows the holder to travel between the
  holder's residence and another place for the purpose of:
               (1)  school;
               (2)  work;
               (3)  any school-sponsored educational or athletic
               (4)  any non-school-sponsored community service or
  volunteer activity;
               (5)  religious services;
               (6)  essential household duties, including obtaining
  child care; and
               (7)  obtaining emergency medical care.
         (b)  The department shall adopt rules to implement this
  section, including:
               (1)  defining types of acceptable documentation of
  obtaining a high school diploma or its equivalent; and
               (2)  designing a license with a marking to indicate the
  restricted status described by this section.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect January 1, 2012.