Driver’s License: Now or Later?

To drive or not to drive — that is the question for Millenials who’ve been reluctant to get their drivers’ licenses as early in life as their predecessors.

A recent report from NBC Nightly News found that less teens are visiting their local DMVs by the time they’re of age to get their licenses, preferring instead to take public transportation, get an Uber, call up a friend or simply walk to get around.

Sophomore commuter student Shane Grimes said he enjoys the freedom that a license gives, but waited until his senior year to get his license since he didn’t feel the need to get one right away. Moreso than anything else, pressure from parents to get a proper form of identification is more incentive to wait through the long lines of the DMV to get your license.

NBC’s report said “In 1983, 80 percent of 18-year-olds had a driver’s license. In 2014, that number dropped to 60 percent.”

Why? One reason might be that most can’t afford the costs of maintenance, insurance, and all the other expenses that come with owning a car.

Who can blame them? As payments for schooling have gone up and state funding for colleges has gone down, there are other priorities that come in place of getting an awkward I.D. picture to carry around in your wallet.

Senior Alex Schmig said having a license was symbolic of affluence and wealth in his community, and those who took buses everywhere were noticed quite easily.

Nowadays, since drivers are distracted by their devices, parents are even keeping their children from applying for licenses, hoping to keep them safe and away from the dangerous streets. Their worry is a little unwarranted, seeing that from 2006 to 2015, there has been a 65.2 percent decrease in car crashes, but everyone knows there is no rationalizing with helicopter parents.

And as low as that percentage is, no one wants to become a part of another accident statistic, and few have the time and money to go through the paperwork and process of getting a license.

I didn’t get my license until this past summer because I’m from the city, so I’m partial to public transportation. Even still, I was tired of getting odd looks for carrying around my passport as identification.

All in all, it varies with each person, but whether you come from the rush of the city or the calms of the countryside, it’s ultimately up to you whether you want to get behind the wheel or find alternate avenues for transportation.