Why Kids Aren’t Getting a Driver’s License

Many members of Generation Z are either delaying getting their driver’s license, or not getting a driver’s license at all. Generation Z includes all those born between 1997 and 2012. When most of us think back to our own teenage years, we couldn’t wait to get our driver’s license, as it represented a move from dependence to independence, and it served as a marker that we were moving closer to adulthood. But things have changed. In 1997, forty-three percent of sixteen-year-olds and sixty-two percent of seventeen year-olds had driver’s licenses. In 2020 those numbers had fallen to twenty-five percent and forty-five percent. Why is this happening? Kids are concerned about the higher cost of driving, and driving’s impact on the environment. Ride-sharing, e-scooters, and e-bikes are transportation alternatives. But there’s one additional reason kids are choosing not to drive: fear and anxiety. This reminds us of our need to address anxiety through the peace, presence, and promises of Jesus Christ.