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08 February 2011

Georgia House To Vote On English-Only Drivers' License Exams Wednesday

Imagine, for a second, that you're living in Germany.

You're not just visiting Germany, you plan on staying there for a long time. In fact, you intend to become a naturalized German citizen.

Now, as a citizen of Germany, you need to get around. You need a car. But before you get that car, you need to be licensed to drive. So you go down to the German DMV, and you prepare to take your drivers' license exam. Then you find out the German drivers' license test is in German; not English, German.

What would you do?

Would you raise a ruckus over the German drivers' license exam not being in English? Or would you learn the German language so you could successfully pass the German drivers' license exam?

Wednesday, the Georgia House of Representatives is scheduled to debate and vote on a bill that would encourage non-English speakers to learn English before getting their drivers' license.

House Bill 72 would provide that Georgia drivers' license exams be given only in English. The bill passed out of committee February 3rd and is on the February 9th debate calendar.

I believe H.B. 72 is common sense legislation. I would never go to Germany and demand that that my drivers' license test be given to me in English. I would learn German first. Likewise, I would expect a German to learn English first.

And regardless of what H.B. 72 opponents say, all this legislation does is make it clear that the State of Georgia is only administering the drivers' license exam in English. If you want Georgia drivers' license, learn English. If not, get behind the wheel of a car without license, get pulled over by the police and go to jail.