By James Sinks

WesCom News Service

SALEM — When it comes to driving privileges for Oregon teenagers, parents must giveth — and they also can taketh away.

That ability is seldom used — just 97 teen licenses were pulled by parents statewide in 2004, according to state Driver and Motor Vehicle Services division statistics.

In comparison, school administrators were responsible for 234 license cancellations under a separate law that allows schools to yank licenses of students who are truant.

If teens are not emancipated, the state requires them to get a parent or legal guardian to sign an authorization before a license is issued.

That same parent or guardian can revoke the license up until the child's 18th birthday.

A proposal in the state Senate could have changed the terms of that law and allowed any of a child's parents or guardians to yank a license, not just the parent that gave the written permission.

Lawmakers balked at that change, however, because it threatened to put the DMV in the middle of family squabbles, said Sen. Doug Whitsett, R-Klamath Falls, the floor carrier of Senate Bill 76 on Thursday.

Under the amended bill, which passed unanimously, lawmakers agreed instead to remove an arcane provision of the same law that allowed employers to also grant and revoke teenagers' licenses.

"It dates back to the 1930s when employers had control of the lives of minors," he said.

Teens also lose licenses if they are found guilty of drug- and alcohol-related crimes, or if they get two moving violations or are culpable in two preventable accidents, said David House, a DMV spokesman.

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