Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2020


The simple and relatively mundane act of driving a car, which many of us take for granted, can have a profound impact on many aspects of adulthood. The ability to drive a car can provide a means to pursue education and employment, to earn income, and to ultimately obtain independence. As a young adult, a car is often the first acquired asset, which leads to developing credit history for other major life purchases. Owning a car may also be a significant contributor to a person’s economic wellbeing and future buying power. Yet the simple act of driving a car is too often unobtainable for youth who grow up within the foster care system. The simple steps of obtaining a driver’s license, learning to drive, and purchasing a car can present insurmountable hurdles to foster youth. This article seeks to address the legal obstacles that remain as impediments to foster youth driving, despite recent legislative changes designed to improve foster care experiences for foster youth, and to recommend solutions for overcoming those obstacles.

Publication Title

Seattle Journal for Social Justice