17 responses to How do Amish youth get driver’s licenses?
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    Comment on How do Amish youth get driver’s licenses? (January 9th, 2012 at 09:38)

    Interesting. So the “higher” Amish groups may tolerate some driving by their youth, but less so the lower groups.

    And getting a license itself doesn’t seem to be a problem, at least for that community in Ohio. I take it they must have been issued birth certificates and possibly some other identity document previous to getting a license.

    I watched a video once of some group of ex-Amish youth in Missouri. Several had not been issued a birth certificates and therefore were basically unknown to the government. They mentioned it taking several months to get a birth certifiate as an adult.

    On the other hand, with all the concern these days about identity theft, having absolutely no government issued identity documents has a certain appeal. When your identity is based on real-world relationships with others, as opposed to a document, there’s not much concern about someone stealing it.

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    Comment on How do Amish youth get driver’s licenses? (January 9th, 2012 at 12:05)

    I’d be curious if they get insurance. It’s mandatory in Ohio, but Amish typically don’t buy any kind of insurance. So are they driving without, thereby breaking the law?

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      Comment on How do Amish youth get driver’s licenses? (January 9th, 2012 at 14:02)

      Hi Missy, what we think of as Amish rules and practices technically only apply to baptized members. We can probably assume that if someone’s okay with driving he’s not going to have qualms about having insurance.

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    Alice Mary
    Comment on Interesting! (January 9th, 2012 at 13:47)


    I’m right along with Missy in wondering about the insurance aspect of driving—Illinois requires insurance, too, so SOMEONE has to acquire/pay for it. I’d be interested to know (any insurance agents on this blog?) if Amish “youth” male or female, are considered better or worse risks than their English counterparts.

    The whole aspect of birth certificates (in order to get insurance, driver’s license) is interesting, too—so, do the more conservative Amish NOT “file” birth certificates—what if the birth takes place in a hospital, doesn’t the hospital have to submit info. about all births that occur there? How do they avoid it (conservative groups) other than only giving birth at home, no matter what the risk to the mother/child?

    Alice Mary

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    Lee Ann
    Comment on How do Amish youth get driver’s licenses? (January 9th, 2012 at 16:25)

    Ed has a point there about identity thief.

    Interesting that the more conservative Amish do not have birth certificates. How do they go about getting loans, or whatever to build a house? I know they don’t like to take out loans, but sometimes must, so I would think the birth certificate would come in handy for that as well as for driving.

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    Beverly Cregger
    Comment on Comment on How do Amish youth get driver's licenses? (January 9th, 2012 at 17:08)

    Comment on How do Amish youth get driver's licenses?

    When I was in Lancaster, Pa. recently I saw some Amish youth driving a Cadillac Escalade. How can they afford that?

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    Comment on How do Amish youth get driver’s licenses? (January 9th, 2012 at 18:12)

    Thanks for the information and for choosing my question, Erik! You made my day!

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    Comment on How do Amish youth get driver’s licenses? (January 9th, 2012 at 21:07)

    This summer some Amish young men were putting in fence across the road from us. We kept hearing revving motors and loud country music. When we walked down the driveway to get the mail we saw the two young men, one in a tractor, the other one in a bobcat, playing chicken with each other. They were woo-hooing and shouting and singing with the radio. We looked at each other and said,”another Amish myth shattered!”

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    Comment on Crazy Amish kids (January 9th, 2012 at 22:16)

    Crazy Amish kids

    This is remarkable to me. I just figured that they’d just do horse and buggy their entire lives.
    I wonder how many of the young people buy what they consider a cool car and drive it for a few years and then hide it in their barns after they accept their baptism, and polish up their secret baby and remember their wild youth.

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      Comment on How do Amish youth get driver’s licenses? (January 10th, 2012 at 08:19)

      Shom, that seems like a scene from a movie-to-be. Only I can’t figure out if it’s a comedy or drama!

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        Comment on How do Amish youth get driver’s licenses? (January 10th, 2012 at 22:04)

        Erik: Maybe its a comedic drama. That would make a great film one way or the other, maybe have a scene echoing the “What a wonderful world this would be” scene in Harrison Ford’s “Witness”

        It is like when I was in high school, my friend and his family lived in a uniform development of rows of the exact same house over and over again (that boring), but one of the secret things of my friend’s house is that his father had this awesome muscle car in the garage that he worked on and polished. If my friend was sixteen at the time the car had to be in the garage or in the family for 10 to 15 of those, and I imagine my friend’s dad kept it to remind him of when he was a teenager or a twenty something (or bought it later as a midlife crisis perhaps) but he drove like a really conservative car, or junky pickup or a van or whatever most of the time.
        I would guess that Amish people keep mementos like we do.

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    Comment on How do Amish youth get driver’s licenses? (January 15th, 2012 at 15:19)

    Amish youth around here in Ohio might have a drivers license, but they often do NOT get insurance. There are a fair number who also do not get drivers licenses and they drive without them (and get caught).

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      Comment on How do Amish youth get driver’s licenses? (February 25th, 2012 at 20:57)

      kerry — I agree with you. My husband comes from an Amish family in Holmes Co. (however, his father never joined the Amish church and he then married a Mennonite lady. Their family does not practice shunning.) Most of the youth driving in Holmes/Wayne counties in Ohio do not bother with a license and do not get insurance.

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    Annandra Bee
    Comment on How do Amish youth get driver’s licenses? (April 3rd, 2013 at 15:14)

    Please send me info on how I can get a birth certificate I was born in a Polygimist colony and have recently escaped I have never had an ID or certificate of birth

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      Patsy Hoekstra
      Comment on Acquiring a Birth Certificate (July 16th, 2015 at 09:37)

      Acquiring a Birth Certificate

      @Annandra Bee

      Ms. Bee, I am wondering if you ever got any help answering your question? It doesn’t seem that you did unless someone responded to you privately.

      When a person does not have a birth certificate it is almost impossible to become financially independent, get an education or travel outside the country. Also, in the increasingly intrusive police state mentality engendered by the NSA, a person runs the risk of having to prove US citizenship, or face deportation.

      I know the problems because I am trying to help some Amish teens who were born at home in Ohio get their birth certificates. There sold be no doubt or “controversy” that they need an ID, even if they are Amish.

      Please contact me if you have any info to help in obtaining birth certificates and I will do the same for you. I wish you well.

      BTW, Rumspringa is a complete myth among the conservative Amish group in my area.

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