Truancy Laws in Florida

Florida truancy laws are quite stringent.
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A child in Florida must attend school from the time he is 6 years old until he reaches age 16. Florida is strict when it comes to school attendance; a parent and child can both face consequences--including fines or revocation of driving privileges for the child--if the student fails to attend school regularly.

Driver's License Consequences

Although a parent is compelled to require her child's school attendance only until age 16, the driving laws are more stringent. According to the High School Driver website, a student under age 18 cannot miss more than 15 days of school with an unexcused absence in a three-month period. If he violates this rule, the Department of Motor Vehicles in Tallahassee will suspend his license until he reaches age 18, or until he has reached a point where he has a proven pattern of proper school attendance.

Excused Absence

According to the Juvenile Assessment Center of Lee County, the State of Florida defines an excused absence as an illness, a religious holiday, a medical/dental appointment, or for any reason the parent requests permission from the school for the absence. If a parent fails to communicate with the school, the district, or both, depending on local laws, she could face consequences.

Truancy Defined

According to the Juvenile Assessment Center, the State of Florida considers a child truant if he has accumulated five or more unexcused absences in a calendar month, and/or 10 unexcused absences in a 90-day period. In such cases, Florida law state that the district superintendent may choose to file a truancy petition against you; if he chooses not to do this, the State of Florida will file a Child-In-Need of Services petition. According to a 2009 statutes, the state must have exhausted all legal means to remedy the truancy before filing such paperwork.


If a parent fails to compel her children to attend school as the law requires, she could be found guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor. According to the Florida Statutes website, a parent could face a $500 fine. A teacher who allows truancy to occur without reporting it is subject to the revocation of her teaching credentials by the State of Florida.


According to a Juvenile Assessment Center brochure, a student can legally quit school at age 16. However, the parent must receive notification. Furthermore, a child is exempt from public school attendance if he attends a private school or receives instruction from a qualified tutor, or if the parent chooses to instruct him in a home school.

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