The Delaware State Courts will be closed on Monday, May 27, 2024 for Memorial Day. Justice of the Peace Court 11 (New Castle County) and Court 7 (Kent County) will remain open 24 hours and Justice of the Peace Court 3 (Sussex County) will be open from 6AM-Midnight (no new cases after 11PM).

Driver’s License and Insurance Program (DLI) for Youth Who Have Experienced Foster Care




The Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) is responsible for implementing the DLI program for youth and young adults who have experienced foster care.

DLI Program Overview

Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 151 with House Amendment number 2 was signed by the Governor in October of 2022 which created the DLI program. Acquiring a driver’s license is an important part of a young adult's life to achieve normalcy and eventual independence. Yet, youth who experience foster care face numerous unique barriers in this endeavor. Not only are there logistical challenges in the process of obtaining a license for youth in foster care, but the car insurance industry’s rules can be unaccommodating and financially prohibitive. Youth who have a driver’s license are more likely to have successful outcomes, avoiding homelessness and incarceration, as reliable transportation is a crucial step to employment. The DLI program intends to break down the barriers for youth to get their driver’s license and to acquire affordable car insurance.


Youth may apply for funds to pay for:
  • car insurance
  • the cost of car insurance when added as a driver to an adult's car insurance policy
  • alternative driver education class fee
  • costs associated with programs that offer driving hours

Eligibility Requirements

  1. In the custody of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families ages 15 and older or;
  2. Exited foster care to guardianship or adoption after the age of 16 or;
  3. Aged out of foster care and under the age of 23.

Application Process:

  • Submit an application through the OCA’s online portal
  • Applications will be reviewed, and all applicants will be notified if they meet the eligibility requirements and any next steps within 2 working days
  • If applying for funds for car insurance, a copy of the following documents are required with the application:
    1. Driver's license
    2. Car registration
    3. Insurance declaration page (if going on someone else's car insurance)
  • Applicants will receive an email response that the application has been received
  • If you need have questions or need assistance, please email: OCA.DriversProgram@delaware.gov

Additional available resource links:

Annual Report September 2023
DMV Website
Delaware Driver Manual
Sample Driver's Test
List of online and in-person courses
FAQs for Driver's License Under 18 Years old
FAQs for Driver's License Over 18 Years Old
Alternate Student Driver Education Programs
Path to Licensure Under 18
Path to Licensure Over 18
Path to Licensure Full Flow Chart
Youth Fact Sheet
Foster Parent Fact Sheet
DMV Teen Driving Tips

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Alternative Driver education program
  • Driving practice after obtaining your license
  • Insurance
Your DFS worker will take you to the DMV and sign for your license.
Yes, your DFS worker will have a letter stating your fees are waived.
  • Your blue slip within 6 months of it being issued. Please note that it may not be altered in any way.
  • Original or certified copy of your birth certificate
  • Social security card or document showing your full Social Security Number and full name.
    • Your name must be exactly the same on your birth certificate and social security card
No. You must have your permit in order to take driving lessons.
  • If you are under 18, you may take it at an alternative location. The DLI program may cover the cost of the class.
  • If you are over 18, you will need to take the written test through the DMV. Once passed, you will need to take the road test. Below are some helpful links:
Yes, the DLI program could pay the cost of the Alternative Driver Education class.
Your DFS caseworker can sponsor you when you apply for your license at the DMV. The DFS caseworker is allowed to sign for your application and liability is waived for them. Your foster parent, Child Attorney or Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is not allowed to sign for your license application.
For the first six months after issuance:
  • You are required to have your license with you when driving
  • You must be supervised at all times.
  • No passengers other than an adult supervisor and one other passenger can be in the vehicle during the entire first 12 months of driving. However, this does not apply to immediate members of the driver's family as long as the adult supervisor is in the car.
  • The adult supervisor must be a properly licensed driver who is at least 25 years of age and has held a Class D license for at least 5 years. The supervising driver must be seated beside you in the front seat of the vehicle when it is in motion. No person other than the supervising driver can be in the front seat.
  • You and anyone else in the car must wear a seat belt or be secured in a child safety or booster seat.
  • You are not allowed to operate a car while using a cellular telephone, text messaging device, or similar electronic device.
If you violate these restrictions, you are considered as driving without a license which will result in a two-month suspension for the first offense and a four-month suspension for subsequent offenses.
Yes, after the first six months you have the following restrictions:
  • You are required to have your license with you when driving
  • You may drive unsupervised between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.
  • You may drive between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. only when under supervision. Exception: you may travel without supervision during those hours when going directly to and from church activities, work activities, and your school activities on school property.
  • No passengers other than an adult supervisor and one other passenger can be in the vehicle during the entire first 12 months driving. However, this does not apply to immediate members of the driver’s family as long as the adult supervisor is in the car.
  • When a supervisor is not present, only one other passenger in addition to you may be in the vehicle.
  • The adult supervisor must be a properly licensed driver who is at least 25 years of age and has held a Class D license for at least 5 years. The supervising driver must be seated beside you in the front seat of the vehicle when it is in motion. No person other than the supervising driver can be in the front seat.
  • You and anyone else in the car must wear a seat belt or be secured in a child safety or booster seat.
  • You are not allowed to operate a car while using a cellular telephone, text messaging device, or similar electronic device.
If you violate these restrictions you are considered as driving without a license which will result in a two-month suspension for the first offense and a four-month suspension for subsequent offenses.
You will receive an email confirming submission of your application. The DLI program will review your application and contact you to let you know if any additional information is needed to approve the reimbursement of car insurance costs. The amount and where the reimbursement is sent will be case dependent.
No. A receipt of payment is required in order to be eligible for reimbursement.
Yes, it will depend on your situation and available funding for the program
It will depend on your situation and available funding for the program
Unfortunately, you cannot. If you are over the age of 18 you have to go to the DMV in person and take the written and road test there.
You have to go to the DMV and take a written and road test. You must also bring with you:
  • Original or certified copy of your birth certificate
  • Social security card or document showing your full Social Security Number and full name.
    • Your name must be exactly the same on your birth certificate and social security card.
  • Letter from your Independent Living Worker confirming foster care experience so that your fees are waived. If you do not have an Independent Living worker, please email OCA.DriversProgram@delaware.gov
Your Independent Living worker will have the letter. Otherwise, please email OCA.DriversProgram@delaware.gov
No. You do not have to wait until you are 18 years old to get your license. If you have a blue slip in hand and you have had it for less than six months, you can go to the DMV with your DFS worker to apply for your license.
No. The DLI program does not pay for any outstanding tickets you may have or any future tickets you may obtain.
No. The DLI program does not pay for tag and title fees.
Anytime you move placements the DLI program must be contacted so that your file can be updated with the most current information. The DLI program requests your new address, name of foster parent, foster parents’ email, phone number and youth’s contact number if available.
No, a DFS worker who signs the youth’s application for a driver’s license does not assume any obligation or liability for any damages. Title 21 Ch. 27 (link) exempts the DFS worker from liability in the event that the youth causes damages resulting from the youths’ negligence.
The DLI program will reimburse the cost of insurance to add a youth as a driver to the foster parent’s basic auto insurance plan if funding is available.
No. Currently, youth who are under the age of 18 cannot secure their own car insurance policy.
  • Anytime a youth moves placements, the DLI program must be contacted. The DLI program will work with the youth and their new caregiver to transition insurance coverage, if applicable. If the youth is not covered by a policy during the transition, the youth should stop driving during this period.
  • If a youth’s status changes and they are no longer in out of home care, they are no longer eligible for the program.
The youth should follow DMV guidelines for waiting periods between retake attempts. In between tests, we encourage the youth to actively assist in studying and/or enhancing driving skills in areas of deficiency.


Wilmington
900 King Street
Suite 350
Wilmington, DE 19801
Main line: (302) 255-1730
Fax: (302) 577-6831

Dover
400 Court Street
Dover, DE 19901
Fax: (302) 672-1125

Georgetown
6 West Market Street
Suite 2
Georgetown, DE 19947
Main line: (302) 856-5720
Fax: (302) 677-7027