COLUMBIA — A Senate panel has approved a bill that requires high school students to stay in school in order to get and keep a driver’s license.

The State newspaper reported Thursday that those who drop out of school would lose their driver's licenses until their 18th birthday.

Exemptions would be made for students who enroll in the military, are in a high school diploma equivalency program such as the GED, and students who must work to support their families.

Aiken Rep. Tom Young sponsored the bill and says about 20 other states have similar laws.

Department of Motor Vehicles director Kevin Shwedo says the change would require three new employees to handle the increased workload. The measure moves to the full Senate Education Commission for consideration.