Bill could add autism designation to driver's license

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now)- A new house bill in Pierre could be helpful for those on the autism spectrum. It aims to ease anxiety and help them feel more confident behind the wheel.

Every day 20-year-old Rylee Amato becomes more independent.

"Currently attends the Sioux Falls School District Community Campus. She has a job. She works at a boutique here in Sioux Falls,” said her father Sam Amato

And soon she'll be learning to drive. Rylee was born with autism.

"Everything that she does, she wants to be right. She doesn’t understand lying, she's perfectly honest about everything,” said Sam Amato.

As she embarks on this new journey, her dad wants to make sure she's able to do that safely. Especially when talking with a police officer.

“I just don’t want there to be any misunderstanding when she is questioning why she got stopped or disagreeing with why she got stopped or wanting a larger explanation as to why she got stopped because that’s what can happen,” said Amato.

With house bill 1076, someone with autism could choose to display on their license that they are on the autism spectrum

"I just think it's important for officers to know that they are dealing with someone who you know might think a little bit differently and might need a little more time to understand what they're asking," said Amato.

Representative Tom Pischke introduced the bill.

"I have a nephew that is on the spectrum as well so it hits a little bit home for me, but you just see more and more people that are on the spectrum and I think that this would be a nice option for them to have,” said Rep. Pischke.

Along with this bill, Amato would also like to see training done with law enforcement. That way they can learn how to best communicate with others on the autism spectrum.

The house bill is scheduled for a hearing on Jan. 30th. Rep. Pischke says there is no explicit opposition to the bill at this time.