Keys2Drive The AAA Guide to Teen Driver Safety
Driver Education

Driver Education

A quality driver training program will help your teen learn the rules of the road and how to safely operate a vehicle. It can also help you and your teen accelerate the learning process by bringing in the wisdom of professionals who often have trained hundreds or even thousands of other new drivers. AAA's Dare to Prepare online workshop video can help you determine how to choose a driving school. 

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Teens under age 18 wishing to obtain a driver’s license must present a Driver Education Student Completion Certificate and a Behind-the-Wheel Student Completion Certificate prior to scheduling the mandatory road test. To obtain a driver education student completion certificate, a student must complete a classroom course. The classroom phase of a driver education course is at least 32 hours, which cannot be completed in less than 16 days. The student completion certificate for the driving laboratory component requires 7 hours of behind-the-wheel training and 7 hours of in-car observation with a DOT certified instructor. Additionally, parents are required to provide the student with 20 hours of supervised driving practice, with 10 of those hours taking place at night.
The Texas Parent-Taught Drivers Education (PTDE) program became law in 1997 as an alternative to Drivers Education in a conventional school setting. This program allows teens to take their driver’s education course online (with DPS-approved providers) and allows parents to provide the in-car Drivers Training. In order to participate in PTDE, the parent must first submit a Request for Parent-Taught Drivers Education Packet from the Department Of Public Safety.


So, how can you choose the driver education program that’s right for your teen?

Take time to find a quality school—one that focuses on your teen’s safety—instead of a school that is the least expensive, most convenient or focused solely on your teen passing the driving test.

  • Ask around. Does your local high school offer driver education? Check with friends and neighbors about programs they’ve used.
  • Call several schools. Ask specific questions about their operations, curriculum and training vehicles and request references.
  • Visit several schools. Ask to sit in on a session, take a look at the vehicles and student materials.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau.

What to Look for in a Quality Driving School: 

What to Look for in a Quality Driving School


Additional resources: 

  • Choosing a Driving School - Driver education courses are designed to teach new drivers the fundamental skills and basic knowledge required to drive a motor vehicle. Tips in this AAA brochure will help you select the best driver training school.
  • DMV Practice Questions - Take this sample test to determine if you're ready to take the state driving test. 
  • Driving Knowledge Quiz - Do you know the rules of the road? Take this quiz and find out...
  • Teaching Your Teens to Drive - A 56-minute DVD and handbook with step-by-step approaches in helping your teen prepare to drive.