A quality driver education program taught by professionals who often have trained hundreds or even thousands of new drivers will help your teen learn the rules of the road and how to safely operate a vehicle. AAA’s Dare to Prepare online workshop video can help you determine how to choose a driving school.
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 30 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.
View a list of Texas Department of Public Safety-approved driving courses.
Choosing the Driver Education Program that’s Right for Your Teen
- Ask around. Does your local high school offer driver education? Check with friends and neighbors about programs they’ve used.
- Call several driving schools. Ask specific questions about their operations, curriculum and training vehicles and request references.
- Talk to people about classroom vs. online classes.
- Visit several driving schools. Ask to sit in on a session, take a look at the vehicles and student materials. Check to see if they use current training materials, have professional instructors and maintain clean classrooms and safe vehicles.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau.
|Quality Driving Schools||Requirements for Schools Displaying the AAA Symbol|
|Require instructors to complete ongoing education.||Newer, well-maintained driver training cars.|
|Have reasonable student-teacher ratios.||Up-to-date training materials.|
|Are members of professional associations such as American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association and Driving School Association of the Americas.||Professionally trained instructors.|
|Want, encourage and facilitate parental involvement.||A record of good business practices.|
|Have a solid history of resolving complaints to their customers' satisfaction.||Discounts to AAA members.|
- Choosing a Driving School – Driver education courses are designed to teach new drivers fundamental skills and basic knowledge required to drive a motor vehicle. Tips in this AAA brochure will help you select the best driving school.
- Teaching Your Teens to Drive – A 56-minute DVD and handbook with step-by-step approaches in helping your teen prepare to drive.