Driver Education

Turning your teen into a safe driver is a complex task. It involves learning the rules of the road and how to safely operate a vehicle – two big areas where professional driver education and training can help tremendously.

Quality driver education provides a solid foundation of knowledge and skills that can help mold a safe driver. It can also help preserve your relationship with your teen, as even very skilled and safety-conscious parents might not have the time or temperament to be the best teacher.

Using a professional driver education school can be an effective way to provide your teen with the training needed to become a more informed and safer driver. It can also help preserve your relationship with your teen, as some very skilled and safety-conscious parents may not have the time or temperament to be the best teacher.

Completing and passing a state-approved driver training program is required for anyone under age 17 who is applying for an Idaho driver’s license. An approved Idaho driver training program consists of a required 30 hours of classroom instruction, six hours of in-car observation in a driver training car and six hours of behind-the-wheel driving with a driver training instructor. The minimum training period for students attending driver education classes through a public school is 30 days. Commercial (private) schools are not restricted to a minimum training period.

Most Idaho school districts offer driver training programs in cooperation with the Department of Education. The public school courses are open to all Idaho residents between the ages of 14 1/2 and 21, even if they are not public school students. Commercial (private) driver training courses are available to anyone 14 1/2 years of age or older. AAA reminds parents they are the best judge about the readiness and maturity of their teens for the driver training experience.

Choosing a Quality Driving School

When the time comes to pick a driving school, look beyond your budget and timeframe to seek out a quality driving school—one that focuses on your teen’s safety, not just passing the license test at the cheapest price.

  • Ask around. Does your local high school offer driver education? Check with friends and neighbors about driving schools they’ve used.
  • Call several driving schools. Ask questions about the quality of their operations, and ask for 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.
  • Focus on quality. Don’t settle for driving schools that advertise quick or easy programs.
  • 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.