1. Is a teenager required to complete a driver education course before receiving a driver license?
Yes. Texas law requires persons under 18 to successfully complete a state-approved driver education course to be eligible for a driver's license.
2. Is there more than one way for a teen to complete a Texas-approved driver education course?
Yes. There are three ways to completed your Texas-approved driver education course :
LICENSED DRIVER TRAINING SCHOOLS: The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) regulates driver education schools and can provide information on the driver education (DE) programs provided through them. You can search all available licensed driver education schools at the Active DE School List. If you have a question about licensed driver education schools, you may contact our customer service division at 1-800-803-9202. You can search all available licensed driver education schools through our Driver's Education Search.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Public schools, education service centers, colleges, and universities may offer driver education programs. Contact your local Independent School district for a list of public schools that offer driver education.
PARENT TAUGHT DRIVER EDUCATION COURSES: The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) is responsible for the parent taught driver education program. Parents or legal guardians with an interest in that program may contact our customer service division at 1-800-803-9202. You can search all available licensed driver education schools through our Driver's Education Search.
3. How much do the driver education courses cost?
Each school establishes a fee schedule for the costs of their programs. Please contact the schools in your area for prices and payment plans.
4. How long is the teen driver education course?
The classroom phase of a driver education course is at least 32 hours which cannot be completed in less than 16 days. The in-car phase consists of 7 hours of behind-the-wheel driving, 7 hours of in-car observation, and an additional 30 hours of behind-the-wheel driving - of which 10 hours must be done at night.
The additional 30 hours of behind-the-wheel driving will be monitored by the parent or guardian and are not required to be provided by a licensed driver education school. However, the hours must be completed in the presence of an adult who holds a valid license, is 21 or older, has at least one year of driving experience, and occupies the seat next to the driver.
5. What are the timelines to complete a teen driver education course?
Each school establishes a timeline, but it's usually between six months to one year. Contact the schools in your area for this information.
6. If I am absent for a day or two from a licensed driver education school, may I get an excused absence and miss those classes?
No. To obtain a Texas driver license prior to the age of 18, all driver education hours in both the classroom and in-car must be attended or made up. Therefore, all absences must be made up no matter if the absence is excused or unexcused. Each school is responsible for developing a make-up plan based on state guidelines. Contact the driver education school staff to obtain a copy of the make-up policy.
Schools must limit the number of absences that are allowed and must require students with excessive absences to re-enter or repeat the course.
7. I heard that I can now miss one full week (10 hours) of driver education classroom sessions and make them up later. Is that true?
Yes. If you are attending a licensed driver education school, you can miss up to 10 hours and make them up at a later date.
8. I'm 17 and finished a driver education course last month. I'm still driving on my permit. Do I have to take a road test at DPS?
Yes. Starting on September 1, 2009 any student submitting an application to DPS for a permit or a driver's license must take a road test.
9. Is it true that some licensed driver education schools are allowed to give the DPS driving skills examination?
Yes. Some licensed driver education schools that meet the requirements and have undergone instructor testing, drive route audits and approval with the Department of Public Safety are eligible to give the skills examination. Find an authorized Third-Party Skills Testing school on the DPS website.
10. If I start at one driver education school, am I allowed to transfer to a different school?
Transfer of training that you've accomplished at one licensed driver education school can be transferred to another school, and you should also receive a partial refund of the tuition and fees not used (less an administration fee). An exception would occur if you have exceeded the timelines for classroom or behind-the-wheel training that were written on your contract with the first school. If that occurs, you may not be permitted to transfer, and you may have to start over again.
If you desire to transfer classroom credit from a licensed driver education school or public school to the TDLR Parent Taught Program with the goal of accomplishing the in-car portion of the course with your parent or guardian, you must complete the entire classroom portion before you can begin the driving portion. If you attempt to transfer only part of the classroom training from a licensed school to a Parent Taught Program or vice versa, you must start the classroom phase from the beginning.
With regard to transfers between public and licensed driver education schools, you are able to transfer the completed classroom activities from a public school to a licensed driver education school in order to complete your in-car training there. However, transfer of partial credit may be more difficult because of the difference in their programs; i.e., 56 hours of classroom requirements in the public school versus 32 hours of classroom requirements in the licensed driver education school.
11. I was enrolled in an out of state driver education course and completed part of or all of my classroom hours but never got a driver license or permit. Do these hours transfer to Texas?
Out of state hours do not transfer to Texas. You will need to enroll into a Texas driver education program to complete the classroom and driving requirements necessary to obtain a Texas learner’s permit and driver license. You can find a list of all Texas driver education programs and courses using our online search tool.
14. If the licensed driver education school that I am attending closes, do I lose credit for all the training I received as well as my money?
No. There are provisions in law to prevent you from losing the training and to recover some or all of the tuition and fees if a licensed driver education school closes. The contract that you or your parents sign at a licensed school should indicate: "If the course of instruction is discontinued by the school, preventing a student from completing the course, all tuition and fees are then due and payable". The department staff will assist you in transferring your credits to another school. Call 1-800-803-9202.or send a fax to 512-463-9468, if you need help concerning a licensed driver education school that has closed. Read the Driver Education Closed School Procedures (PDF) for more information.
15. I've heard that my child can complete the classroom phase of driver education at their high school or a licensed driver education school, and afterwards we can transfer to the Parent Taught Program so I can teach the in-car portion. Is that true?
Yes, that can be done but there are requirements:
Your child must complete the entire classroom phase at the licensed driver education school or high school. You must obtain an official "Transfer" of classroom hours from the high school or licensed driver education school so you can prove to DPS that they completed the classroom phase. The transfer is also used to obtain their Permit.
You must apply for a TDLR Parent Taught Information Packet and receive it before you and your child begin the in-car phase. Your child must also have a valid learner’s permit issued by Texas Department of Public Safety before any driving instruction may be given.
You must complete the requirements as specified in the TDLR Parent Taught Information Packet, but only those that apply to the in-car phase.
16. I lost the form that I received when I graduated from my driver education class, and I need it to get my driver license (or for my insurance company). Who can I contact to get a duplicate?
This is the DE-964 or DE-964E Certificate of Completion. To obtain a duplicate certificate, contact the public school or driver education school that you attended or contact your parent taught driver education course provider, if you completed the course via the Parent Taught Driver Education Program.
17. I'm a 16 year old who just completed the driver education course. Is it true that I can get a discount on my automobile insurance?
Some insurance companies may provide a discount for successfully completing a driver education course. Contact your insurance company for discount questions.
18. My teen dropped out of high school and has been told that they cannot get a driver license until they are 18. Is that true?
Yes. A Texas law was passed in 1989, requiring persons under 18 to be enrolled and attending school as a condition of licensing that person to operate a motor vehicle. There is an exception: if the person had a high school diploma or a GED, the driver license could be issued.
Proof of enrollment and attendance at a school is established by the "Verification and Enrollment of Attendance ("VOE") form which the student can obtain from his or her high school.
19. My child's high school won't sign the verification of Enrollment and Attendance (VOE) Form because they say that my child missed too many classes. Can they do that?
Yes. The issuance or denial of the VOE Form is strictly a local decision, and districts (or schools) are permitted to impose conditions and restrictions on enrollment and attendance as they pertain to driver license eligibility. Neither TDLR nor DPS can alter a VOE decision.
20. What is a student's alternative to getting a Verification of Enrollment and Attendance (VOE) form from his or her high school during summer months when the high school is closed?
If the Verification of Enrollment and Attendance (VOE) Form (PDF) is issued the last week of school or during the summer, it is valid for more than the normal 30 days; i.e., until school starts after summer vacation. If your high school will not issue the VOE form in the summer, that is a local decision and TDLR cannot override the decision. The parent will need to contact the school's Principal then the Superintendent. If the principal/superintendent will not help you get the form, go to your school board. The Texas Department of Public Safety can also be contacted to determine what alternative forms they are willing to accept in lieu of a VOE during summer months.
21. Can I get a copy of the Verification of Enrollment and Attendance (VOE) form here?
You may download a blank copy of the most recent VOE Form.
This form must be completed by a qualified person at your high school. Your parent may complete this form ONLY IF YOU ARE IDENTIFIED AS A HOME-SCHOOLED STUDENT.
22. Do you have a list of the currently licensed driver education schools?