It may be a little unsettling that your baby is ready to start learning to drive – where does the time go? – but soon, your chauffeuring duties will be a thing of the past, and that’s a pretty exciting prospect.
Your first order of business is to find a stellar driver’s ed course and an A-list driving instructor to provide the best possible training. If you’re up for the task, the best way to ensure your child is in the most capable hands is to make yourself the instructor. That’s right, you can be the instructor, thanks to Safe2Drive’s Texas Parent-Taught Driver Education program.
Safe2Drive is operated by Inventrum, LLC, which was founded in 2003 and provides online defensive driving, traffic safety, and driver’s ed courses in 11 states. Safe2Drive’s Texas Parent-Taught Driver Education (PTDE) Course is approved by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Read on to find out how Safe2Drive’s course stacks up against the competition.
First Things First: What is Texas Parent-Taught Driver Education?
The State of Texas allows a child’s parent, step-parent, grandparent, step-grandparent, foster parent, or legal guardian to teach driver education as long as the parent instructor meets the state’s requirements.
To opt for PTDE, your child must be between the ages of 14 and 17, and the course must be completed before your teen’s 18th birthday.
Features of Safe2Drive’s Parent-Taught Driver Education Course
Safe2Driver’s PTDE course costs a reasonable $84.95. Similar online courses range from $60 to over $150. The fee includes the 32-hour online course your teen is required to take, along with everything you’ll need to provide the behind-the-wheel instruction portion of the course. It doesn’t, however, include the $20 PTDE packet, which you’ll need to order from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
You’ll pay for the course after your child completes the first six hours of instruction, which is required before applying for a learner’s license. Safe2Drive promises no hidden fees, and they won’t sell your information to any third parties. The site is fully encrypted to protect your personal information, and your email will be used only to communicate with you regarding the course.
You’ll need a desktop or laptop computer with Internet access, since this course isn’t available on mobile devices.
Safe2Drive offers a money back guarantee, but there’s no information on the website about it. Chances are, a refund will be offered only if the online course hasn’t been completed.
Customer support is available 24/7 by phone or email, and it’s based in Texas.
How Safe2Drive’s PTDE Course Works
After you register your teen for the course, you’ll need to order your PTDE packet from the Texas Department of Public Safety. A link to the proper form is provided when you register for the course. You must wait until you receive the packet from the DPS, either by U.S. mail or email, to begin the course.
Voice Verification System
At the time you register, your teen will be prompted to call in to Safe2Drive’s voice verification system, as required by the State of Texas, to store a voice print. At certain times throughout the course, your teen will be prompted to call into the system and repeat a phrase to ensure that the person who is registered for the course is the one who is taking it.
Once your teen has taken the first six hours of the course, you’ll pay for the course, and Safe2Drive will issue a completion certificate for that portion so that your teen can apply for a learner’s license. That’s when the real fun begins as you follow the instructions in the Safe2Drive Driver Education Packet to provide behind-the-wheel training, which will be completed in conjunction with the remaining 26 hours of online instruction.
The course itself is designed with teens in mind and includes engaging lessons with interactive exercises, animations, videos, slideshows, and games. Each lesson ends with a 5-question quiz. A score of 4 out of 5 is required to move on to the next lesson, and quizzes can be taken as many times as it takes to pass. While your teen can progress through the course at his own pace, Texas law only allows up to two hours of online coursework per day, which means it can’t be completed in fewer than 16 days.
After completing all of the chapters, your teen will take the final exam, which consists of 20 multiple-choice questions. Three attempts are allowed to pass the final exam with a score of at least 70 percent. Three fails, and you’ll have to start the course over from the very beginning – including paying full price again for the course and paying another $20 for a new Texas PTDE packet.