Getting behind the wheel is an exciting time in every teenager’s life. And rightfully so! Hitting the road and experiencing the newfound freedom and independence is something many teens look forward to for years. I personally remember counting the years down when I was about 10 years old. Getting my driver’s license just couldn’t come soon enough.
Although it can be exciting, driving brings new hazards and dangers that every driver must be prepared and trained for. Luckily, California online driver’s ed is available to help prepare teens to be safe, responsible drivers.
Want The FAST Answer?
California Teen Driver’s Ed Requirements
In the state of California, it is required that all prospective drivers undergo the completion of a state-approved driver’s ed course. You also need to pass a written exam to receive a provisional permit.
Students can enroll in the class at the age of 15, but they will not be able to get their hands on a permit until they are 15 1/2. If timing is an issue, you should be aware that teens can get the permit up to the age of 18.
The required training may be a little tedious, but it’s absolutely necessary to lay the foundation of safe driving, which can be built upon with proper behind-the-wheel training.
Taking California Driver’s Ed Online
While us old farts might find the idea of online driver’s ed to be a bit strange, it’s actually the most popular way for teens to complete their “classroom” driver’s ed training. The courses are interactive and can be done from anywhere at any time, plus most teens today are well-versed in online learning methods.
California online drivers ed will teach students everything that they need to know in regards to becoming competent drivers and passing their California driving permit exam on the first try.
The Top 4 Best Online Drivers Ed Courses In California For 2021
The state of California, unfortunately, does not provide easy access to a list of all online driver’s ed courses available. You have a lot of options in California if you want to take your driver’s ed class online but the driver’s ed courses listed below are the 4 best classes you can take.
My advice is to check out each of the below classes and simply go with whichever one you think would be best for your specific needs. Any of these are great choices in 2021.
Aceable is one of the newer driver’s ed options as it was just built from the ground up a few years ago, but that is actually one reason Aceable is the best online driver’s ed school in California for 2021. The vast majority of driver’s ed schools in California are extremely outdated, but Aceable has put millions of dollars into their coursework over the past few years to make it fun and modern. Check out the video below to see an example of what Aceable is like.
VIDEO: Example Content From The Aceable Online Driver’s Ed Course
Even though Aceable is one of the newer online driver’s ed courses in California, it is very reputable and has gained a ton of popularity over the few years since it launched. You can check out their reviews from former students on Yelp, TrustPilot, the App Store, and Facebook.
The biggest customer complaint about Aceable is if you sign up for promo pricing, you’ll be automatically enrolled into roadside assistance for $5 per month. Make sure you opt-out of this upgrade if you are not interested in roadside assistance.
Aceable is truly innovative as it allows students to learn from just about anywhere thanks to the company’s high-quality app. Many California online driver’s ed programs claim to be mobile-friendly, but none of them can’t touch Aceable in this regard. The reason being, most online driver’s ed courses in California still require people to use a browser, even if they are on a smartphone.
With Aceable, their downloadable app is fast and works far better than any other course. If you’re going to use a tablet or smartphone to complete your training, trust me, Aceable is who you want to go with.
DriversEd.com is by far one of the most affordable California online driver’s ed options, as well as one of the most experienced courses you can sign up for. When compared to other programs it is consistently among the cheapest. It is an excellent value, especially for all of the resources that the student receives. Students have access to unlimited practice tests and other features to help them pass the written test on the first try.
DriversEd.com has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and you can see some feedback from former students on TrustPilot. Overall, the reviews for DriversEd.com have remained positive in the 2+ decades they have been in business.
One of the best features on DriversEd.com is their interactive 3D animated videos. Students are presented with driving hazards and must make their own decision on how to handle that hazard. They also have interactive games that help students learn some of the more boring information such as roadsign meanings and the more mundane driving laws that are needed to pass the exam.
VIDEO: DriversEd.com Video Demo
Another nice aspect of DriversEd.com is that they operate their own behind-the-wheel driver training with their own fleet of vehicles and instructors. You can usually get a really good package deal on both online drivers ed as well as behind-the-wheel instructor time, making this one of the best courses available. Having trouble deciding between these top two options? Check out this comparison of DriversEd.com vs. Aceable.
Driver Ed To Go is another one of the best California online driver’s ed courses for teens in California. It has a ton of experience in helping students achieve their goals of becoming licensed drivers as they’ve been in business since the late 1990s. Driver Ed To Go has taught over 4 million students to date. You can see some reviews from students on TrustPilot and Yelp.
There are two really nice aspects of Driver Ed To Go that you should know about. First of all, this is one of the cheapest online driver’s ed courses in California. However, it’s also a modern course as well. Just in the past year, they have made substantial updates to their course content. They’ve added brand new interactive videos and even games to help keep students interested.
VIDEO: Course Content From DriverEdToGo.com
So, if you’re looking for a low-cost online driver’s ed course in California that is still somewhat modern and consistently updated, Driver Ed To Go is a great option to consider in 2021.
There are hilarious videos that are sure to make you laugh and keep you entertained. They actually call it “edutainment”. In other words, they know that learning about driving laws can be boring, so they try to entertain students through humor as they learn, substantially increasing student retention rates. Success story after success story can be found through the organization’s reviews. Feel free to check them out and see for yourself why over 3-million people have made this place their school of choice.
VIDEO: The Humor Used In The Improv Driver’s Ed Course
Even though this is a comedy based drivers ed course, Improv Drivers Ed doesn’t joke around when it comes to their course material and customer service. Just like any high-quality online drivers ed course in California, they keep their material updated, it works on mobile devices, and they provide good customer service. You can go at your own pace with this course as they keep track of your progress. Improv Drivers Ed is the best online drivers ed course in California for those who have short attention spans and get bored easily.
iDriveSafely is yet another California online driver’s ed school that has existed for decades. In fact, they first got started with homeschool driver’s ed programs before you could even take driver’s ed online. In the 1990s, this driver’s ed school would send home study packets and VHS tapes or DVDs to study from. Fortunately, the internet has made that a much easier and more convenient process. We can now do the same thing from our phones!
One of the things that make iDriveSafely better than most online driver’s ed programs in California is the well-done animated videos. Every step of the way, you’ll go through some “feel good” videos and even get to know a cast of animated characters as you progress through the course. My favorite character is the air freshener guy personally. Check out the video below to see what some of the animations are like in the iDriveSafely course.
VIDEO: iDriveSafely Course Demo
iDriveSafely has maintained an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, a near 5-star rating from former verified students, and they’ve been approved in the state of California basically since the first day California began allowing students to take driver’s ed online. If you want to learn more about this course, check out this more detailed review of iDriveSafely.
Is California Online Driver’s Ed Better Than A Classroom Couse?
There are a few different types of drivers education that one may consider. There is the traditional, tried and true method, which has been around for decades, but it is not always the most popular option out there. After all, kids feel like they spend enough time in classrooms already. With more things going digital all the time, it should come as no surprise that teenagers can complete their requirements with California online drivers ed.
One huge benefit that online students receive is the ability to complete their coursework from just about anywhere. Unlike conventional drivers education methods, students are free to learn on their own time and go at their own pace. They aren’t stuck in a stuffy classroom listening to a teacher drag out lessons for hours on end. As a result, they will be more likely to enjoy the coursework and retain information much better since online courses are also very interactive.
The ability to learn from a variety of devices is a selling point for many parents. They enjoy the fact that their child can learn from any device that they already have in their possession including laptops, phones, desktops, and even tablets. This is also great as it means that parents will no longer have to shuttle their kids from one location to the next to learn about driving. The commute cut down will lead to students having more time to study than ever before, which makes it a win-win situation for all parties involved.
While it all comes down to personal preference, the majority of teens prefer taking their drivers ed course online.
How Does California Online Driver’s Ed Work?
Taking online driver’s ed in California is pretty straightforward. Simply sign up for a state-approved course and follow the instructions to get started. You can then begin taking your course the same day and can log into and out of the course whenever you want.
After you finish the online training, you’ll need to pass your learners permit test. Most online driving schools will provide unlimited practice tests so that you’ll be more than ready when it’s time to go take it.
How Long Does California Online Driver’s Ed Take?
In the state of California, you are required to take 30-hours of “classroom” instruction. Most students fulfill this requirement by taking an online driver’s ed course. While most online driver’s ed courses will be as close to that 30-hours as possible, it may take you slightly longer based on several factors such as whether you need to retake quizzes or how fast you read. Once you receive your certificate of completion from an online course, you can get your driving permit.
Can I Fail My California Online Driver’s Ed Course?
Nope! You can’t fail a California online driver’s ed course. You might fail a quiz or final exam, but you can always retake the quizzes and exams as many times as you need to until you pass. The quizzes and tests are also open book, so they are very easy to pass.
While it is possible to fail your driving permit test, most online driver’s ed schools will give you plenty of practice tests so that you’ll be prepared. Even if you do fail the permit exam, you can go back to study and retake it. Most students who fail the permit exam on the first try do pass it on the second attempt.
What Are The Eligibility Requirements To Get A California Driving Permit?
The requirements to obtain a California driving permit are as follows:
- Be at least 15½ years old.
- Submit a completed application form DL 44-available at the DMV office. A parent or guardian must sign this application if you’re under 18.
- Provide your Social Security number.
- Give proof of your birth date and legal residence (originals or certified copies only).
- Submit a Certificate of Completion from a DMV-approved California drivers education course if you’re under 17½.
- Give your thumbprint.
- Pay the application fee. This fee entitles you to three exams of any type within the 12 month period and pays for both your provisional instruction permit and your driver’s license. If all requirements are not met within the 12 month period, the application becomes void and all steps must be completed again.
- Pass a vision exam.
- Pass a traffic law and sign test. There are 46 questions on the test. You’ll have to answer at least 39 questions correctly. You have three chances to pass the test. If you fail, you must wait seven days before retaking the test.
Once you pass the test, you will be issued a provisional instruction permit.
What Are The Behind-The-Wheel Driver’s Ed Requirements In California?
Once you have your California driving permit, the real fun begins! You will be required to practice driving for 6 months with a parent, guardian, or licensed adult 25 years of age or older. In that 6 months, you need to take 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training with a certified driving instructor. The remaining 50 hours can be completed with any licensed adult over the age of 25. At least 10 of those practice hours must be done at night.
What Is The California Driving Test Like For New Drivers?
The California driving test will cover basic driving safety. You will need to bring your own vehicle and your vehicle must be roadworthy. That means having all signals and lights operational, no major mechanical defects, and in safe operating condition. Yes, they will check!
Instead of trying to explain what the California driving test is like, it’s easier to just show you! Check out the video below of an actual California DMV driving exam.
What Can Parents Do?
There are several things parents should do before enrolling a teenager in any of the California online driver’s ed programs. Perhaps, the most significant item is making sure California approves the course. Failing to do this could very well turn the ordeal into a waste of time and money as the completed coursework won’t count toward the state’s requirements. Plus, it is a good idea to look at the institutions thoroughly to make sure they are legit and not scams. If you stick with one of the online driver’s ed courses I reviewed above, you’ll be in good shape.
Learning To Drive Is Serious Business – But Have Fun!
It’s true – driving is dangerous and all new drivers should take their driver training seriously. However, driving is also FUN! Enjoy the process and realize that once you get that little piece of plastic, your life will never be the same (in a good way!). The freedom you’re about to experience is an amazing thing!