Unless you’re a type-A personality and tend to get outlandishly impatient just waiting for the coffee to brew each morning, you may want to consider eschewing expensive driver training for your teen and instead enlist yourself to teach Junior how to drive. The State of Texas allows Parent-Taught Driver Education, which can save you a lot of money while giving you peace of mind that your child will learn from the person who cares the most about her driving habits.
Driver’s License Training School is one of the Texas-approved providers for Parent-Taught Driver Education, and herein lies all of the information you need to know about them to help you decide whether they have the right driver’s ed program for you and your teen.
Features of Driver’s License Training School: What We Know
Driver’s License Training School’s website is sorely lacking in information about their driver’s ed program. But here’s what we know:
Their Driver Ed at Home program either costs $135.31 or $135.51, depending on which page you look at. Either way, you have to wonder how they came to the settle on the $.31 or $.51. Also either way, this price is in the upper range of online driver’s ed courses, which are typically in the vicinity of $99, with a few outliers in either direction.
According to the home page, the Driver Ed at Home program includes the online course and a CD copy, Texas DPS certificates, and the link for taking the DPS written test online. But they don’t specify which written test – the learner’s permit test, or the unrestricted license test.
Below that information is a notice: ATTENTION! NEW PARENT TAUGHT PROGRAM APPLICANTS : STEP 1: SEND DL-92 FORM TO TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING AND LICENSING, which must be a new state department. This is the first indication that this is a Parent-Taught Driver Education course, since they don’t label it as such and the course contents don’t mention any lesson plans or other materials for parents.
But when you click “Driver Ed at Home” over on the sidebar menu (there are no links in the body of the site, even though the changes in text color and the underlined words have you mousing all over the place to find one,) the program page gives us a different list of what’s included in the program: The driver ed curriculum guide, the curriculum for Modules 1 to 12 for at-home instruction, a Student Workbook, a Laboratory Manual that contains driving lessons for the required number of in-car instruction hours, and the DPS certificates. Now we’re talking.
The program page also states that one of the benefits of this course is that you can start the program immediately when you receive the downloadable version via email. There’s no mention here of the first and most critical step, which is to send in Form DL-92 to get your Parent-Taught Education Packet, which, according to the State, you MUST RECEIVE BEFORE YOUR CHILD BEGINS THE ONLINE COURSE or the poor kid will have to start over from the top. This is important information, but aside from the misplaced notice on the home page, there’s no mention of it anywhere else on the site.
There’s a money-back guarantee, which is nice. You just have to return the materials or call the school within 10 days of shipping. They won’t refund the cost of shipping or the cost of the certificates, which isn’t specified.
Business hours are Monday thru Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. There’s no mention of customer service, but when we called them to confirm that this was a parent-taught driver’s ed course, the phone was answered after the first ring, and the woman who answered was friendly and helpful.
Features of Driver’s License Training School: What We Don’t Know
No details about the course itself are provided. All we know is that there are 12 modules. Are there quizzes? We don’t know. Are there videos, graphics, cartoons? We don’t know. Can you take the course on your mobile devices? We don’t know. How soon can your child get his permit? Are there driving logs for you to fill out? What are the requirements for Parent-Taught Driver Education? How many hours of driving are required? How does this whole thing work, anyway? We don’t know!
We also don’t know anything about the company. All we know is that the course was written by “Ruben Vargas, with 30 years of driver education experience.” A cursory Google search revealed that Ruben Vargas is a member of the Texas Professional Driver Education Association, so we can be assured that he probably knows his stuff, but is he a good writer? Is the course engaging, well-written, peer reviewed to ensure there aren’t any ambiguities or outdated information? We don’t know!
In our quest for more information about Driver’s License Training School, we found that a trademark was filed for “Driver Ed at Home” in May of 2004, and the site was registered in Sept, 2004. This makes Drivers License Training School one of the more established online driver’s ed providers, which might work in their favor if they were to mention it.
The Special Bundle Package
You can purchase just the Driver Ed at Home program, or you can opt for the special bundle package offer, priced at $175. According to the home page, the package includes the Driver Ed at Home Program, the Motivation Program, and the Study Skills Program. What are those, you ask? Well, it’s hard to say. Clicking on a link from the sidebar menu, we learn that these extras are actually one program, specifically the Motivation and Study Skills Program, which is a “practical, hands-on approach to student motivation” that includes “the script that can be converted to an audio file that contains the specific biocomputer script to program a student’s biocomputer for the goal of successful student.” And then something about how the program also reviews motivation and study methods by way of reviewing a book called “Psychofeedback.” Priced alone, the Motivation and Study Skills Program will set you back $95.
Office Space Available – Houston
The sidebar menu features a link to another page on the site where you can see pictures of the office space they have for lease. If you’re interested, you can call Ruben Vargas himself, and while you’re at it, you can ask him for more information about the driver’s ed course.
All snark aside, this course is a legitimate one, written by a knowledgeable expert in driver training, and it’s probably comparable to other online courses. They don’t have the most sophisticated website, and the offerings on said website kinda make you think of those small-Texas roadside mom & pop shops with hand-painted signs hawking SHOES * BEER * HANDMADE POTTERY * BAIT.
But that and the fact that the website is a convoluted wreck aren’t necessarily indicative of the quality of the course. But it could be, and you could end up paying $135.31 or worse, $135.51, for an online driver’s ed course that looks like your fifth grader designed it. The point is, there’s just not enough information about the course to justify spending that kind of money. There also aren’t any reviews of this program anywhere on the Internet, which only means that no one was infuriated enough about the course, nor was anyone ecstatic enough about it, to take the time to write one.
Rating for Driver’s License Training School
We’re officially giving Driver’s License Training School two stars, but unofficially, they get three just for being kind of weird in a good way, in the way that we hope Ruben Vargas sits in his office during business hours and tinkers with model ships while his wife sells Mary Kay cosmetics from behind the reception desk.
We recommend you find a different online Parent-Taught Driver’s Dd course that you can be certain about. But if you’re interested in reprogramming your child’s biocomputer, you know where to go.
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