Drivers Ed is a right of passage for teenagers all over the country. It’s been this way for years, and learning to drive properly is something that will give teens freedom and the ability to move into the next stage of their lives.
But not all parents want their kids to enroll in driver’s ed programs and learn from someone else. Luckily, Texas allows parents to teach their kids drivers education if they choose to. Not all states offer this opportunity, but for those in Texas, parent-taught driver’s ed is a reality that’s worth thinking about. But how does it work, and is it right for you? Understanding the basics can help you figure this out.
Parent Taught Drivers Ed Basics
Parent-taught driver’s ed is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a program that allows parents, grandparents, and other legal guardians to teach their teenagers how to drive a vehicle. It follows the same basic requirements as a driver education program taken through a licensed driver education school but lets the parent provide instruction to their children instead of a teacher doing it. This has several big benefits including:
• Easier to align schedules for the lessons
• Children may feel more at ease learning from a parent
• Parents can be more confident in the skills their children are gaining
• Easier and more convenient for most families
Whatever your reasons for considering using parent taught drivers ed, it’s something that is well worth thinking about doing and that can even help you and your teenager bond as you give them instruction in an area that will help them for the rest of their life.
The Requirements You Need To Know
As with any other program of this nature, there are several things that you’ll have to keep in mind. Teens and parents have to follow some basic guidelines to ensure that the process results in the teen being able to get their license. In particular, parents have to meet several criteria This includes the following:
• Must be a parent, stepparent, grandparent, foster parent, or legal guardian of the teen driver taking the course
• Must be at least 25 years old and have seven years of driving experience
• Cannot charge a fee for teaching the course
• Cannot have been convicted of a DWI in the last seven years
• Can’t have six or more points on their driving required
• Must have held a valid license that hasn’t been revoked or suspended in the last 3 years
• Can’t have been convicted of criminal negligent homicide
If you meet these basic rules, you can likely sign up to teach your child how to drive through parent taught drivers ed.
Parent-taught driver’s ed is most widely used in Texas, so if you’d like more information on the requirements, check out this page on the DPS website.
How Does A Parent Start The Process?
There are a few steps that you’ll want to complete when you begin getting ready to begin parent taught drivers ed for your teen. To begin with, fill out the Request For Parent Taught Drive Education Guide form and submit it with the twenty-dollar fee. You’ll have to do this for each child that you are teaching.
Purchase a Parent Taught Drivers Ed course from an approved source. This will be used to help you teach your teen and uses state-set guidelines to ensure that they receive the adequate training needed to be a legal driver.
Once you receive the Parent Taught Drivers Ed Guide and the training manual sent to you by the program you purchase, you can begin teaching your teenager how to drive. Follow the lesson plans and help them where needed, and you’ll be able to guide your child towards the confidence they need to pass the driver’s examination.
When Can My Teen Get Their Driver’s License?
However, it’s important to note that while you can begin teaching your child when you receive the packets, they can’t take the written exam to get their learner’s license until they meet several key criteria. In order to complete this step of the process, they must:
• Be 15 years old
• Complete the first 6 hours of drivers education or 32 hours of classroom education, depending on the type of parent taught drivers ed that you are using
• Received a certificate of completion from the Texas driver education program you chose
The laws go beyond these basics, however. A child must complete 32 hours of classroom training and a total of 14 hours of in-car instruction before they can receive their learning license. Then, with this license, they must also drive for 30 hours – including 10 hours of driving taking place at nighttime.
These driving hours must be logged into a record and certified by the parent, but can actually be taught by anyone who is 21 years old and who has held their license for at least one year. When these conditions are met and the driver is 16 years old, they can then take the exam to get their provisional driver license.
Which Parent Taught Drivers Ed Program Is The Best?
The key thing to remember here is that you need to fulfill two basic things when choosing the parent taught drivers ed program you want to use:
• It must be approved by the Texas DMV
• It should meet the needs of you and your child
You can find a list of the approved programs by visiting this website, but from there you’ll want to spend some time looking at each option and thinking about what it offers, then compare that to what you and your student need. Think about things like speed, ease of use, what devices it can be used on, and so on. Then, you’ll be able to select the program that meets your needs.
Parent taught drivers ed programs are a great way for adults and their children to bond, for you to give valuable skills to those you love, and to help your child avoid the hassle of attending classes. No matter which program you select, use some online reviews to help you determine which ones are the best and what to expect. Form there, it’s just a little bit of hard work until your teen is behind the wheel.