In most states, you can complete the “classroom” portion of your driver’s ed training online, but do any decent online drivers ed providers actually exist? As a former driving instructor and someone who has worked very closely with online drivers ed providers over the past 10 years, there are definitely some very high-quality online drivers ed providers along with some extremely low-quality courses as well.
In this article, I’ll explain what you should watch out for, what you should look for, and I will also share my own personal list of the best online drivers ed providers based on my “insider” experience working with these companies.
Want The FAST Answer? Here are the two online drivers ed courses I recommend most:
Are Online Drivers Ed Providers Legit?
One of the most common questions I get asked about online drivers ed is whether online drivers ed is actually legit. This is a question mostly asked by parents since most of us old farts didn’t have an option to take our driver’s ed coursework online. Not only is online drivers ed legit, but as a former driving instructor, I highly encourage the vast majority of driver’s ed students to sign up for online drivers ed instead of sitting through classroom-based training. It’s true, everyone has different learning styles, but I thin online drivers ed is vastly better than sitting in a boring classroom being lectured to.
I actually wrote an entire article explaining that, yes, online drivers ed is legit. However, you do need to be careful of a few things. I’ll now discuss a few things you should be careful of before you sign up for any online drivers ed provider.
The Dirty Secrets Of Online Drivers Ed Providers
Like any other industry, the online driver’s education industry has some dirty secrets. There is no possible way you could really know about this unless you’ve had a bad experience. To help save you the trouble, I’ll let you know right now what you need to watch out for.
Outdated coursework – Online drivers ed providers began to flood the internet in the late ’90s and early 2000’s when online drivers ed was a relatively new thing. Everyone wanted to be in on this new profit source as quickly as possible. While it was great back then, it has led to a major issue plaguing the online driver’s ed industry right now. The vast majority of these courses have hardly been updated at all since they first launched, meaning, they are roughly 20 years out of date. Think about it, Smartphones didn’t even exist when these online drivers ed course providers first launched! The biggest issue facing online drivers ed providers today is how outdated most of them are.
Poor customer service – With very few exceptions, online drivers ed providers are known to have horrific customer support. For example, many states require an “identity verification system” that is very prone to failure. This system requires you to prove that YOU are really taking the course. If your identity can’t be properly verified, which is somewhat common, you will be locked out of the course until you contact customer support and have them unlock it. Imagine waiting on hold for 45 minutes just to have your course unlocked. That’s the reality with a lot of online drivers ed providers.
Not state-certified – One thing you have to be very careful about is signing up for an online driver’s education provider that is certified in your specific state. Far too often, a student will sign up for a “state certified” online drivers ed provider, only to realize later on that the provider is not approved in their specific state. Most online drivers ed providers are certified in some, but not all states. So, if they are “state-certified”, make sure that includes your specific state! Some online drivers ed providers are very careful and give you big warnings if they’re not certified in your state, but others are way more inconspicuous about it, hoping you’ll pay for and sign up for the course by mistake. Very shady.
Poor mobile optimization – If mom and dad think taking drivers ed online is crazy, just wait until they find out you can take it from your smartphone! As I mentioned earlier, though, many online drivers ed providers are old and outdated, meaning their coursework doesn’t work well on mobile devices. If you want to take your online driver’s ed course from anything other than a desktop or laptop, be sure they are mobile-friendly. Extra points if they have dedicated apps for their courses instead of just “mobile-friendly” versions on their website.
My Personal List Of The BEST Online Driver’s Ed Providers
Now that you know what to watch out for, I’ll help guide you in the right direction so you can sign up for a legit online driver’s ed provider. As I mentioned earlier, I am a former driving instructor and have been working with many different online driver’s ed providers for about 10 years now, so I’ve found the good ones.
Of all the online driver’s ed providers I listed here, it doesn’t really matter who you sign up with. I actually recommend you check each of them out and decide for yourself which looks best. Each of these online drivers ed providers are high quality and who I personally recommend to friends and family.
DriversEd.com was among the very first online drivers ed programs to hit the market way back in the late ’90s. Even prior to them being an online drivers ed provider, they offered homeschooling options by way of VHS tapes (remember those?!) and training booklets that they sent through the mail.
Now, one of the big points I brought up earlier was how most online drivers ed providers have become very outdated, but fortunately, DriversEd.com has stayed updated throughout the years. They offer 3D graphics, animations, videos, games, and multiple ways of delivering the coursework to help increase user retention rates.
What I like most about DriversEd.com are their “make your own decision” videos. A student is presented with a driving situation and must make a decision on what course of action to take. This is a fantastic feature unique to DriversEd.com, among other unique features you can only get through this driving school
Even though I listed this online drivers ed provider second, Aceable may actually be my favorite online drivers ed provider available today. The only reason I listed them below DriversEd.com is because they aren’t available in many states yet. If Aceable is available in your state, though, this is actually my top recommendation.
Aceable is the new kid on the block. This online drivers ed provider just launched their course a couple of years ago after receiving millions of dollars in startup funding. The end result? The most advanced, modern, and entertaining online drivers ed course available.
One of the things I like most about Aceable is how mobile-friendly they are. They have dedicated apps for any device you want to use. Aceable also is perhaps the best online drivers ed provider to have EXCELLENT customer support. Heck, you can even private message them on Facebook or other social media platforms. Overall, Aceable is the single best online drivers ed course if it is available in your state (click here to find out!).
Teen Driving Course is another online drivers ed provider that began in the 90’s, so they’ve been at this for a while. Teen Driving Course is also one of the cheapest options you can sign up for, so if you are on a budget, you may want to give this online drivers ed provider a close look. This course is also certified in nearly every state, so if the first two options I recommended to you aren’t certified in your state, chances are pretty good this one will work for you.
Now, I do want to warn you that this is one of the more outdated driver’s ed providers you can take. The low price helps to make up for that, but some people don’t like how text-heavy the course is. The reason I still wanted to include this provider on the list of online driving courses is that there are actually some students who PREFER a text-based course. A lot of people learn better through text rather than videos and animations. So, if you are looking for a cheaper and more basic online drivers ed provider, Teen Driving Course could be what you’re looking for.
Teen Driving Course also has a free demo available, where you can start taking the course for free in most states. If you like the course, you can add payment and keep going! If not, you can simply stop taking the course and find another one. No need to even request a refund.
Some Final Thoughts About Online Drivers Ed Providers
As long as you find state-certified online drivers ed providers and make 100% certain they fulfill your state’s requirements, you really can’t go wrong. States set certain minimum standards for online drivers ed providers, so you’ll never get something too terrible as long as it really is state-certified. The issue arises with issues such as mobile-friendliness, customer service, and keeping the courses updated. Signing up with one of the providers I recommended will help you avoid most of the issues that come up for online drivers ed students. If you’d like to see even more reviews, check out my main online driver’s ed reviews page here!
Best of luck as you begin your journey to becoming a licensed driver, and be sure to drive safely! 🙂
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