Driver Education and Training: Making Sure Your Teenager is Ready
Driver education tends to be provided in a classroom setting, or sometimes online. Driver training involves behind-the-wheel learning and is provided in any of the three following settings:
- Public school
- Private secondary school
- Driving school
No matter the place a teenager obtains driver training, it's imperative to make sure the program is licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If proper accreditation license is not present, the training that the teenager receives will not be valid toward earning his or her drivers license.
The DMV strives to provide first-class services in regards to training your teenager. To do this, it's pertinent that effective communication take place between the child receiving the training, the parents and the instructor(s).
Did you know that teenagers are involved in more accidents than any other age group? In addition, they receive the highest number of traffic tickets. It's of the utmost importance that parents be actively involved in their children's lives, especially when it comes to teaching them about driving. For help with parent-teen teaching, make sure to check out the Parent-Teen Training Guide.
To earn a drivers license in California, your teen must meet the following requirements:
- Have at least 25 hours of classroom training, home study training or Internet training; these 25 hours do not include time for taking breaks or eating meals.
- Have at least 6 hours of training behind-the-wheel of an automobile.
- Have 50 hours of driving practice that are supervised by an already licensed driver, with 10 of these hours being during hours in which the sun is not up.
Here's a quick look at common questions that are asked by parents of teenagers who are earning their driving privileges.
Are movies and/or videos a part of most California driving school curricula?
Yes. In every DMV approved driving school in California, students must watch at least 100 minutes of video/movie that relate to driver education. Some of the scenes found in these movies may be graphic. If your teenager is taking his or her driver education through a post secondary school, you'll want to contact the school to determine the types of movies/videos that will be watched.
What is the length of a driver education program?
The length of time that it takes to finish a driver education course varies from one teenager to another. Most programs have a projected time frame, but you'll need to contact the program your child is going through to determine the average length that it takes the students to finish.
Questions about Behind-the-Wheel Training
When your teenager obtains six hours of behind-the-wheel training, it's imperative that he or she never complete any more than two hours in any given day. Instead, these hours need to spaced out over the period of several days. Some schools require additional hours of behind-the-wheel training to be obtained.
The answers to the FAQs listed below are specific to regular DMV licensed driving schools. If your child is participating in a program at a post secondary school, you need to contact the program to see how many hours will be needed.
Can more than one student be in the vehicle when one of them is obtaining behind-the-wheel training?
Yes. But if you prefer for your child to receive behind-the-wheel training alone, this is perfectly okay to ask for.
Am I allowed to request a certain gender for my child in terms of his or her instructor?
Yes, you can always make a request; however, depending on the school's policies, you may or may not be granted the request.
After how long will my teenager be finished with behind-the-wheel training?
Each school has its own sessions, with some of them lasting longer than others. You'll want to contact the driving school your child is completing training through to identify how long its sessions last.
Can I ride along with my child while he or she completes behind-the-wheel training?
Some schools will allow you to, while others will not.
Is there a special route that driving schools follow?
Most schools don't have a specific route that they follow; however, if you want, you can ask your the instructor to inform you of the route that your child will be taking when driving, but most times, the instructor will not tell you the route until right before the training is to start.
When in training, can the instructors tend to personal tasks or take breaks?
Can I choose where my teenager starts his or her behind-the-wheel training as well as where the route stops?
You'll need to speak with the instructor to see if your request can be accommodated.
Are special vehicles used during training?
Yes. They have dual controls, including a brake for the instructor to use if needed as well as an extra rear view mirror that the instructor can use.
What types of inspections do these training vehicles go through?
Each vehicle must go through at least one inspection each year.
Is there insurance on training vehicles?
Tips for Choosing the Right California Driving School
Make sure that you choose a driving school that you feel comfortable with, meaning all instructors and staff should be knowledgeable, respectful and courteous at all times. There should be absolutely no physical contact between any staff members and your child unless an emergency was to occur.
Here are a few tips for choosing the right California driving school:
- Make sure the school is DMV approved.
- Make sure the instructor(s) has proper license; you can do this by calling (916) 229-3127.
- Check the Better Business Bureau site to see if any complaints have been brought against the school.
- Identify tuition costs, and make sure to ask for any possible discounts.
- Make sure all involved fees are clearly explained to you.
- Keep all receipts and any documentation that your teenager receives.
- Ask for an emergency number.
- If you're not satisfied with the instructor, ask for another one or find a different driving school.
- Ask if you can reschedule the training in the event that an emergency were to take place.
If you would like more information on California Driving School for your teenager, please check out the following links: