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Drivers Educaction

In Texas, driver’s education, also called driving school, is a course that the state requires teenage drivers to take before they can get their license. The purpose of the course is to make sure that students have a firm grasp of traffic safety, the rules of the road, and how to operate a vehicle before they actually start driving. Texas driver’s ed classes combine classroom time with actual and simulated driving experience under the supervision of trained professionals. Texas driving school provides students with the knowledge and hands-on experience to be able to pass the written exam for getting a permit, as well as the road test required for getting an actual license.

Who is required to complete it?

Children under the age of 18 are required to pass a Texas driver’s ed course to become licensed. However, Texas driver’s ed classes are also offered for adults that still need to get their learner's permits. Texas driving schools that are geared toward adults usually consist of classroom time only. Adults are not required to take driver's ed, however. Instead, they can simply study the Texas Driver's License Handbook on their own, and will be issued a license if they pass both a written examination and a road test.

What agency regulates it?

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) regulates Texas driving schools. TEA sets minimum curriculum requirements, licenses schools and instructors and handles complaints against driving schools.

If you need to get in touch with TEA regarding a Texas driver’s education school, they can be reached at the following address and phone number:

Texas Education Agency, Driver Training Division
1701 North Congress Avenue, Room 1-109
Austin, Texas 78701-1494

TEA also provides information about driver’s education programs online on their website. Click here to view TEA’s website.

Who teaches driver's ed?

In Texas, driver's ed classes may be provided by licensed commercial driving schools or by public schools. Driver's ed classes provided by public schools may count as 1/2 credit toward high school graduation. All Texas driver’s education classes are taught by licensed driver education instructors and teaching assistants. Only instructors may teach the classroom portion of the course. The in-car portion of the course may be taught by either driving instructors or teaching assistants. TEA requires all potential Texas driver education instructors and teaching assistants to be high school graduates of “good character and reputation." Applicants must also have held a Texas driver's license for at least 5 years. During that 5 year period, their license must never have been suspended or revoked.

To become a licensed Texas driver education instructor, applicants must also have completed either 9 semester hours of courses on driver and traffic safety at a university accredited by the state or they must have completed a state-approved driver education instructor training course. Teaching assistants are required to have completed 6 semester hours of course work on the above topics, or to have completed an equivalent training course with the TEA seal of approval. Regular teaching assistants can only teach the in-car section of the driver’s ed course, but if they take a total of 9 semester hours of coursework or an equivalent training course they can become a full teaching assistant and share classroom duties with a licensed driver education instructor.

To find a Texas driving school near you, click here.

Instructor requirements

Texas driver education instructors and assistant have to meet all of the qualifications listed above to become certified. However, in addition, they also have to be teaching on behalf of a licensed driving school or a public school. Texas driver education instructor licenses must be renewed annually, and instructors must take a TEA-approved continuing education class before their renewal is due in order to maintain their licenses.

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