This article is written for parents who are new to driving schools and need advice on getting their teen a driver license.
This information is professional advice from a driving school instructor.
First, make sure you understand how this process works. There are different licensing requirements based on the age of the teen driver.
Any driver applying for a new California driver’s license must visit the DMV twice.
One is for a written exam and the other visit is for a DMV driver’s exam.
To become eligible to take a written test for a learner’s permit. ( ages 15-171/2) student must take a 30 hours driver education course. Here’s our $ 40 course.
Upon completion of this course, you’ll receive a DMV certificate. Take this certificate to the DMV to take a written exam. Once your teen passes the written exam, receive a learner’s permit. ( This permit allows teens to practice driving with a legal passenger.)
To become eligible to take the DMV drivers exam- a teen driver must complete 6 hours of driver training. 3 (2) hour driving lessons.
Completing a 6-hour behind-the-wheel course from a driving school is required for teens under 18.
After holding a learner’s permit for 6 months and completing 6 hours of driver training at a driving school- A teen driver, under 18, may now take a DMV driver exam.
Teen Drivers over 18 years are still required to go to the DMV at least twice to get a California Driver’s license.
Teen drivers over 18, are still required to pass a written exam, as well as a DMV license exam.
The 6 hours behind wheel course is highly recommended, but not required, for drivers over 18.
Before enrolling in driving school, make sure you take the following into consideration.
1) Properly schedule the driving school lessons.
Often, teen drivers will schedule one lesson and then wait a month before taking the next class. A lot of time has passed between each lesson. If this happens, it becomes very likely that the teen driver forgets valuable information. This can hurt results when it comes to learning how to drive.
Be sure to avoid having large gaps between each lesson. It’s best to take driving lessons on back-to-back days for the best results. Be sure to check with the driving school before enrolling, to make sure back-to-back appointments are available.
2) Let the driving school instructor do all the hard work.
As a Parent, avoid practicing driving with your Teen until they have gone through driving school.
Avoid practicing any driving maneuvers, until the driving school instructor has shown the teen driver first. Often, parents start driving with their teens performing maneuvers- they have not yet learned.
Even though you are legally allowed to practice driving after the first lesson, we don’t recommend doing so. Wait until the teen has developed enough driving skills with the driving school, before starting to practice.
3) Practice driving only after the second or third driving lesson.
Often, some schools advise the teen driver to practice after lesson 1. We believe most student drivers are not ready to drive after just a single lesson 2-hour lesson.
Before practicing, it’s best to wait until the student driver takes the second or even third lesson. Once the teen driver is really comfortable and has performed every driving maneuver with an instructor, then it’s time to practice driving with a parent.
4) Ride along for the driving lesson.
It’s highly recommended that a parent or guardian ride along for the driving school lesson. As a parent, you’ll learn how to teach your teen to drive- similar to the driving instructor. This can significantly improve driving lesson results for the Teen-driver.
5) Request the same driving teacher.
It’s best if you get the same teacher for all the driving lessons. Some driving schools change instructors from lesson to lesson. The problem is that each new instructor is unfamiliar with the Teen’s Driving habits.
Before enrolling, Find out if the driving school allows you to get the same teacher.
This can significantly improve the driving lesson results.
6) When first practicing driving with your Teen, start in residential streets, not parking lots.
Practice driving only after the teen driver has developed driving skills through a driving school course.
When ready to practice driving, take your teen to an empty residential street. Early Sunday mornings are usually always a good day to practice.
Have your teen demonstrate their ability to make left and right turns and park on the curb in a residential street first.
Also, have the teen perform a 3-point turn. Have your teen practice going through 4-way and 2-way stop signs. Drive as much as you can in a residential street first.
Determine if the teen driver has sufficient skills with the car they’re driving before going out onto the main street.
Do NOT go driving on the main streets when first starting to practice.