Driver's Ed for Teen

Updated on November 02, 2009
M.S. asks from Plano, TX
3 answers

My dd is approaching 15, which is gather is when she can get her learner's permit for driving. Does she have to take an official driver's ed course? Can someone share their experiences? If she has to take a course, how long is it likely to be, how expensive, and does she start when she turns 15? We live in the Plano/Allen area (PISD). Also, what about the VOE requirement, and what if you have a child with health issues who misses quite a bit of school but does well (she's seen at Scottish Rite...which is great but which causes more absences).

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answers from Dallas on


I've gone through this three times (and lived to tell the tale!!) already. Yes, your daughter can get a permit when she is 15. Yes, she does have to take an official course. Now that course can be "Parent Taught" -- information for this is available on the Texas Department of Public Safety's website -- or you can enroll her in a Driver's Ed course taught by several different driving schools. My youngest is almost 19 and the last time I paid for a professional course, it was around $350.00. With each course, there is classroom time requirements and behind-the-wheel time requirements (also known as drive time). It's been so long that I simply can not remember the exact amount of time for each. I do remember my kids getting their permit within 1-3 days of beginning the course. I'm a HUGE advocate of kids getting their permit when they turn 15 as it gives them a whole year to "practice" before they are able to be turned loose with a car. Now, I understand some regulations have changed since my kids were that age. Any driving school can give you all the details -- regardless of whether you enroll in their course. The VOE is simply a form that she would request from her school. It just verifies that she is enrolled in school. (If a young person is not enrolled in school, they can not get their license prior to age 18). The form is an enrollment verification. Her absences will have no bearing on her enrollment status. Now, her good grades will help you with an insurance discount. (Small; but, anything helps with insuring young drivers!).

I hope this answers some of your questions. For more complete information, I would suggest you call one of the driving schools listed in the Yellow Pages and review the TX Dept of Public Safety's website.

Good Luck,
R. F.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on


Welcome to heartstopping thrills and chills! Bite your tongue and don't scream or over reacte!

Yes, she can get her learning permit at 15. It's a good idea to get it then, but that doesn't mean that you have to let them get their driver's license at 16! We didn't. We allow them to mature a little more!

There are three options:

1. Pay for a course at a driving school and let someone else do the formal introduction of material. You, her parents, will still need to be the ones to experience most of her practice driving! Stressful, but necessary!

2. Get a copy of the State of Texas's Parent Taught Driving Course. The course has all the info in it. Like the other mom posted, you can find out more about this online, but I think you might have to go to the DPS in person to sign up and pay for the permit. You do this after a certain number of hours of in class stuff. Minimal cost, if any.

3. You can purchase another Texas state authorized course like Driver's Ed in a Box.

We chose Option 3. My son was very frustrated* with the program and merely waited until he was 18 and took the Driver's test and got his license (*partly his refusal to do a part of the program [the computer part] and partly his parents' [us] fault for not making more time for going out driving with him more often to cover certain aspects of the material).

My daughter used the same material (we had to pay the company a fee for use by another student), and finished the course, and got her license at 17. She was out of state between 15 1/2 and about 16. Plus, we didn't feel like she was ready to be driving about a ton of steel at 16!

You can go to DPS offices in a different city than the one you live in, but the child has to initiate the process ther and have his/her paperwork there. We had my daughter's papers transferred to the Frisco office because they were very friendly, polite and not as busy as some of the other offices (Plano, Garland).

The state course is nearly free. The driving school will be several hundred dollars (don't know, did'nt do this). Driver's Ed in a Box is also rather pricey - I think we paid nearly $200 about 6 or so years ago. But we got CDs with it and I listened to them over and over and MY driving improved a lot! :)

Good luck!


PS The second two options involve keeping records of what material you covered and how much your student drove in what conditions, etc. The charts and forms are provided, so "no worries," you don't have to reinvent the wheel.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We are about to go through this as well.

You get the VOE from the school for (verification of enrollment). As far as courses, some parents teach the course on their own through some website.

We plan to have our daughter go to a professional driving school to take the course. This has to be done outside of school. I believe my neighbor said the course is somewhere between 300-500...but I do not know facts on that OR the best place to go for training.

I just know that dd won't be learning with our cars, LOL.

Back in the day, HA, when I got a permit, Driver Ed was taught in the classroom at school.

We are also in Allen but Plano ISD.

1 mom found this helpful
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