Driver Education and Safety
I want to:
- Order a Parent Taught Driver Education Guide
- Download the Parent Taught Driver Education Guide that I Already Purchased.
- Take a Class or Course
- Search for a Course Provider or an Instructor
- Verify a School, Course Provider or Instructor License
- Validate a Driving Safety Certificate
- Take the Driver Education Course in American Sign Language
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News and Updates
Governor Issues Proclamation Reopening Driver Training Schools
May 26, 2020
Today, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation expanding Executive Order GA-23 to allow all driver training schools in Texas to reopen immediately. You can read the proclamation here.
Before reopening, driver training schools should review the minimum standard health protocols created by the Governor's Strike Force to Open Texas: https://gov.texas.gov/uploads/files/organization/opentexas/OpenTexas-Checklist-Driving-Schools.pdf
These protocols provide that schools may operate up to 25% of their total listed occupancy for classroom instruction.
For questions about reopening, schools can contact DES@tdlr.texas.gov.
TDLR Proposes Administrative Rules
May 14, 2020
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department) proposes amendments to the Driver Education and Safety (DES) Program at 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 84, Subchapter A, §84.1 and §84.2; Subchapter C, §§84.40 – 84.42 and §§84.44 - 84.46; Subchapter D, §84.51 and §84.52; Subchapter E, §§84.60, 84.62, and 84.64; Subchapter F, §84.70 and §84.72; Subchapter G, §§84.80 – 84.82 and 84.84; Subchapter H, §84.90; Subchapter J, §84.200; Subchapter K, §§84.300 – 84.302; Subchapter M, §§84.500 - 84.506; and Subchapter N, §84.600; proposes new rules at Subchapter C, §84.43; Subchapter G, §84.85; Subchapter I, §84.103; Subchapter M, §84.507; and Subchapter N, §84.601; and repeals existing rules at Subchapter C, §84.43; and Subchapter N, §84.601. The proposed rules are necessary to implement three separate rulemaking initiatives: (1) implement House Bill (HB) 2847, Article 2, 86th Legislature, Regular Session (2019); (2) address the need to update course curriculum requirements to complete the second phase of the Department’s reorganization and clarification of the rules following the transfer of the DES program to the Department in 2015; and (3) implement recommendations of the DES Fees and Curriculum Workgroups pertaining to reducing program fees and course curriculum changes.
The proposed rules were published in the May 8, 2020, issue of the Texas Register (45 TexReg 2966). The Department will accept comments on the proposal until June 8, 2020.
Provisions for Temporary Emergency Distance Education for Driver Education and Driving Safety Schools
April 3, 2020
The health and safety of all our licensees is of the utmost importance. To proactively address the concerns regarding COVID-19, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) has enacted temporary emergency distance education provisions to allow current licensed Driver Education and Driving Safety schools to offer distance education.
Effective immediately, Driver Education and Driving Safety Schools may teach all Driver Education or Driving Safety classroom instruction courses in a distance learning setting. This provision only applies to courses that would normally be provided in a classroom setting; this does not include AMI or ADM. The purpose of the temporary emergency distance education provision is to provide flexibility for schools to help students complete their course work.
This temporary emergency distance education provision does not apply to the in-car lesson requirements in Driver Education. TDLR’s goal is to enable schools to continue to teach their students despite the current circumstances related to COVID-19.
Licensed Schools that may be impacted by COVID-19 can notify TDLR by email at DES@tdlr.texas.gov with the subject line of the email as “COVID-19 Temporary Emergency Distance Education Request” and provide the following information:
- School name and license number;
- Course Provider Name and license number;
- Type of delivery method, including the technology or program being used for distance education; and
- Type of method which will be used for tracking student attendance, including hours completed.
Temporary emergency distance education accommodations will remain in place until further notice.
COVID-19: Continuing Education Waived
March 24, 2020
TDLR continuing education requirements are waived for all individual licenses expiring in March, April, and May 2020. Licensees still need to submit their renewal applications, pay the required fees, and TDLR will check their criminal histories, but they will not need to complete any TDLR-required continuing education this licensing cycle. (§51.405, Occupations Code)
Note: TDLR is not authorized to waive continuing education requirements imposed by a certifying or credentialing entity other than TDLR. If a certifying entity requires continuing education to maintain certification, and certification is required for Texas licensure, then that continuing education must be completed. If the certifying entity waives continuing education or allows it to be completed on a delayed basis due to COVID-19, then you may follow the certifying entity’s policy.
Please check the TDLR COVID-19 webpage for the most up-to-date information.
Driver Education Course in American Sign Language
March 18, 2020
Senate Bill 1051, passed by the 85th Texas Legislature, required TDLR to create a driver education course in American Sign Language. This course is intended to provide minors and adults who are deaf or hard of hearing a way to fully participate in the classroom portion of the course.
Students viewing this course on the TDLR website will not satisfy the requirements for driver education as prescribed in Chapter 1001 and you will not be able to obtain a permit or driver’s license with DPS. This course must be taken through a licensed driver education school in order to receive your certificate of completion.
Driver Education School Owners interested in offering this course will use Module 1 for the Adult Driver Education course and Modules 1 through 12 for the Teen Driver Education Course.
The course link will only work using Google Chrome.
Provisions for Temporary Emergency Distance Education at Barber, Cosmetology, Driver Education and Massage Schools
March 12, 2020
The health and safety of all our licensees is of the utmost importance. To proactively address the concerns regarding COVID-19, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) has enacted temporary emergency distance education provisions to allow current licensed schools to offer distance education limited to the theory hours of instruction to not exceed more than 50 percent of the course. TDLR’s temporary emergency provision is in line with the Department of Education to provide flexibilities for schools to help students complete their course work.
Courses taught by distance education will not satisfy requirements of practical (hands-on) portions of course curriculum. The goal of the department is to enable schools to continue to teach their students despite the current outbreak of COVID-19.
Licensed Schools that may be impacted by COVID-19 can notify the department by email TDLR at email@example.com with the subject line of the email as “COVID-19 Temporary Emergency Distance Education Request” and provide the following information:
- School name and license number
- Type of delivery method, including the technology or program being used for distance education
- Type of method which will be used for tracking student attendance, including hours completed
- Timed outline indicating the portion of the course or curriculum which will be completed by distance education
Temporary emergency distance education accommodations will remain in place until further notice.
Commission Adopts Amendments to Existing Rules
March 11, 2020
The Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation adopted amendments to the Driver Education and Safety Program rules (16 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 84, Subchapter D, §84.50; Subchapter M, §§84.500 and 84.502; and Subchapter N, §84.600). The adopted rules implement House Bill 105 and House Bill 2048, 86th Legislature, Regular Session (2019). Collectively, these bills created a requirement that (1) all driver education and driving safety courses include information relating to methods of safely operating a motor vehicle near an oversize or overweight vehicle; (2) repealed Chapter 708, Transportation Code, concerning the Driver Responsibility Program; and (3) amended Chapter 1001, Education Code, by specifying the driving and safety offenses which would prevent someone from conducting a Parent Taught Driver Education Course.
The adoption justification was published in the March 6, 2020, issue of the Texas Register (45 TexReg 1698). The updated rule chapter will be made available upon its effective date of March 15, 2020.
Updates to Driver and Traffic Safety Education law(s)
February 28, 2020
This message is provided to notify you of changes to the Driver and Traffic Safety Education law(s).
House Bill 2847 passed by the 86th Texas Legislature, amended Education Code, Chapter 1001, relating to the licensing and regulation of certain occupations, activities, and agreements; providing a civil penalty; authorizing fees; requiring an occupational registration and an occupational license. House Bill 2847 and the changes to Chapter 1001 became effective September 1, 2019.
House Bill 2048 passed by the 86th Texas Legislature, amended Education Code, Chapter 1001, relating to the repeal of the driver responsibility program and the amount and allocation of state traffic fine funds; eliminating program surcharges; authorizing and increasing criminal fines; increasing a fee. House Bill 2048 and the changes to Chapter 1001 became effective September 1, 2019.
House Bill 105 passed by the 86th Texas Legislature, amended Education Code, Chapter 1001, relating to the inclusion of information about oversize and overweight vehicles in the curriculum of driver education and driving safety courses. House Bill 105 and the changes to Chapter 1001 became effective September 1, 2019.
TDLR encourages all persons interested in the Driver Education and Safety program to review the updated Education Code, Chapter 1001.
2019 Legislative Updates
October 25, 2019
House Bill 2847 Changes
When did the changes for instructor licenses go into effect?
Per legislation (HB 2847), the changes in driver education instructor licensing went into effect September 01, 2019.
Am I required to hold a teaching certificate to become a driver education instructor?
No, you are not required to obtain a teaching certificate. The new requirements to become a driver education instructor can be found under HB 2847, Article 2, Section 1001.2531.
What exam am I required to pass to become a driver education instructor?
If you attend an Instructor Development Course (IDC) or are enrolled in driver training at a college or university, you will need to take and pass the exam given to you at the end of the course. You will need to pass the exam with a minimum score of 70% to meet the requirements on becoming a driver education instructor.
I currently hold a TA-Full or Supervising TA-Full license, what will happen?
If you hold one of those two licenses, they will be upgraded upon your next renewal.
- TA-Full license will become a Driver Education Teacher (DET)
- Supervising TA-Full license will become a Supervising Teacher (ST)
What are the levels of driver education instructor licenses?
The available instructor licenses are now: Teacher Assistant (TA), Driver Education Teacher (DET) and Supervising Teacher (ST).
When do the changes for brick-and-mortar schools go into effect?
Per legislation (HB 2847), the requirement for schools offering an online course only, to have a brick and mortar school has been removed and the change is expected to go in effect summer 2020.
I applied for an initial driver education school before the proposed effective date, can I waive the requirement to have a physical site
If your application is postmarked on or before the proposed effective date, the physical site requirements will still apply to you. If your application is postmarked on or after the proposed effective date, then you are not required to have a physical site for your initial driver education school if you are offering an online course.
House Bill 105 Changes
What changes to my curriculum do I need to make because of HB 105?
HB 105 requires that all driver education courses and driving safety courses include information relating to oversize and overweight vehicles by September 01, 2020
What is the department requiring me to submit to show that I’ve updated my course regarding oversize and overweight vehicle loads?
You will need to have your curriculum updated and submit a Statement of Assurance to our department no later than September 01, 2020.
The steps will include the following:
- Update your curriculum
- Include a curriculum outline to TDLR that shows where HB 105 will be incorporated into the curriculum
- Complete and submit the Statement of Assurance
House Bill 2048 Changes
Have the Parent Taught Instructor qualifications changed?
Yes, per HB 2048, the qualifications will be updated to reflect moving violations in the last 3 years instead of points. The update includes:
- Three or more tickets (moving violations according to Transportation Code 521.304)
- Two tickets without accidents and one ticket with an accident; or
- Two or more tickets that include accidents.
Notice of Vacancies on Motorcycle Safety Advisory Board
October 17, 2019
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department) announces vacancies on the Motorcycle Safety Advisory Board (Board) established by the Transportation Code, Chapter 662.001. The purpose of the Motorcycle Safety Advisory Board is to advise the Texas Commission on Licensing and Regulation and the Department on rules and educational and technical matters relevant to the administration of this chapter.
The Board consists of nine members appointed by the presiding officer of the commission, with the approval of the commission. The advisory board consists of the following members:
(1) three members: (a) each of whom must be a licensed instructor or represent a licensed motorcycle school; (b) who must collectively represent the diversity in size and type of the motorcycle schools licensed under this chapter;
(2) one member who represents the motorcycle dealer retail industry;
(3) one representative of a law enforcement agency;
(4) one representative of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute;
(5) one representative of the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service; and
(6) two public members who hold a valid Class M driver’s license issued under Chapter 521;
Members serve staggered six-year terms. The terms of three members expire September 1 of each odd-numbered year. The presiding officer of the commission, on approval of the commission, shall designate a member of the advisory board to serve as the presiding officer of the advisory board for a one-year term. The presiding officer of the advisory board may vote on any matter before the advisory board.
The advisory board shall meet at the call of the executive director or the presiding officer of the commission. An advisory board member may not receive compensation for service on the advisory board but is entitled to reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses incurred in performing the functions as a member of the advisory board, subject to the General Appropriations Act.
Interested persons should submit an application on the Department website. Applicants can also request an application from the Department by telephone (800) 803-9202, fax (512) 475-2874 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Issued in Austin, Texas on October 11, 2019.
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
Advisory Committee Meetings
Previous Meeting - December 18, 2019
The next Driver Training and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee met December 18, 2019 in Austin. The agenda and the staff reports (PDF) are available online. The meeting was archived and is available on TDLR's YouTube channel.
The Driver Education and Safety program at the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) is comprised of the licensing and regulation of businesses known as Driver Education Schools, Parent Taught Driver Education programs, Driving Safety Course Providers, Driving Safety Schools and Instructors. Driver Education provides the basic skills and training required by law to provide the knowledge and hands-on experience to prepare people for their written and practical tests to operate a vehicle in Texas. Driving Safety Courses (sometimes known as 'defensive driving') are geared to improve a driver's knowledge, perception and attitude about driving. The Driving Safety Course Providers are required by law to offer curriculum that meets the standards required by law in Chapter 1001, Texas Education Code. TDLR's objective is to ensure that the schools, course providers, and instructors are qualified to develop and offer the courses and that the courses meet the required standards.
On September 1, 2015, the regulation of Driver Education Schools, Driving Safety Course Providers, Driving Safety Schools and Instructors under Chapter 1001, Texas Education Code, was transferred from TEA/ESC Region 13 to TDLR. This transfer is the result of the 84th Legislature enacting House Bill 1786 into law. In addition, the bill transferred the Parent Taught Driver Education program from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to TDLR. TDLR issues and renews licenses; issues certificates and certificate numbers; approves courses, providers, instructors and schools; accepts complaints; and responds to consumer and industry inquiries.
You may now submit complaints online regarding unlicensed activity or license violations in the Driver Education and Safety program.