Driver Education and Safety
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News and Updates
Your Voice Matters: TDLR Wants Your Input on Driver Education and Safety Rules
November 13, 2018
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) would like your comments and suggestions regarding amendments to Driver Education and Safety (DES) rules. As part of our Core Value of open and free communication, we are asking for your feedback on these rules before we file them with the Texas Register as required by the Administrative Procedures Act.
The proposed amendments to the DES Rules include:
- Defining the Instructor Development Course and Instructor Development Programs relating to the certification of driver training instructors, and removal of the “teacher of record” designation to allow school owners more flexibility to administer student documentation;
- Clarification of the roles and responsibilities of driver education instructors in administering the course materials to students;
- Setting requirements for initial and renewal licensing of driver education instructors, and expansion of opportunities for instructors to obtain continuing education credit;
- Easing requirements on driver education school student progress reporting, recordkeeping and the provision of complaint filing information to consumers with the department;
- Requiring Parent Taught Driver Education Course Providers and Online Driver Training Schools to provide course identification information and license numbers to consumers on their websites;
- Identification of the licensing requirements for Younger than 25 Years of Age Driving Safety Instructors in department rule, implementing Texas Education Code 1001.111;
- Easing advertising restrictions on new driver training schools and drug and alcohol awareness schools pending licensure;
- Modification of the minimum times for course subject matter in Driver Training Schools to accommodate the Community Safety Act (SB 30) and Child Safety Seat (HB 1372) instructional initiatives;
- Reducing the number of course validation questions and expands time to provide answers for courses developed by online providers;
- Increasing access for students to technical assistance for online driver training courses; and
- Creates new rule 84.507 Driving Safety Course for Drivers Younger than 25 Years of Age, which implements Texas Education Code 1001.111 from SB 1330, 82nd Legislature, Regular Session
Comments may be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, via facsimile to (512) 475-3032, or by mail to Pauline Easley, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, P. O. Box 12157, Austin, TX 78711. Deadline for receipt of comments is 5:00 pm, December 12, 2018.
A New 6-Hour Driving Safety Certificate Design
November 7, 2018
TDLR developed a new standardized certificate for course providers. All course providers must implement this new design change and submit it to the department for approval by February 1, 2019.
Driving Safety Course Providers May Now Issue Certificates Electronically
November 5, 2018
House Bill 912 and Senate Bill 848, enacted in 2017 by the 85th Texas Legislature, removed the limiting factor requiring a Course Provider to mail a certificate to a person who has completed the course. The adoption of the rules now allows a Driving Safety Course Provider to issue certificates electronically.
Driving Safety Data Upload Now Due In 5 Days!
November 1, 2018
Effective November 1, 2018, all driving safety course providers must submit their completion data to the department within 5 days of the course completion.
TDLR Adopts Amendments to Driver Education and Safety Administrative Rules
October 22, 2018
The Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation adopted amendments to existing rules regarding the Driver Education and Safety program (16 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 84, Subchapter E, §84.61 and §84.63). The adoption justification may be viewed on TDLR’s web site and the updated rule chapter will be made available upon its effective date of November 1, 2018.
Keys Driving School Shut Down for Violating Texas Law
August 13, 2018
AUSTIN, TX – Keys Driving School of Little Elm, TX, has been barred from operating as a driver education school after a Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) investigation found they were doing business without a state-required license.
Keys Driving School, Inc., located at 901 E. Eldorado Pkwy, Ste. C in Little Elm, TX, was issued a cease and desist order on July 12, 2018 that bars the business from operating in Texas until they become properly licensed. TDLR is charged with conducting inspections and investigations to ensure compliance with state laws and safeguard consumers from unlicensed and unqualified service providers.
“Consumer safety is one of TDLR’s top priorities. When you enter into an agreement with a properly licensed driver education school, you can be confident the business is bonded and has met industry standards,” stated Brian E. Francis, TDLR Executive Director. “If you use the services of an unlicensed school, you put your yourself and others at risk. Always check first to make sure a driver education school is properly licensed,” said Francis.
TDLR provides oversight for a broad range of occupations, businesses, facilities, and equipment in Texas. The agency protects the health and safety of Texans by ensuring they are served by qualified, licensed professionals. Inspections of individuals, businesses, and equipment are done on a regular basis to safeguard the public. Currently, the agency manages 39 business and occupational licensing programs with more than 800,000 licenses across the state.
- Visit TDLR’s website for more information and resources: www.tdlr.texas.gov/
- Search TDLR’s license database for driver education schools: www.tdlr.texas.gov/LicenseSearch/
- Find past violations in which a final order was issued against companies or individuals: www.tdlr.texas.gov/cimsfo/fosearch.asp
TDLR’s customer service line is available from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 1-800-803-9202. TDLR representatives are fluent in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese. See the TDLR Contact page for all email and social media information: www.tdlr.texas.gov/contact.htm
Agencies Working to Ensure Community Safety Act Provides Consistent Training for Motorists, Officers
November 14, 2017
The Community Safety Education Act (S.B. 30) was developed to improve traffic stop interaction between motorists and law enforcement throughout Texas.
State agencies, including the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, are now working to provide information and training for drivers, students, and law enforcement on the expectations that each should have during interactions.
State Sen. Royce West (Dallas) and State Sen. John Whitmire (Houston), authors of the bill, recognized the need for consistency in this training across Texas.
Educational materials will include instructions to drivers on how they should react and communicate with officers during a traffic stop. Proper responses will also be included in training for new officers and continuing education courses for veteran patrol officers.
Officers will receive best-practice guidelines on their expected behaviors and reactions during a citizen contact. This same type of information will also be included in the instructional materials taught to high school students, and provided to driver training and driving safety course instructors licensed by TDLR.
“TDLR is honored to be a part of this effort to ensure, through improved education and communication, the safety of Texas motorist and law enforcement officers,” said Brian Francis, TDLR executive director. “Our agencies’ goal is to provide citizens with the right educational materials and information so that Texas can cultivate highly-engaged drivers. This should result in decreased tensions and anxieties between officers and citizens during traffic stops and other encounters that too often lead to undesired outcomes for everyone involved.”
A committee of state agencies has been assembled for the implementation of the act. TDLR, along with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, Texas Department of Public Safety, Teen and Police Service Academy, and Texas Education Agency are all working together to develop the instructional and training materials to be used by driving schools and law enforcement agencies.
Hurricane Harvey Relief for Schools and Students
September 15, 2017
TDLR's response to the Hurricane Harvey disaster includes streamlining procedures to help small businesses, our licensees and students recover as quickly as possible.
The following procedures are in effect for all TDLR-licensed schools in the counties listed in Governor Greg Abbott's disaster proclamation during the declared disaster period and any extensions:
- Immediate relief for students. Cosmetology, Barber and Driver Education students should be granted additional time to make-up hours at no additional cost to the student. Some schools are using Distance Education for displaced students.
- Extended grace period for expired school licenses. Schools in the affected area with licenses expired beyond the usual expiration limits will be allowed to renew.
- Temporary locations allowed. Schools needing to relocate to a temporary location can do so without having a temporary license. If relocation is needed, please email your school name, license number, the relocation address, phone number, and email address to Education@tdlr.texas.gov or calling 1-800-803-9202. Please place Harvey in the subject line of your email.
- Inspections suspended. Schools located in the areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey will not be inspected during the declared disaster period. TDLR's priority is providing assistance and ensuring the safety of students and faculty. We will resume inspections once the disaster period has ended.
TDLR is committed to helping our fellow Texans through the recovery process, and we stand ready to assist in any way we can.
Advisory Committee Meetings
Previous Meeting - November 7, 2018
The Driver Training and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee met November 7, 2018 in Austin. The agenda and staff reports (PDF) are available. 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.