Driver Education and Safety
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News and Updates
TDLR Proposes Amendments to Existing Rules
October 23, 2019
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation proposes 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 proposed rules are necessary to implement House Bills (HB) 105 and 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) repeal Chapter 708, Transportation Code, concerning the Driver Responsibility Program (DRP); and (3) amends Chapter 1001, Education Code, by specifying the driving and safety offenses which would prevent someone from conducting a Parent Taught Driver Education Course.
The proposed rules were published in the November 8, 2019, issue of the Texas Register (44 TexReg 6655). The Department will accept comments on the proposal until December 9, 2019.
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
Your Voice Matters: TDLR Wants Your Input on Proposed Disaster Recovery Rules
September 5, 2019
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) would like your comments and suggestions regarding proposed new rules to assist with recovery efforts when the Governor declares a disaster under Government Code, Chapter 418. As part of our Core Value of open and free communication we are asking for your feedback on these proposed rules before we file them with the Texas Register as required by the Administrative Procedures Act.
The proposed new Disaster Recovery Rules include provisions for:
Obtaining and renewing an emergency license, and alternative license requirements for the following license types: Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technicians, Electricians, Consent Tow Truck Permits, Consent Tow Operator License, Tow Company License, Temporary Vehicle Storage Facilities, Out-of-State Healthcare Providers, and Mold Assessment and Remediation Companies.
The proposed new Disaster Recovery Rules, among other things, allow Barber, Cosmetology, and Driver Education Schools to relocate during the declared disaster and waive the filing of reports. The proposed new rules address Water Treatment Records required to obtain an extension for boiler inspections and extend the continuing education requirements for Driver Education Instructors. The new proposed rules waive fees and provide for sanctions and administrative penalties.
Comments may be submitted via email to email@example.com, via facsimile to (512) 475-3032, or by mail to Dalma Sotero, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, PO Box 12157, Austin, TX 78711. Deadline for receipt of comments is 5:00 pm, September 16, 2019.
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.