What is the Texas Parent-Taught Behind-the-Wheel ONLY course?
The Texas Parent-Taught Behind-the-Wheel ONLY course allows a teen's parent or other qualified individual to serve as their instructor for the behind-the-wheel training portion of their driver education requirement.
The course is regulated by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), which licenses private schools to offer
the course. Safe2Drive is an approved provider. In the course, teens are required to complete 14 hours of behind-the-wheel training, which includes 7 hours of behind-the-wheel observation and 7 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction.
The course provides a step-by-step guide for parents to help their teens acquire the necessary knowledge and skills for basic vehicle operation such as turning,
backing, and parking. Logs are also included to assist parents with documenting the required 14 hours.
The behind-the-wheel training is divided into two components:
- 7 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction;
- 7 hours of behind-the-wheel observation;
The topics covered in the training include:
- Pre-Drive Tasks
- Basics of Vehicle Operation and Control
- Attention and Communication
- Managing Vehicle Space
- Reference Points
- Turns, Changing Lanes, and Passing
- Aggressive Drivers
- Distracted Driving
- Traffic Laws and Right-of-Way
- Safe Driving Techniques
- Driving in Adverse Weather
In addition to completing the Parent-Taught Driver Education Behind-the-Wheel ONLY course, teens must complete an additional 30 hours of behind-the-wheel practice. At least 10 of these practice hours must be done at night. These 30 hours of behind-the-wheel practice must be completed in the presence of an adult who is at least 21 years of age and who has had his or her driver license for at least a year. This practice time must be certified by the teen's parent/guardian.
After completing the 14-hour Parent-Taught Behind-the-Wheel ONLY course and the 30 hours of practice driving (10 hours of which must be done at night), there are some additional requirements you'll need to meet prior to applying for your driver license.
You will need to complete the 32 hours of coursework portion of your driver education requirement, the ITTD course, be at least 16 years old, have resided in Texas for at least 30 days prior to applying for your driver license,
and have held your learner license for at least 6 months. You will also need to gather the required documents and pass the driving skills test at the DPS.
Safe2Drive's Texas Parent-Taught Behind-the-Wheel ONLY Course
Safe2Drive is an approved provider of the Texas Parent-Taught Behind-the-Wheel ONLY course. Our course is much less expensive
than hiring a certified driving instructor. It is easy to understand and self-paced. Our materials guide parents on how to instruct their teens
on the rules of the road, right-of-way, the basics of driving skills, intermediate safe driving practices, and more. Logs are included to help parents track,
document, and prepare their teens' driving histories for submission to the Texas DPS.
Eligibility for Teens
In order to be eligible to take the Parent-Taught Behind-the-Wheel ONLY course, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must be 15-17 years old.
- You must have completed at least the first six hours of the “classroom” or theory portion of a driver education course.
If you have not yet started the classroom portion of driver education, you can take our online Texas Teen Driver Education course to meet this requirement.
- You must have your learner license.
Eligibility for Instructors
There are a few requirements a person must meet in order to be eligible to instruct a Parent-Taught Behind-the-Wheel ONLY course:
- The instructor must be the student’s parent, step-parent, grandparent, step-grandparent, foster parent or legal guardian appointed by a court.
A power of attorney is not considered a legal guardian. Additionally, a parent, legal guardian, or a judge of a court with jurisdiction over the student
can designate a person to instruct the course who:
- is at least 25 years old;
- does not charge a fee for conducting the course; and
- has at least seven years of driving experience.
- The instructor must possess a valid license for the preceding three years that has not been suspended, revoked, or forfeited in the past three years for an offense that involves the operation of a motor vehicle.
- Instructors cannot have:
- a conviction (including a probated sentence) of criminally negligent homicide;
- a conviction (including a probated sentence) of driving while intoxicated in the last seven years; and
- a conviction in the preceding three years of:
- three or more moving violations described by Section 542.304, Transportation Code, including violations that resulted in an accident; or
- two or more moving violations described by Section 542.304, Transportation Code, that resulted in an accident.
Instructors are responsible for checking their criminal and driver records prior to requesting the PTDE Program Guide. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will verify the instructor’s record when it processes the student’s learner license and again when it processes the student’s provisional driver license.
If the DPS determines that the instructor does not meet the requirements, the DPS will deny the learner license or provisional driver license along with any prior classroom instruction or behind the wheel/in-car instruction provided by the ineligible instructor.
To verify your eligibility to be an instructor before ordering the Behind-the-Wheel Course, please use the DPS Online Driver Record Request System.
When to Begin Behind-the-Wheel Training
A teen may begin their behind-the-wheel training when they are 15 years old and have their learner license. Before starting the Parent-Taught Behind-the-Wheel ONLY course, you must request and receive the Parent Taught Driver Education Program Guide
from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). The PTDE Program Guide contains instructions on how to teach the Texas Parent-Taught Behind-the-Wheel ONLY course as well as helpful information on how to get a Texas driver license and important forms you will need when applying for your license.
To request a PTDE Program Guide, fill out the online request form and make payment. The guide costs $20. After you purchase the guide,
you will receive an email with a link to download the guide. Check your spam and junk folders if you do not see the email in your inbox.
Next, download and read the Parent-Taught Driver Education Program Guide. To check the status of your order, or to download the guide if you do not have an email address, click here.
Your teen can start the course as soon as you have the Parent-Taught Driver Education Program Guide.
What is the difference between the full Parent-Taught Driver Education course and the Parent-Taught Behind-the-Wheel ONLY course?
The full Parent-Taught Driver Education course allows a teen's parent or eligible adult to be their instructor for BOTH the 32 hours of online classroom instruction and the 14 hours of behind-the-wheel training.
Teens can start the full Parent-Taught Driver Education course when they are 14 years old, and they can apply for their learner license after completing their first 6 hours of coursework if they are at least 15 years of age.
The Parent-Taught Behind-the-Wheel ONLY course is for teens ages 15-17 who already have their learner license and are wanting their parent or other eligible adult to serve as their instructor for ONLY the behind-the-wheel portion of their driver education. Teens taking the Parent-Taught
Driver Education Behind-the-Wheel ONLY course must also complete the 32 hours of classroom instruction with an approved school and licensed instructor. If you're taking the Parent-Taught Behind-the-Wheel ONLY course with Safe2Drive and have not yet
signed up with a school to do your 32 hours of classroom instruction, you can sign up for our online Teen Driver Education course to meet this requirement.
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