Driving Parents Crazy: The Scoop on Texas Teen Driver’s Ed

My daughter turns 15 next month, so she’s hot to get her Texas driver’s permit. This is beyond scary. First of all, I must deal with the realization that I’m getting old. If that’s not bad enough, I worry about whose car she’ll use for practice. I drive a Nissan 350Z, which is not ideal.

But the most disturbing thought is…with a driver’s license, she can go anywhere, anytime, with or without my approval, and she could get herself into trouble – a car accident, a wrong turn that lands her in a bad part of Dallas, a breakdown after dark – the list goes on and on.

Sure, I trust my daughter, but is this really good parenting? Seems like the risks outweigh the benefits. Alas, I drove at 15, and she will, too. It’s time for me to grow up, I guess.

If you’re facing the same dilemma, here’s what you need to know to make your teenager’s driving dreams come true:

  • Anyone under 18 must attend a state-approved driver’s education course and have a certificate of completion to apply for a driver’s license.
  • At 14, a child can take a state-approved driver’s education course.
  • At 15, a child can apply for a Texas Driver’s Permit with the aforementioned certificate.
  • At 16, a child can test for a Texas Driver’s License.

Driver’s Ed Certification

Parents can teach their children to drive with a state-approved instructional driver’s education course. If you choose this avenue, be sure to register with the state by submitting the online form and $20. You and your teen will endure:

  • 32 hours of classroom instruction
  • 14 hours of behind-the-wheel training with permit (after age 15)
  • The test for a certificate

Online & Home Study for Driver’s Ed
In an online search, you’ll find a truckload of certified, courses for parents to teach their Texas teens how to drive. Here are a few to get you started.

Instructor-Taught Driver’s Ed

Many parents turn to private instruction, whether to remain sane or due to lack of time. In the Grapevine, Southlake, Trophy Club, and Roanoke area, we have a few driver’s ed schools.

  • Green Light
    $365 – Instructor taught before or after school
    At Byron Nelson High School in the NWISD (Trophy Club and Roanoke)
  • Green Light also has a Grapevine location.
  • Carroll High School by the SCISD (Southlake)
    $295 – Instructor taught before and after school
  • Carroll Watkins Driver Education School
    303 N Main St
    Keller, TX 76248
    (817) 431-6116

What You’ll Spend on Driver’s Ed

Type Cost
Private Driving School 365
Online Driving School 149
No Driver’s Ed Must be 18

To Apply for a Texas Driver’s Permit, You’ll Need:
(This is from the Tx DPS website.)

  • Guts
  • Application for Texas Driver License, DL-14A
  • Parental Driver Education Affidavit, DL-90A
  • Classroom Instruction Record, DL-91A
  • Pay the required fee for Instruction Permit Issuance
  • Proof of Liability Insurance (If you own the vehicle)
  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Verification of Enrollment and Attendance Form in school

To Apply for a Texas Driver’s License, You’ll Need:

  • Prayer
  • Valid Instruction Permit (minimum age 16 and held a VALID Instruction Permit for a 6 month period)
  • Verification of Enrollment and Attendance Form in school
  • Parental Driver Education Affidavit, DL-90B
  • Classroom Instruction and Behind the Wheel Record Log, DL-91A and DL-91B
  • Pay the required fee for Provisional Driver License

Best of luck to you, my neighbor and parent. And remember, what does not kill us makes us stronger ;).

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