How Does Parent Taught Drivers Ed Work?


Are you looking to get your license for the first time? Good news! You may be able to skip the hours spent driving with a formal instructor. While you'll still need to log the hours behind-the-wheel, parent-taught driver education (PTDE) enables an approved parent to supervise you. Going this route is often more convenient and can also help to create a more comfortable learning atmosphere. Interested? Here's all you need to know. 

What Is Parent-Taught Driver Education (PTDE)?

PTDE is a way of completing driver's education with online in-class lessons and a parent supervising the behind-the-wheel time. How does it work? Usually, the online course portion is around 30 hours, and you can complete this in your free time. The course is informative, but your parents can help you with any questions you have. As for on-the-road practice, you'll need 40 to 60 hours of supervised driving time depending on where you live. Your parents will need to accompany you for this.

How Do You Qualify for PTDE?

To qualify for PTDE, the parent instructor must meet several eligibility requirements. For example, in Texas, they must:

  • Be the student's parent, foster parent, legal guardian, step-parent, grandparent, or someone who is designated by a judge, legal guardian, or parent. 

  • Have a valid driver's license in Texas that has been valid for at least three years.

  • Not have more than six points on their license.

  • Not have had their driving privileges revoked, suspended, or forfeited in the past three years for traffic-related violations. 

  • Not have a probated sentence or conviction of driving while intoxicated in the past seven years. 

Further, students must be of a certain age before they can begin the classroom hours. For example, in Texas, they must be at least 14 years old. 

How Long Does It Take to Complete PTDE?

The length of time it takes to complete PTDE can vary by state. In Texas, it consists of at least 76 hours over 60 days. The 76 hours include:

  • 32 hours of in-classroom instruction over at least 16 calendar days. 

  • 44 hours of in-car instruction over 44 calendar days. 

Further, the 44 hours of in-car instruction is made up of seven hours of behind-the-wheel instruction, seven hours of in-car observation, and 30 hours of additional driving practice.

How to Get Through a PTDE Course

The process for PTDE can vary by state. Generally, it requires you to: 

  • Check parent eligibility: Find out what's required by your state to be a parent instructor and ensure your parent qualifies.

  • Order the PTDE packet: Buy the PTDE packet from your state's department of licensing and regulation. You may be able to order it online and download it immediately. 

  • Complete the required online courses for your permit. Next, you'll need to take the initial courses required for a permit in your state. In Texas, you just need to complete the first six hours. Aceable also enables you to take the written permit test through the course, saving you time at the DPS. 

  • Get your permit. Next, you'll need to apply to get your permit through the DPS. 

  • Complete your classroom courses and driving hours. Once you have your permit, you'll complete the rest of your classroom hours (26 hours in Texas) along with your supervised driving hours (44 hours in Texas). 

  • Complete any other required tests. Some states will require other tests. In Texas, you must take and pass the Impact Texas Teen Drivers (ITTD) course within 90 days of taking your driver's license test. 

  • Get your license. You'll get your certificate of completion which you can take with any other required items to take your driver's license test. 

Interested in getting started with parent taught driver's ed in Texas? Sign up today!

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