A Step-By-Step Guide to Texas Parent Taught Drivers Ed

Want to get your Texas drivers license without going to a formal driving school for behind-the-wheel training? In many cases, a parent can fill the role of instructor for free. It’s a program called Texas Parent Taught Drivers Ed (PTDE). 

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) oversees the program and determines the requirements. The Texas Parent Taught Drivers Ed program gives families another option if drivers ed isn’t offered at their teen’s school and commercial driving schools are too expensive. 

Ready to get started? If you are eligible to take PTDE there are eight steps to completing the Texas Parent Taught Drivers Ed program:

  1. Sign up for astate-approved PTDE course.

  2. Choose a driving instructor.

  3. Order your Parent Taught Drivers Ed packet.

  4. Complete Level 1 of the Texas PTDE course.

  5. Get your learner license at the Texas DPS.

  6. Complete the remainder of the course and the behind-the-wheel training requirement.

  7. Complete the Impact Texas Teen Drivers (ITTD) Program.

  8. Pass the driving test to get your provisional drivers license.

How to Complete Texas Parent Taught Drivers Ed in 8 Steps

sign up for parent taught drivers ed with aceable

Step 1 - Sign Up for the Texas PTDE Course

Education is the key to becoming a licensed driver. The first thing parental driving instructors need to do is partner up with a TDLR-approved PTDE Course Provider like Aceable to complete the education portion. Completing the course is part of the Parent Taught Drivers Ed requirements, and you won’t get a learners permit without being enrolled. 

The most convenient option is to take Texas drivers ed online. An online Texas Parent Taught Drivers Ed course saves families time and money on related fees like gas and parking. PLUS, if you sign up with Aceable you can take the learners permit written exam using our app and skip a trip to the DPS office!

Here are some basics about the Texas PTDE course:

  • Level 1 is a 6-hour section that needs to be taken before you can get a learners permit.

  • There are 12 levels that total 32 hours of instruction.

  • You’ll need to pass an assessment test with a 70% or higher at the end of each level.

  • Once you finish all of the levels you’ll receive a certificate of completion.

Our course is made for modern education that gives new drivers and their parents more control. You can take our course on your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android phone, Android tablet, laptop and desktop computer. Start on one device then pick up where you left off on another one. It makes Texas drivers ed online a seamless learning experience.

Here's a few reasons why Aceable is the best choice for online drivers ed!

how to choose driving instructor with aceable

Step 2 - Choose a Driving Instructor

One of the most important decisions that needs to be made is who will be the PTDE instructor. It’s called Parent Taught Drivers Ed, but in reality, it isn’t always a parent. A “parent” instructor can be:

  • A biological parent

  • An adoptive parent

  • A foster parent

  • A legal guardian

  • A grandparent

  • Step-parents and step-grandparents

No matter who you choose to be the instructor, they’ll need to meet the minimum Parent Taught Drivers Ed requirements. The parent instructor must:

  • Have a valid drivers license with less than 6 points on it. If the parent instructor held a drivers license outside of Texas you’ll need to submit a certified driving record from the state where the license was issued.

  • Have held the license for at least three years.

  • NO DWI convictions or probate sentences in the last seven years.

  • NO criminally negligent homicide convictions or probate sentences in the last seven years. 

  • Driving privileges haven’t been revoked, forfeited or suspended in the last three years.

Using a Designated Individual as the Instructor

There’s one more option. A parent or guardian can designate an individual to be the driving instructor. However, this option comes with a few more requirements. The individual who is designated as the instructor must meet all of the Texas Parent Taught Drivers Ed requirements above and they:

  • Cannot charge a fee at any time.

  • Must have been a licensed driver for at least seven years.

  • Have to be at least 25 years old.

**Before ordering the packet, check the Texas DPS Online Driver Record Request System to determine if a parent or designated individual is eligible to be an instructor.

Step 3 - Order Your Parent Taught Drivers Ed (PTDE) Packetparent taught drivers ed packet aceable

To get started, you’ll need the official Parent Taught Drivers Ed packet. You can order the PTDE packet online from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). There's a processing fee of $20 that you can pay with a credit or debit card.

When you submit your form online, the TDLR will send a PTDE packet back to you by mail or by email, whichever you choose. If you choose to receive the packet by mail, it will take about 2-3 weeks for it to be delivered. If you choose to receive the packet by email, the TDLR will send a link within a few days so that you can download the packet.

The Texas PTDE packet will include: 

  • An explanation of the parent instructor's responsibilities and obligations.

  • Behind-the-wheel training tools and forms.

  • An affidavit that must be filled out by the parent instructor.

  • A purchase receipt. 

Don’t forget to get the packet! You'll need to show the purchase receipt at the DPS office. Without it you cannot get your learners permit or provisional drivers license. We even provide resources on how to fill out the parent taught drivers ed packet.

how to get your texas learners permit with aceable

Step 4 - Finish Level 1 of Online Driving School and Pass the Permit Exam

Before you can get a learners permit you’ve got to do some learning. The DPS requires that the first six hours of the Parent Taught Drivers Ed course be completed before the written exam can be taken.

Level 1 in the Aceable app gives you the rundown on everything driving-related so you can qualify for a permit. In the first six hours you’ll learn:

  • The rules and regulations for using a learners permit. 

  • General traffic laws and signs in Texas.

  • Driver responsibilities.

  • Blood alcohol level and impairment information.

  • How to share the road with pedestrians and cyclists. 

  • Best practices for safe driving.

After completing Level 1 we’ll send you a Texas Driver Education Certificate (DE-964). This is needed in order to take the written permit test. 

But that isn’t the only way Aceable makes getting a Texas learners permit easier. Not only is Aceable the only state-approved drivers ed app, we're also the only Parent Taught Drivers Ed course in Texas approved to offer the TDLR written test within our app and website. 

Once the first six hours are done, you can take the actual written permit test right inside the app without having to be at the DPS office. After completing the test, we'll email you a certificate within three business days. With the certificate in hand you’re ready to apply for your learner’s license!

what do you need to get your learners permit in texas with aceable

5. Get Your Learner License at the DPS

Visiting the DPS is fairly low on the list of things people like to do in their free time. At least with Aceable’s app you can continue working on your drivers ed course while waiting in line to apply for your Texas learners permit. 

Visiting the DPS is a must for getting your learners permit. Make sure to bring

  • The parent instructor - they must be present for the application to be processed.

  • The receipt from your PTDE Program Guide.

  • Social security card (no copies, originals only).

  • Verification of Enrollment in a school. 

  • Completed drivers license application (DL-14A).

  • Any other necessary forms for a permit

If you’re an Aceable student there’s no need to worry about forgetting a form. We’ll send you a checklist with the forms you need to bring with you to the DPS. 

While at the DPS office you’ll also take an eye exam. If you wear contacts or glasses make sure to bring them. You’ll also want to look your best since you’ll take a picture for your learners permit. 

behind the wheel training with aceable

6. Complete the Online Driving School Portion and the Behind-the-Wheel Training

Once you’ve got your learner license tucked away in your wallet it’s time to move on to the next phase of the licensing process. Go ahead and finish up the Aceable drivers ed course, which is 26 additional hours of instruction. As soon as you’re done we’ll send you a Texas Driver Education Certificate of Completion. 

While you’re wrapping up the course you can start working on the behind-the-wheel training requirement. Work out a time when you and your parent instructor can devote at least an hour to driving around. Begin with the basics like parking in a mostly vacant parking lot. As the hours add up you’ll be learning more advanced moves like the three-point turnaround. 

The first 14 hours of behind-the-wheel training have to be with your parent instructor. Another 30 hours of driving (at least 10 hours at night) can be with any licensed driver over the age of 21 that the parent instructor has certified. In total, you’ll need to do 44 hours of behind-the-wheel training.

impact texas teen drivers aceable

7. Complete the Impact Texas Teen Drivers Program

Every student must complete the Impact Texas Teen Drivers program (ITTD). It's an 8-part, 2-hour video course provided free of charge on the DPS website. The course covers the dangers of distracted driving with state statistics and real-world stories.

You can’t take the driving skills exam until the ITTD course is completed. You’ll need to get it done less than 90 days before you take your driving exam.

8. Take the Driving Skills Test and Get Your Provisional Drivers License at the DPS

Now that you have all the required education and training completed, the last step is going back to the DPS office to take the driving skills test. You’ll want to schedule the test ahead of time online so you don’t have to wait all day in a line. 

In addition to bringing your own vehicle for the test, you’ll need to provide some documentation to prove you are eligible to take the driving test for a provisional license. Reference the list of forms for a provisional license to make sure you have everything ready on test day. You’ll for sure need the PTDE Program Guide receipt and your driving log to show you finished the behind-the-wheel training hours. 

Not sure what to do with the forms? Check out this guide on how to fill out Parent Taught Drivers Ed forms.

Prepping for the Driving Test

Get a copy of the Texas Driver Handbook to prepare for the driving test. It has all the information you needget your license with aceable on what to expect and what you’ll be tested on. If you can execute all of the maneuvers in the Driver Safety Checklist then you’re ready to take the skills exam. Here are a few other key details about the driving exam:

  • You’ll take the test using your own vehicle. 

  • The vehicle will be inspected before the exam to ensure it’s safe to drive.

  • The exam provider isn’t allowed to engage in general conversation once the test begins so ask any questions you have before starting the exam. 

  • The driving exam will last about 20 minutes. 

  • If you do something dangerous or illegal the exam will immediately end and you’ll automatically fail. 

  • You’ll be told if you passed right after completing the driving test, plus you’ll get feedback and constructive criticism on what you can improve upon as a licensed driver.

  • You get three attempts to pass the driving test within a 90-day period. 

Once you pass the driving test you’re officially a licensed driver in Texas! The DPS will give you a paper license that can be used until your lovely little plastic piece of freedom comes in the mail. 

Where is the first place you plan to drive with your newfound freedom? Make it epic, and tag us @aceable on Instagram.

For more tools to help you accomplish the 44 hours of behind the wheel training download the full Parent-Taught PDF guide. You'll get access to a Drivers Ed cheat sheet, lesson planner, driving hours scheduler, tips, tricks, and even a parent-teen contract to make parent-taught drivers ed smooth.

Skip The Classroom and Take Your Texas Parent Taught Drivers Ed Course with Aceable!

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*This article was updated on 2/29/24