So much has changed over the years regarding drivers education classes.
With the advent of the Internet, many teens in the Lone Star State have begun taking Texas drivers ed online.
While most high schools offered drivers ed classes as part of the curriculum in the last century, and it was often a graduation requirement, these days, in-school drivers ed offerings are nearly nonexistent.
These days, we have online classes and parent-taught driver education programs— essentially the homeschool version of the course.
The problem is that we have so many choices for these classes, and how on earth do you figure out the right one for you?
We’ve looked at many of them to help you narrow down your selection.
Table Of Contents
The Best Texas Drivers Ed Courses Online(Overview)
We’ve included an overview of our top picks below. For detailed information on each pick, scroll down.
1. Virtual Drive
Virtual Drive provides online instruction and a PTDE Packet to guide you through the process.
The packet includes a log sheet for tracking hours behind the wheel.
Like all the PTDE courses, Virtual Drive allows flexibility in the instruction schedule.
The system costs about $60, and students can enroll online.
Included with Aceable’s materials are study guides and as many practice tests as you can take.
Since a student must take a permit test before getting behind the wheel, these practice tests can be great for students who may experience test anxiety.
Completing Aceable’s PTDE earns the student both certificates needed for the applications— one for the learner license and one for the provisional one.
The course will run for about $60, and you can complete enrolment online.
Similar materials and practice tests comprise the DriversEd.com program.
Offering online drivers ed classes for more than two decades, DriversEd.com brings experience to the PTDE world and boasts a 99.5% permit pass rate.
Setting this program apart is its case studies of real traffic situations, accidents, and other incidents designed to take some of the mystery out of driving, as well s its focus on defensive driving techniques.
While the course can cost over $100, the website often runs promos so that drivers can sign up for up to 40 percent less.
This program spends time focusing on risk reduction and the dangers of distractions, the rules of the road, and the basics of driving.
Some programs spend less time on instruction involving driving in adverse conditions, but TexasDrivingSchool.com covers that, even though driving in the snow isn’t much of an issue in Texas.
The program goes beyond simply instructing the student by providing information and assistance to parents when it comes to navigating the process of helping the student obtain her learner license and provisional one.
Sign up online and expect a class cost of about $75.
Since not every brand new driver is a teenager, this program stands out as a quicker, cheaper option for adults who have not yet gotten a license.
Adults presumably need less time to learn to drive since their brains, by the mid-20s, have fully formed, and they’re less likely to make some of the poor decisions the teenage brain is capable of.
Another great feature of this course is taking the written test at home, which means less time spent at the Department of Public Safety.
Sign up and complete the entire course online for less than $40.
6. I Drive Safely
The program from I Drive Safely emphasizes convenience, touting the 24/7 access an online course provides.
Going hand in hand with this is the student’s ability to follow his own pace.
Your student shouldn’t feel overwhelmed with the forward march of the program since, if he’s having trouble with a concept, he’s welcome to spend as much time as needed before moving on.
I Drive Safely focuses on the fact that your child’s drivers ed instruction will be someone you trust — namely, the parent or legal guardian.
We all think we’re great drivers, so you probably think you’re the best person to teach your kid.
The company offers live customer support and instructional resources for students and their parents in the case of questions.
With discounts and deals, the course can range from a little more than $50 to a little over $100.
Offering drivers ed classes for teens and adults, EasyTexasDriversEd.com holds itself up as the leader in convenience in this field.
Upon completing the course, graduates can receive a digital copy of their certificate (needed for getting a provisional license) that same day.
The company also offers price matching and claims to have the lowest prices in the state.
This company has also designed the course materials to fit into eight chapters, so this may be the best solution for restless learners who dread the idea of slogging through vast amounts of materials.
Sign up online and expect to pay less than $50 for the course.
8. National Highway Safety Administration
With the test for the learner license included, the PTDE course from the National Highway Safety Administration allows students to jump right into the drivers ed program (students cannot get behind the wheel without passing that test).
Also included in the course is a layout for instruction in the vehicle.
Parents who find themselves at a loss for how or what to teach in the car can rely on this program rather than just winging it.
A little more than $50 gets you into this course through the company’s website, and you have the option of audiobook-style instructions, so you don’t even have to read the material.
Auditory learners will love having the lessons read to them.
9. Driving Quest
Driving Quest’s PTDE program includes the Texas DPS written test, but students have only three attempts to pass it.
However, the company touts that students can have their learner license in six hours, appealing to the excited teenager.
Approved by DPS, the Driving Quest course will provide the certificate needed for a provisional license via email.
By signing up on the Driving Quest website, students can enroll in the system for less than $180.
10. SafeWay Driving
As the company’s name suggests, safety is the big focus of this program.
Packed with statistics about how dangerous driving in general and Texas roads, in particular, can be, the SafeWay Driving courses available range from the State Minimum course, which is what it sounds like, all the way up to the Advanced Pro course, which costs almost $3,000.
While the company touts safety, its State minimum course costs more than $500 and does not meet national standards (it fails to ensure 10 hours of night driving during the course).
Students need to upgrade to the Safeway Basic course to meet federal standards, which rings up at about $800.
How to Choose the Best Online Drivers Ed Course for You
The best choice for you could be the cheapest one or the one best suited to your kid’s abilities.
If she’s not much of a reader, look for the courses with audiobook components.
If you feel like you’ll be a lousy teacher, investigate the online drivers ed course that includes materials for you as an instructor.
Teaching is not a universal ability.
If you need help doing it, there’s no shame in asking.
Besides, your child’s safety is the most important thing.
Texas Drivers Ed: The Basics
While many of us have that one Texan cousin who grew up on a ranch and was driving the pickup around the pasture by the time they were eight, we learned to drive by taking a drivers education class.
The course class teaches teens (and, in some cases, adults) who are ready to learn to drive not just how to do it but also how to do it safely.
You’ll learn the rules of the road, the basics of safety— driving safely and things like safely changing a flat tire— and all you need to know to pass the written test.
Most drivers education courses don’t show gory scare-you-into-driving-safely movies like “Red Asphalt” anymore, but a lot has changed over the years.
Still, once a driver has finished a course, she’s ready to operate a motor vehicle, though only at the bottom of the Graduated Driver Licensing system (GDL), which restricts what new drivers can and can’t do.
The “graduated” part means that new drivers receive additional privileges after specific periods with no incidents until they’re full-fledged drivers.
How Do You Start Drivers Ed in Texas?
To get a license from the Texas Department of Public Safety, drivers under the age of 25 must take a drivers education course.
The minimum age to start the class is 14.
Most states (including Texas) will not offer a learner’s permit until the driver is 15, though other states have different rules.
In the Dakotas and Arkansas, you can get a learner’s permit at age 14.
At the same time, many northeastern states (Massachusetts, Delaware, New York, and others) do not issue them until the driver reaches 16.
The Parent Taught Driver Education Program (PTDE) Explained
Since most schools no longer offer drivers ed courses, families have to figure it out independently.
They may find a driving school, or they can access online courses and participate in a Parent Taught Drivers Education Program.
There are restrictions here, but they aren’t too demanding.
To qualify as an instructor, the person in question must:
- Be the student’s parent, stepparent, grandparent, step-grandparent, foster parent, or legal guardian.
- Have held a valid drivers license for at least three years.
- Have not had a license suspended in the past three years.
- Have fewer than six points on their license.
- Not have criminal convictions of DWI or criminally negligent homicide.
Instructors must ensure that students complete 32 hours of classroom instruction (doing the online work) in a minimum of 16 days.
Pulling a couple of all-nighters won’t expedite the process.
Following that, the student needs 44 hours of in-car instruction.
The learner must log in ten hours of night driving during this period.
They must not complete these 44 hours in less than 44 days.
The benefits of PTDE include knowing that your child is in good hands (provided you’re a responsible driver and a rational parent) and working driving instruction in with your schedule.
You’ll also pay less than you would for most classes offered by driving schools.
However, some consider the cons of PTDE to outweigh the pros.
Those people are largely driver education instructors themselves, but they do make valid points, mainly that not every parent makes a good teacher, and just because a parent has a license doesn’t mean he knows all he should to teach someone else.
How Do You Apply for a Drivers License in Texas?
There are three stages to getting your license from the Texas Department of Public Safety, the third stage being the regular, unrestricted license that most Texas adult drivers carry in their wallets.
To get a learner’s license, drivers will need to provide the following at a drivers license office:
- Proof of US citizenship or permission to be in the country
- Proof of residency in Texas
- Birth certificate
- Social security number
- Valid vehicle registration
- Driver education certificate
- Verification of school enrollment or graduation
With these documents, you can apply for a learner’s license in person at a drivers license office.
You will provide your thumbprints and signature, pass a vision exam, pay an application fee, and take a photo.
Teen drivers begin with this Learner License, Texas’s entry-level license, and it comes with restrictions.
To qualify for it:
- Drivers are ages 15 to 17.
- Drivers have completed the classroom part of a drivers ed course (6 hours of classroom instruction or 32 hours of an online course).
- Drivers must either have a high school diploma, GED or be currently enrolled in an accredited school with an attendance record of at least 90 percent.
Once a driver has a learner’s license, she drives under the following restrictions:
- She must have a licensed driver, age 21 or older, in the front seat.
- She may not use her phone or other wireless devices outside of an emergency in the car.
Drivers must hold a learner license in good standing for six months or until the age of 18 when the license expires.
Provisional Driver License
The next step Texas drivers take is acquiring a provisional drivers license.
This is available to drivers aged 16 and 17 who have held a learner license for six months and have completed the driving portion of a drivers ed course.
Upon passing a road test, provisional drivers license holders may not drive a car with more than one passenger under the age of 21 (family members are excluded from this restriction), may not operate a cell phone in the vehicle, and may not drive between midnight and 5:00 am.
There are exceptions for work, school activities, and emergencies.
Teen drivers who complete both stages may, at age 18, apply for a drivers license from the Texas Department of Public Safety, at which time restrictions fall off.
While all ten of these options offer quality solutions for your driver education needs, Aceable stands as the one perhaps best suited for students with attention span issues, test anxieties, or different learning needs.
Our second choice would be EasyTexasDriversEd.com, as it offers ease of access, high levels of convenience, and the lowest course cost of all the options.
These two (or any of the other eight programs) will serve your needs, and all ten options have links above to their sites.
Take a few minutes to click on the one best for you and turn your student into a student driver.