How Can I Prepare for the Driver's Ed Test?
Driver's education, or driver's ed for short, prepares aspiring drivers for the road test. If you complete driver's ed, you can prepare for the written test, get experience behind the wheel and even pay lower insurance rates after you get your license. If you'd like to learn more about preparing for driver's ed and getting your license, read on.
What Do I Need to Start Driver's Ed?
In most states, you'll need to wait until you reach the age of 15 and a half before taking a driver's ed course. If under 18, you'll need to obtain a learner's permit before you can begin instruction. Learner's permits are available through your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) after you've passed a written test. You'll also need to successfully pass vision and hearing tests. Finally, if you're younger than 18 years old, you'll need written permission from your parent or legal guardian to begin driver's ed instruction.
|Initial Requirements||Pass a vision and hearing test, and, if under 18, obtain a learner's permit|
|Program Benefits||Supervised driving practice, lower insurance rates|
|Learner's Permit Restrictions||Driving time and area limits vary by state|
|License Restrictions||Often exist for drivers under 18 years old and vary by state|
|Median Salary (2018)||$25,980 (for taxi drivers and chauffeurs)*|
|Job Outlook (2018-28)||20% growth (for all taxi drivers and chauffeurs)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
How Do I Benefit from Completing a Course?
Some states recommend that you complete a certain amount of driving hours under the supervision of a licensed driver. For example, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles recommends that you practice for at least 50 hours, including 15 hours during the night and ten hours in moderate or heavy traffic (www.nydmv.state.ny.us). This practice can be obtained through a driver's ed course, and it will help you become comfortable with driving while developing the safe driving habits required to pass a DMV road test.
Although driver's ed isn't mandatory, completing a driver's ed course can lead to lower insurance rates. Inexperienced drivers typically pay higher auto insurance rates than those who've had their license for a few years.
You should also study your state DMV's driving manual after you obtain a learner's permit. This manual will cover the material you'll need to know in order to pass your state DMV's written test to obtain a driver's license. In a driver's ed program, you can expect to receive classroom instruction that covers the same material.
Are There Any Restrictions on a Learner's Permit?
A learner's permit is required if you want to learn how to drive before your 18th birthday. In all states, you'll only be allowed to operate a motor vehicle with a permit if you're accompanied by a driving instructor or a licensed driver over the age of 21. You'll also be restricted from driving during certain hours of the night with just a permit.
Some states, such as New York, also limit where you can practice driving. For example, it's illegal to practice driving with a permit in a DMV road testing area, certain tunnels and tunnels or certain parkways in Westchester County. You'll also need to comply with the restrictions on learner's permits in another state should you practice driving there.
What Should I Know About After I Get a License?
If you receive your driver's license before your 18th birthday, your state may impose certain restrictions. For example, younger drivers in Connecticut are restricted from driving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. You might also be restricted from driving a vehicle with more than one passenger for the first six months you hold a driver's license.
Some states automatically suspend the license of a 16- or 17-year-old driver who fails to comply with these or similar restrictions. For example, the state of Florida will restrict the licenses of drivers younger than 18 years old who get six points or more against their licenses within a year. Florida also suspends driver's licenses for truancy. In Connecticut, a 16- or 17-year old driver found guilty of speeding, talking on a cell phone while driving or exceeding a new driver restriction will have his or her license suspended for a month on the first offense.