Common Questions We Get
Below are a number of questions and answers that may help you better understand this process:
How many hours of instruction do students need to get their license?
Student drivers under the age of 18 are required to have 6 hours of training with a licensed driving instructor before they can take their license exam. In addition, they are required to have a minimum of 50 hours of supervised driving experience with a licensed California driver 25 or older; at least ten hours at night. The DMV encourages parents and students to keep a log of practice time behind the wheel.
How many driving lessons does a student under 18 need to take to complete the program?
The program consists of (4) 1.5 hour lessons taken over a six month period of time. Extra lessons can be taken if desired for an additional cost.
What is the cost for driver training?
We have a variety of training options and packages to fit your goal and budget. Please see our Driving Lessons page for more information.
Is a student driver who is already 16 or 17 still required to have an instruction permit for six months?
Yes. All students under 18 must have a valid permit for a minimum of six months before getting their license. The six months begins from the day that they obtain their permit, not from the day they take their first driving lesson. At 18 years of age, a driver license applicant must have a permit but is not required to hold it for a minimum period of time.
Do we need insurance for the student to take driving lessons?
No. We have insurance that covers the student driver when he/she is taking instruction in our vehicles.
Should I take my student driver out on public roads to practice before their first driving lesson?
We discourage parents from taking their children out driving on public roads before they have had their first lesson with the instructor. The permit is not yet valid and students may develop bad habits from this early training. On the first lesson, the driving instructor will sign the student’s permit which will make it legal for the student driver to begin practicing with a licensed California driver 25 or older.
Can the driving lessons be taken in one week, one month etc.?
Yes. However, we have found that spreading the lessons over six months is more effective than taking all the lessons over a shorter period of time.
Can one or all of the lessons be given in my own vehicle?
No. Because of DMV regulations requiring an instructor brake pedal and also insurance requirements, all driver training lessons must be conducted in our vehicles.
Is there only one student at a time in the car during driving lessons?
Yes. We provide one on one instruction for each lesson. There are instances however where one student at the beginning of his/her lesson will drive the previous student home. We do this so that the lessons can be scheduled back to back. In this case, the lessons will overlap 15 minutes or less. We are careful to make sure that each student gets their full 90 minutes of instruction.
Is a student driver required to drive another student home on his or her first lesson?
No. On many first lessons we suggest that we pick up your student driver about 15 minutes early so that the first student can take himself/herself home. Then your student driver’s lesson would begin at the other student’s home.
Do we need to insure our student driver when they have their permit and are driving our vehicles?
This depends on your insurance company. Some companies will only add a driver to your policy if they have their license. Others will add a student driver with a permit. Contact your insurance agent for information on their company specific policies.
Can a student driver practice driving with siblings or friends in the car?
Yes. The DMV requires that a student driver be accompanied by a licensed California driver 25 or older who is in a position to give instruction and sit close enough to be able to take control of the vehicle at any time. There is no restriction regarding younger passengers as long as this requirement is met. Many times however an inexperienced driver will do better without the distraction of having friends or siblings in the back seat during the first several driving sessions with a parent.
What are the restrictions on newly licensed 16 and 17 year olds?
Effective January 1, 2006, newly licensed drivers under 18 must be accompanied and supervised by a licensed parent, guardian, other licensed driver 25 years of age or older, or a licensed or certified driving instructor when they:
a) Transport passengers under 20 years of age at any time for the first twelve months.
b) Drive between 11 PM and 5 AM for the first twelve months. Effective July 1, 2008, drivers under the age of 18 may not use any type of wireless device such as a telephone (including “hands-free”), pager, laptop, or any other electronic communication or mobile services device to speak or text, while driving.
EXCEPTION: A cell phone may be used in an emergency situation to call police, fire or medical authorities.