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Online driver’s ed courses

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Taking driver’s ed online is a convenient alternative to in-person training, which offers the certified proof of completion required to apply for a license. Depending on your age and your state’s requirements, you may need practice driving time under a certified supervisor. Make sure your course fits your needs and you understand state laws or insurance criteria to get the most benefit for completing driver training.

What is online driver’s ed?

Online driver’s ed is an Internet-based course designed for teens or adults who want to qualify for a driver’s license. You’ll watch course videos, complete learning assignments and drive your state’s required number of hours before taking your Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) driving test.

You can take driver training online to qualify for a driver’s license, dismiss a ticket or get a defensive driving discount on your car insurance.

Is online driver’s ed legit?

Yes, you can take online driver’s ed courses with the proper state certification to help you get your license. Legitimate programs will state that they meet Department of Driver Services (DDS) requirements and can show proof if you ask for it. Cross-check the program’s features with your state’s licensing requirements for extra peace of mind.

How much is online driver’s ed?

Online driver’s education courses cost around $20 to $60 for a one-time fee. If you’re required to drive with a certified driver training supervisor, you might pay up to $150 per session, or you can buy a classroom and driving package for $200 to $800.

Can I take an online driver’s ed course for free?

Yes, you can find free online driver’s ed courses to prepare for the learner’s permit written test. This training centers on your state’s driving laws and often includes practice test questions for extra preparation.

However, you’ll have to pay for the training courses required for a standard driver’s license. These courses typically are certified by the Department of Driver Services and offer plenty of test and driving preparation for the licensing DMV test.

How long does driver’s ed take online?

Online driver’s ed courses for new drivers should have the same time requirements as in-class training, typically 30 hours of instruction. Many states also require new or teen drivers to complete six hours of driving with a certified supervising driver.

Some states like Georgia only require learning drivers to practice a certain number of hours with another licensed driver over age 21. If so, learners may need to drive supervised as many as 40 hours before they can take the official DMV test.

For an insurance discount or ticket dismissal, online driving courses take less time to complete, such as six hours.

Can I take driver’s ed courses on my phone?

Yes, the most popular driving courses offer apps so that you can watch the course from your phone. However, your phone won’t offer as good a view as a wider screen, so you could miss important details. Also, you’ll have distractions if you’re watching on the go.

On the other hand, completing the course through an app or phone browser is convenient when you’re waiting for an appointment or have a quick break during your day.

Are driver’s ed requirements different for each state?

Yes, you’ll want to make sure you meet your state’s criteria because each state’s driver’s license requirements are different. For example, California accepts certificates from online driver’s education courses but only after you pass an in-person written driving test.

Yet in Connecticut, you can’t take driver’s ed courses online — so signing up for classroom training is your only option. Contact your DMV for requirements in your state for your situation.

How do I pick the right program?

Search for a program that balances your learning style with your purpose for taking the course. What to look for:

  • Purpose. If you’re looking to save money on insurance, call your car insurer for criteria or a list of qualifying courses. If you’re dismissing a ticket, follow the instructions the police officer or judge gave you for your remedial course option.
  • Ease of access. Pick a program that suits the device and style you prefer, whether that’s an app, website account or one-on-one Zoom training.
  • Cost. You’ll likely notice the cost of different courses first, helping you narrow down your choices based on your budget.
  • Customer service. You can look up a company’s customer reviews and business ratings on sites like the Better Business Bureau or Trustpilot. To get the best idea of customer service, look for sites with dozens or hundreds of reviews and compare sources.
  • Special offers and options. Some driver training websites offer discounted seasonal rates, discounted packages or free roadside service for one month. You might also want a moneyback guarantee in case you’re not happy with your experience.

How driver’s ed affects car insurance rates

You can qualify for 5% to 10% off your car insurance premium with a defensive driving discount for completing driver training. If your car insurance costs $1,000 per year, you could save $50 to $100 each year for three to five years, depending on your insurance company.

Who can benefit the most from driver training:

  • Teens. This group poses the highest car accident risk for companies to insure. Taking a course shows an insurer that the teen’s safe driving habits are top priority.
  • New drivers. New drivers benefit from training for the same reasons as teen drivers.
  • High-risk drivers. Drivers with multiple violations or accident claims can reassure the insurance company that they’re taking safety seriously with a driving course.
  • Drivers who received a ticket. Since tickets can up your insurance premium, you might avoid getting that violation on your record if you take driver training.

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What to watch out for

You can avoid surprises or bumps in the road by keeping these factors in mind:

  • In-person driving training. Not every state requires a certified supervising driver. If not, you might be overpaying if you buy a program with video and driving instruction.
  • Learners permit vs. standard driver’s license. Many states don’t require formal training before you apply for a learner’s permit or restricted license. You might want to hold off on paying for a course until you or your teen are ready for a standard license.
  • Court fees. You still might pay a court fee when presenting your course certificate to dismiss a ticket. The exact amount varies by state.
  • Serious violations. If you’ve received serious violations or a license suspension, you might not qualify for a dismissed ticket or insurance discount.
  • Tax credits. On a positive note, some states give tax credits to parents if their teen driver completes a training course. Look up tax credits on your state’s DMV or DDS website.

What happens after I finish the course?

Once you finish your driver training, you’ll need to get a certificate of completion. Your program might:

  • Email or mail a copy to you. You might get digital proof of your course completion within hours of finishing your training. But a mailed certificate could take a few days or weeks.
  • Send a copy to your state DMV. Many courses communicate directly with your state department, especially if you have a traffic ticket or are applying for a new license.

Bottom line

Fit driver training into your schedule and complete your course at home or on the go, whichever gives you the most convenience. Once you’ve finished your training, see if your insurance offers a discount or shop around for a car insurance company that does.

Frequently asked questions about online driver’s ed

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