Drivers Ed in Idaho
Completion of a Idaho Drivers Ed course is suggested and often required prior to obtaining your learner's permit, and ultimately receiving your Driver's License. Although not approved for the state of Idaho, I Drive Safely is a good course to prepare yourself for your state's licensing exam.
All your friends are doing it. Not because it's the cool thing to do, but because it's the legal thing to do. The state requires anyone younger than 17 to partake of (and pass) an approved driver-training program if he/she wishes to obtain the very coveted Idaho driver's license.
You may be sighing now, frowning at the fact that you have to sign up for yet one more class in your already jam-packed schedule of required courses. But once you get your hands on that shiny little card, you'll see it was all worth it.
This course is perhaps the most important one you will take as a teenager; the skills you learn can be the difference between life and death. Sixteen-year-olds have more car accidents than those in any other age group. And crashes are the leading cause of teen death in this country.
What's more, these accidents are most likely very preventable. So if there is one course in which you really excel, make it this one. Don't just pass by the skin of your teeth. Once you are knee deep in the program, you'll find that it's possible to still have fun and act responsibly.
If you are between 14 1/2 and 21, you can attend a program offered by your public school district (most Idaho school districts offer driver training). You don't actually have to be a public school student to take a training course at a public school.
You also have the option of attending a commercial school approved by the Department of Education. You can download a current list of licensed commercial schools and instructors to help you locate one nearest you.
Choose the program that best suits you and get ready to rack up some classroom hours―30 to be exact. You'll also spend six hours of in-car observation in a driver-training car and six hours behind the wheel with an instructor in your passenger seat.
A public school program will have you training for a period of no less than 42 days when regular school is in session (30 when it's not). A commercial school has a minimum period of only 10 days.
Have you just moved to Idaho? If you are younger than 17 and have already undergone a driver training program in another state, chances are you won't have to take an Idaho class. You will need to provide acceptable documentation of course completion that meets or exceeds Idaho's standards. Whether you received a license in that state does not matter.
But if the program does not match up with Idaho's classroom requirements, you will find yourself in the seat of a state-approved driver training course. If you don't have an out-of-state license, you will have to spend some supervised time behind the wheel before you can obtain a driver's license.
Let's say you are younger than 17 and you have an out-of-state license but you never completed or passed an approved driver training program. In that case, the state requires you to surrender your license and then enroll in driver training.
But it's not as bad as it seems. For one, you can skip the supervised training portion of the course. Or you can wait until your 17th birthday, apply for a driver's license, and skip driver training altogether. The catch: you can only use an out-of-state license for the first 90 days of residency before the state requires you to obtain an Idaho license.
Once you have selected either a public school program or a commercial one, you are on your way―as soon as you get a driver training/supervised instruction permit. All course programs require it. Be sure to confirm with the school that you have been accepted to its program before purchasing a permit.
Permits for public school and commercial programs are not the same, are not interchangeable, and have different nonrefundable fees. Before you head over to the nearest driver's license office, be sure you have all the necessary documents in tow.
See chapter one, pages 1-5 through 1-7, of the Driver's Manual for a list of what you'll need (it's the same list of requirements you will come across when you apply for a license). Note that your certified original birth certificate must bear either your mother's or father's name for liability signer purposes.
After you have jumped through this first set of hoops, you will have a permit that allows you to start the supervised instruction period. You can drive with a driver training instructor for up to a year, as long as he/she has signed your permit upon completion of the driver training program.Local Drivers Education
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