Teen drivers between the ages 16 and 19 have the highest crash and traffic violation rates out of any other driving groups.
To counter this grim statistic, many states have implemented stricter driver license requirements, and one of those requirements mandates completion of a driver training course. Teens usually take this behind-the-wheel course after passing a classroom driver's education course.
Currently all but the following states require some manner of driving lessons (also known as drivers ed):
UPDATE: Formerly-listed states (Arizona. Washington, Virginia, Wyoming) have been removed and now require driver's education.
Each state regulates differently. In most situations, drivers training is only required for teen drivers. Utah, for example, requires all teen drivers to take driving lessons, while North Dakota limits driving school to operators younger than 16, and New York younger than 18. One state, Louisiana, has no age limits, mandating driving lessons for all new drivers, regardless of age.
Finding State-Approved Drivers Training Courses
Before jumping behind the wheel with the first driving school you see advertised, confirm that it's state-approved with your DMV. Otherwise, rejection will be swift. Your DMV office will not honor a course completion certificate from a non-sanctioned driver training program. This means you will not receive credit, delaying your pursuit of a drivers license.
Upon passing an approved driver training course, you'll be issued a course completion certificate. Your presiding DMV office requires this before issuing credit. Some driving schools may directly forward it to the DMV. Others place the responsibility on you to deliver the certificate. To avoid delivery confusion and possible subsequent delays, confirm with your course instructor on how the certificate will be transferred.
States That Don't Require Driver Training
Even if your state does not mandate driver training school, strongly consider enrolling in a program. The behind-the-wheel skills learned in class will help you pass your drivers license road test and, ultimately, make you a safe and defensive driver.