Overview of Driver Education in Idaho (If you are 17 or over you can still take a regular driver education course in Idaho)
In Idaho all teens 14.5 - 16 years old are required to take driver education to get their license. [Ultra Safe requires students to be at least 15] The average driver training program is 3 to 4 weeks (ours is 2-3 weeks). There are 2 parts to driver education, a driving portion and classroom portion. Some schools have a classroom or online option, and some schools only use an online course. The driving portion varies among schools. Usually driving schools will do 3 to 12 drives (4 drives or less is inadequate and unsafe). Whether they do 3 or 12 drives - students must drive a minimum of 6 hours. [Students get 7+ hours with Ultra Safe] Driving start times and drive locations vary greatly among the driving schools. Many driving schools pick up students at their junior high or high school. This is not an efficient way to teach as it may take 10 to 15 minutes just to exit the school parking lot. This is a waste of driving time.
Once you decide on a good time frame to take driver training you will need to shop around to see which driving school sounds good. Once you choose a driving school, follow their instructions on how to sign up. If you must contact a driving school the best way is email or text messages with very precise questions. Usually most of the information you'll need is on their website. Our advice is just simply follow the instructions or step-by-step procedures to signing up. About 90% of the questions driving schools receive are actually not relevant, such as "what do we do after drivers training?". Most driving schools want you to pay first and then schedule the drives. This can lead to a driving schedule that is too spread out. With public driver education students usually finish all their drives in 4 to 5 weeks. But with many private driving schools the schedule they create for you could be too spread out or lead to more cancellations. I've talked to many students who have used other private driving schools and for most of them 4 weeks was the minimum time for completing the driving portion of the program. At Ultra Safe you will create your own schedule first and then pay. This will lead to completing everything faster with lesson chance of cancellations. It may take a little longer to create your own schedule but is well worth it - your student will finish driver training quicker and there will be less chance of you cancelling a driving because your the one that scheduled it.
The next step is to go to the DMV. At the DMV you'll apply for a permit. You will need to take some required documents as well as know where the permit needs to be sent. The permit will not be mailed to you - it will be mailed to either a private driving school that you choose or your students school district that uses public driver education. It is best to choose a driving school first before going to the DMV so you can tell the DMV where to send the permit. It is okay to go to the DMV first without knowing for sure which driving school you will go with - if you do, it is best to tell them to send the permit to your student's regular public, private, or charter school. It is actually not a big deal where the permit will be sent because driving schools and school districts are constantly mailing permits back and forth to each other. [One of the documents you'll need to show the DMV is the VOC - Verification of Compliance to prove you student is enrolled in school. A school ID will not work. If you homeschool simply tell them your student is homeschooled.]
You are ready to start driver training after you have signed up with a school and gone to the DMV.
"What if I miss scheduling and my student can't take driver training for a few months?" - This is great. At Ultra Safe we believe that the older the student - the more they'll take driving seriously and be able to comprehend the content and awesome responsibility of driving. It is not a good idea to get a 14 1/2 year old behind-the-wheel simply to relieve the parents of "chauffeuring" their kids around. While that is a nice thought - it is an idea that has backfired for many parents when their kids get into accidents causing vehicle damage and or physical injury to the child (as well as bad financial, emotional, and legal consequences).