Every Child a Graduate. Every Graduate Prepared.

ALSDE: Driver Education - FAQs

Question:   Do students need a learner's license in order to take Driver Education and receive behind-the-wheel instruction?

Answer:   No learner’s license is required for students who are: enrolled in a state approved driver education program, who are driving pursuant to an instructional program, and accompanied by a certified driver education instructor. Students enrolled in a driver education course without a valid learner’s license should meet minimum health standards to operate a motor vehicle as outlined on the application of an Alabama driver license.

Question:   How can an individual become a certified driver education instructor?

Answer:   Since 1998, the SDE has offered preliminary certification courses in driver education. The prerequisite for this class is to already hold a valid Alabama Professional Educator certificate in any field. The course consists of two, 40-hour classes of basic and advanced driver education. Once an individual successfully completes these courses and has a teaching position in driver education, the local school system’s superintendent can request preliminary certification though the SDE’s Teacher Certification Section. After the individual has satisfactorily taught driver education for two years in the same school system, the local school system’s superintendent can request professional certification for that individual. A professional certificate, with a G-3 endorsement, would then be issued. The course is offered through Jacksonville State University who awards six undergraduate or graduate credit hours for the courses. The University of Montevallo also offers certification in Driver and Traffic Safety Education.

Question:   Is Driver Education offered at every high school?

Answer:   Driver education is an elective class at high schools in Alabama. Schools that do not have an adequate number of students registering for driver education do not offer the course. Currently 98 percent of all school systems have driver education as a part of their high school curriculum.

Question:   What is the 80/20 match program offered by SDE for driver education cars?

Answer:   This is a program designed to aid school systems in providing vehicles for their driver education classes. In this program local school systems can apply for a grant. Upon approval they can then purchase a vehicle from the Alabama Department of Transportations’ motor pool. Once purchased the local school system requests reimbursement for 80 percent of the total cost of the vehicle, and the SDE will then reimburse the local school system.

Question:   What is the Graduated Drivers License Law?

Answer:   The Graduated Drivers License (GDL) law, Act No. 2002-408, became effective October 1, 2002. The law provides for certain restrictions on the issuance of drivers’ licenses for persons under 18 years of age; to provide for restrictions on the operation of motor vehicles under certain conditions; to provide for the suspension of the driver’s license of a person under age 18 who is convicted of certain serious traffic offenses or multiple traffic offenses. For a complete copy of the GDL please go the SDE Web site at www.alsde.edu, then to sections, on the pop-out menu go to pupil transportation and driver education, then click on publications.

Question:   What is the Third-Party Testing program and how can a driver education instructor become certified for this program?

Answer:   The Third-Party Testing program is in response to Act No. 2000-241 which allows driver education instructors to be a designated third-party testing agent of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to administer the driving portion of the licensing exam. The SDE offers an eight-hour certification class that is taught at various sites throughout the state. Through this program, certified driver education instructors can become authorized to administer the driver license skills test. SDE will continually monitor the Third-Party programs for accuracy and reliability.