Who is Eligible to Take Parent Taught Drivers Ed?

Eligibility for parent taught drivers ed in Texas hinges on specific criteria for both aspiring drivers and parent instructors. Students between the ages of 14 and 17 must prove Texas residency and academic progress, while instructors need a valid Texas driver’s license and a clean legal and driving record. Our guide delves into “who is eligible to take parent taught drivers ed” and what’s required to navigate this process smoothly.

Key Takeaways

  • The Texas Parent Taught Drivers Ed (PTDE) program mandates specific eligibility criteria for student participants and parent instructors, including age limits, residency, academic progress, and a clean driving record.
  • Parent instructors must have a valid Texas Class A, B, C, or CDL driver license held for at least three years, with no driving-related criminal convictions in the past seven years, and a clean driving record in the past three years.
  • The PTDE program allows for an individualized driving education experience with cost savings and flexible scheduling, and accommodates a changing of instructors if needed, as well as includes foster parents and step-grandparents as eligible instructors.

Understanding Parent Taught Drivers Ed Eligibility

Navigating the path to a driver license for your teen can be as thrilling as it is daunting. With the Texas Parent Taught Drivers Ed program, the journey becomes a shared adventure between parent and child. Before you start the engine, familiarize yourself with the eligibility requirements that lay the groundwork for this educational journey. The program sets specific criteria for both the student and the parent instructor to ensure a safe and legal learning experience.

Families pondering this option should bear in mind that every student-instructor pairing necessitates a distinct application. This means if you have multiple teen drivers in the household, each will need a tailored approach to meet the program’s stipulations. Understanding these requirements is the first step towards claiming your role in your teen’s journey to earning their driver license.

Student Eligibility Criteria

The parent-taught driver’s ed journey starts with your teen driver, who needs to reach specific milestones. The first checkpoint is age: students must be between the ages of 14 and 17 to qualify for this learner license program. Additionally, they must be bona fide Texas residents, setting the stage for a learner permit under the Lone Star sky.

However, the road to eligibility doesn’t end there. If your teen hasn’t yet donned a cap and gown for high school graduation, they’ll need to prove they are making satisfactory academic progress. This is demonstrated through a verification of enrollment form, a green light signaling they’re on track with their studies. Moreover, all legal documents, including the application form, must reflect the student’s legal name exactly as it appears on their birth certificate, ensuring that the student’s identity is clear and consistent across the board.

Instructor Qualifications

As the student prepares for the adventure, the parent instructor also has to fulfill certain eligibility conditions. As a prospective instructor, you must possess a current and valid Texas Class A, B, C, or CDL driver’s license, which you’ve held for at least three years. This license cannot be a learner or provisional license, as the experience behind the wheel is crucial for teaching.

Your driving record comes under the microscope too. An eligible instructor must have a track record free from fault in a certain number of accidents and a clean slate of moving violations within the past three years. Furthermore, if your driving privileges have been compromised due to suspensions, revocations, or forfeitures for traffic-related violations, or if you’ve accumulated six or more points on your Texas driver license in the past three years, you’ll find yourself disqualified from the instructor’s seat. Additionally, convictions or probated sentences for driving while intoxicated or criminally negligent homicide within the past seven years will also steer you away from eligibility.

The Texas Parent-Taught Driver Education Program

The Texas Parent-Taught Driver Education (PTDE) program, also known as the parent taught program, offers a unique approach to driver education. By selecting a state-approved curriculum with a parent-taught endorsement, you’re setting up a personalized driving school for your teen. This program offers:

  • The comfort of home
  • The gravity of driver education
  • Convenience
  • A learning environment that best suits your family’s needs and schedule

The perks of the PTDE program include:

  • The ability for eligible teens to apply for their learner’s permit, or provisional driver license, immediately after completing the first course module, with the added convenience of taking the permit exam online.
  • This flexibility is a game-changer for busy families, allowing you to weave in driving lessons at times and locations that work best for you.
  • Cost savings is another significant advantage, as the program eliminates the fees associated with traditional driving schools.

However, what truly sets the PTDE program apart is the tailored learning experience it offers. Unlike the structured environments of professional driving schools, the PTDE empowers the parent to adapt the curriculum to the teen’s learning style and pace. This one-on-one instruction can result in a more engaging and effective education, as you’re not only teaching driving skills but also imparting wisdom and values that come from your personal experience.

Instructor Authorization Process

Before you start teaching via the PTDE, you’ll have to go through the instructor authorization process. It starts with an eligibility quiz designed to assess your qualifications, touching on aspects such as your relationship with the student, driving, and criminal history. This process ensures that the instructor is well-equipped to guide the student both in terms of knowledge and driving ethics.

The instructor’s eligibility is not just about ticking the right boxes; it’s about ensuring public safety. As such, individuals with a state driver license history of criminally negligent homicide or DWI convictions within the past seven years, or those with traffic violation-related suspensions in the past three years, will find the authorization door closed. A complete driver history called check is essential to maintain these standards at the driver license office, ensuring only those with a valid driver license can become instructors.

Once you’ve cleared these hurdles, a non-refundable $20 fee is required to apply for instructor authorization from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). Upon applying, an email link will arrive with further information, and you’ll be able to download the PTDE program guide to kickstart your teaching journey.

Changing Instructors

Life is full of surprises, and there may be times when a change of instructor within the PTDE program becomes necessary. Should this occur, the process is straightforward but requires attention to detail. An email must be sent to TDLR Customer Service with specific information about both the student and the new instructor, as well as how you’d like to receive the updated PTDE Program Guide Packet.

The new instructor, whether a family member or a designated individual, must fulfill the same qualifications as the original parent instructor. This includes maintaining a good driving record and not being charged with disqualifying criminal offenses. The information about the new instructor must be accurately provided on the application form to ensure a smooth transition.

One comforting aspect is the absence of fees for changing instructors, as TDLR does not require any additional charges for this update. However, if any issues arise, such as an incorrect new instructor’s details or problems with the updated packet, contacting the TDLR is the best course of action to resolve them.

Special Circumstances: Foster Parents and Step-Grandparents

The PTDE program appreciates the diverse make-up of modern families and extends eligibility to include foster parents and step-grandparents. This inclusivity ensures that even in non-traditional family settings, the opportunity to provide a comprehensive driver education remains viable.

Foster parents, given their crucial role in a child’s life, are afforded the ability to become authorized instructors, just as biological parents are. Similarly, step-grandparents can step up to the plate, becoming authorized to conduct the driver education course within the PTDE program. This flexibility allows for a broader range of family members, including a foster parent, to be involved in the teen’s journey to becoming a responsible driver.


The Texas Parent-Taught Driver Education Program stands as a beacon of flexibility, cost efficiency, and personalized learning in the landscape of teen driving education. From understanding the eligibility requirements to navigating the instructor authorization process, and even accommodating special family circumstances, every aspect of the program is designed with the family in mind. Embrace the opportunity to play a pivotal role in your teen’s driving education, and embark on a journey that goes beyond the road, fostering responsibility, confidence, and a lifelong bond.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can my parents teach me to drive in Texas?

Yes, in Texas, parents and legal guardians are allowed to teach their teenager how to drive. They can also designate an alternate instructor who meets the same eligibility requirements.

Can your parents teach you to drive instead of an instructor?

Yes, your parents can teach you to drive through a parent-taught driver’s education program, as long as they meet the necessary requirements. This can be a convenient and cost-effective alternative to a traditional driving school.

What are the requirements for parent taught driver ed in Texas?

In Texas, the requirements for parent-taught driver education vary based on the age of the student and the qualifications of the parent instructor. It is important to review the specific requirements outlined by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation to ensure compliance.

What are the age requirements for students in the Texas Parent-Taught Driver Education Program?

To be eligible for the Texas Parent-Taught Driver Education Program, students must be between 14 to 17 years old.

Texas Teen Drivers Ed: All you need to know for 2024

Who is eligible to take Texas Teen Drivers Education? The minimum age to begin driver’s ed in Texas is 14,

More Resources For Your Parent Taught Drivers Ed Journey

Parent Taught Drivers Ed can seem overwhelming. That's why we have the resources you need, every step of the way.


Read our Step-by-Step Guide to Parent Taught Drivers Ed

Get the guide


How to check you're eligible to be a parent instructor

Read the blog post


Driving Lesson Planner for Teens

Learn more

Get Started With Texas Parent Taught Drivers Ed

Satisfaction Guarantee

We want to make sure you are happy with your purchase. You are eligible for a full refund if your purchase was within the last 30 days and you haven’t earned any certificates.