|(a) To be approved under this subchapter, a driver
education plan shall include one or more of the following course programs.
(1) Core program. This program shall consist of at
least 32 hours of classroom instruction; seven hours of behind-the-wheel
instruction in the presence of a certified instructor; seven hours
of in-car observation in the presence of a certified instructor; and
30 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction, including at least 10 hours
of instruction that takes place at night, verified by a parent or
guardian in the presence of an adult who meets the requirements of
Texas Transportation Code, §521.222(d)(2).
(2) In-car only program. This program shall consist
of at least seven hours of behind-the-wheel instruction in the presence
of a certified instructor; seven hours of in-car observation in the
presence of a certified instructor; and 30 hours of behind-the-wheel
instruction, including at least 10 hours of instruction that takes
place at night, verified by a parent or guardian in the presence of
an adult who meets the requirements of Texas Transportation Code, §521.222(d)(2).
(3) Classroom only program. This program shall consist
of at least 32 hours of classroom instruction.
(b) The minimum requirements of the driver education
program must be met regardless of how the course is scheduled. The
following applies to all minor and adult driver education programs.
(1) A learner portion of a DE-964 shall be issued to
a student to obtain a learner's license upon completion of Module
One of the POI-DE. A driver license portion of the DE-964 shall be
given when all in-car laboratory and classroom instruction has been
completed by the student.
(2) In-car laboratory lessons may be given only after
the student has obtained a learner's license.
(3) Instruction may be scheduled any day of the week,
during regular school hours, before or after school, and during the
(4) Instruction shall not be scheduled before 5:00
a.m. or after 11:00 p.m.
(5) The driver education classroom phase must have
uniform beginning and ending dates. Students shall proceed in a uniform
sequence. Students shall be enrolled and in class before the seventh
hour of classroom instruction in a 32-hour program and the 12th hour
of classroom instruction in 56-hour or semester-length programs.
(6) Self-study assignments occurring during regularly
scheduled class periods shall not exceed 25 percent of the course
and shall be presented to the entire class simultaneously.
(7) The driver education course shall be completed
within the timelines established by the superintendent, college or
university chief school official, or ESC director. This shall not
circumvent attendance or progress. Variances to the established timelines
shall be determined by the superintendent, college or university chief
school official, or ESC director and must be agreed to by the parent
or legal guardian.
(8) Public Schools are allowed five minutes of break
within each instructional hour in all phases of instruction. A break
is an interruption in a course of instruction occurring after the
lesson introduction and before the lesson summation. It is recommended
that the five minutes of break be provided outside the time devoted
to behind-the-wheel instruction so students receive a total of seven
hours of instruction.
(9) A student shall not receive credit for more than
four hours of driver education training at a public school in one
calendar day no matter what combination of training is provided, excluding
makeup. Further, for each calendar day, a student shall be limited
to a maximum of:
(A) two hours of classroom instruction;
(B) four hours of observation time;
(C) two hours of multicar range driving;
(D) three hours of simulation instruction; and
(E) one hour of behind-the-wheel instruction.
(10) Driver education training verified by the parent
is limited to one hour per day.
(c) Course content, minimum instruction requirements,
and administrative guidelines for each phase of driver education classroom
instruction, in-car training (behind-the-wheel and observation), simulation,
and multicar range shall include the instructional objectives established
by the department, as specified in this subsection and the POI-DE,
and meet the requirements of this subchapter. Sample instructional
modules may be obtained from the department. Schools may use sample
instructional modules developed by the department or develop their
own instructional modules based on the approved instructional objectives.
The instructional objectives are organized into the modules outlined
in this subsection and include objectives for classroom and in-car
training (behind-the-wheel and observation), simulation lessons, parental
involvement activities, and evaluation techniques. In addition, the
instructional objectives that must be provided to every student enrolled
in a minor and adult driver education course include information relating
to litter prevention; anatomical gifts; safely operating a vehicle
near oversize or overweight vehicles; distractions, including the
use of a wireless communication device that includes texting; motorcycle
awareness; alcohol awareness and the effect of alcohol on the effective
operation of a motor vehicle; and recreational water safety. A student
may apply to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) for a learner's
license after completing six hours of instruction as specified in
Module One of the POI-DE.
(d) A public school may use multimedia systems, simulators,
and multicar driving ranges for instruction in a driver education
(e) Each simulator, including the instructional programs,
and each plan for a multicar driving range must meet state specifications
developed by the department. Simulators are electromechanical equipment
that provides for teacher evaluation of perceptual, judgmental, and
decision-making performance of individuals and groups. With simulation,
group learning experiences permit students to operate vehicular controls
in response to audiovisual depiction of traffic environments and driving
emergencies. The specifications are available from the department.
(f) A minimum of four periods of at least 55 minutes
per hour of instruction in a simulator may be substituted for one
hour of behind-the-wheel and one hour observation instruction. A minimum
of two periods of at least 55 minutes per hour of multicar driving
range instruction may be substituted for one hour of behind-the-wheel
and one hour observation instruction relating to elementary or city
driving lessons. However, a minimum of four hours must be devoted
to behind-the-wheel instruction and a minimum of four hours must be
devoted to observation instruction.
(g) A school may not permit more than 36 students per
driver education class, excluding makeup students.
(h) All behind-the-wheel lessons shall consist of actual
driving instruction. Observation of the instructor, mechanical demonstrations,
etc., shall not be counted for behind-the-wheel instruction. The instructor
shall be in the vehicle with the student the entire time behind-the-wheel
instruction is provided.
(i) Minor and adult driver education programs shall
include the following components.
(1) Driver education instruction is limited to eligible
students between the ages of 14-18 years of age, who are at least
14 years of age when the driver education classroom phase begins and
who will be 15 years of age or older when the behind-the-wheel instruction
begins. Students officially enrolled in school who are 18-21 years
of age may attend a minor and adult driver education program.
(2) Motion picture films, slides, videos, tape recordings,
and other media that present concepts outlined in the instructional
objectives may be used as part of the required instructional hours
of the classroom instruction. Units scheduled to be instructed may
also be conducted by guest speakers as part of the required hours
of instruction. Together, these shall not exceed 640 minutes of the
total classroom phase.
(3) Each classroom student shall be provided a driver
education textbook or driver education instructional materials approved
by the department.
(4) A copy of the current edition of the "Texas Driver
Handbook" published by DPS shall be furnished to each student enrolled
in the classroom phase of the driver education course.
(5) No public school should permit a ratio of less
than two, or more than four, students per instructor for behind-the-wheel
instruction, except behind-the-wheel instruction may be provided for
only one student when it is not practical to instruct more than one
student, for makeup lessons, or if a hardship would result if scheduled
instruction is not provided. In each case when only one student is
(A) the school shall obtain a waiver signed and dated
by the parent or legal guardian of the student and the chief school
official stating that the parent or legal guardian understands that
the student may be provided behind-the-wheel instruction on a one-on-one
basis with only the instructor and student present in the vehicle
(B) the waiver may be provided for any number of lessons;
however, the waiver shall specify the exact number of lessons for
which the parent is providing the waiver; and
(C) the waiver shall be signed before the first lesson
in which the parent is granting permission for the student to receive
(j) Colleges and universities that offer driver education
to adults shall submit and receive written approval for the course
from the department prior to implementation of the program. The request
for approval must include a syllabus, list of instructors, samples
of instructional records that will be used with the course, and information
necessary for approval of the program.
|Source Note: The provisions of this §84.600 adopted to be effective April 1, 2017, 42 TexReg 1400; amended to be effective March 15, 2018, 43 TexReg 1431; amended to be effective July 1, 2018, 43 TexReg 3875; amended to be effective March 15, 2020, 45 TexReg 1698; amended to be effective September 1, 2020, 45 TexReg 6069; amended to be effective September 1, 2021, 46 TexReg 5394