How to Take a Drivers Education Course in Alabama
In the state of Alabama drivers ed is not required. However, there are numerous benefits for drivers who choose to enroll in drivers education school or take a course. First-time drivers who do not yet know how to operate a vehicle and have little or no on-the-road experience will greatly benefit from drivers education. The concepts students learn in these courses are instrumental in setting them up for success as they begin their driving experience.
Not all teens are able to participate in parent-taught drivers ed, so school-run courses are particularly helpful for those who still wish to have formal training. For many teens, these courses may be the best way to learn the rules of the road and reinforce safe driving habits, as well as prepare for the state driver’s license test.
Who needs to take drivers ed in Alabama?
Alabama drivers education is not mandatory. However, drivers younger than 18 years of age need to get their learners permits and either enroll in a drivers education course or complete 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training. The relevant state form must be filled out and submitted to prove that the driver completed the necessary hours. However, these hours do not need to be completed in a formal drivers education course.
Types of Drivers Ed Classes in Alabama
Some teens learn to drive through parent-taught drivers education. However, some parents do not feel comfortable or confident in their ability to teach their children, or they simply may not have the time or inclination. Fortunately, there are other options available. For instance, many high schools offer drivers education classes in Alabama, and there are also private companies and instructors as well.
Most high school drivers education classes are offered as elective courses for a single semester. Students can expect to spend time in the classroom as well as behind the wheel, practicing their driving skills. Courses are typically available for 10th-grade students who are old enough to be eligible for their learners permits.
Currently, Alabama does not recognize drivers ed online classes, but students are able to use licensed private companies and instructors that provide in-person training. Independent companies are an excellent option for students whose schools do not offer a course and for adults who wish to learn how to drive. Most independent driving schools offer adult drivers education.
What will you learn in an Alabama drivers ed school?
Alabama drivers ed classes cover:
- Drivers license requirements.
- State traffic laws and road rules.
- How to safely operate a motor vehicle.
- Defensive driving skills.
- Handling emergencies and various road conditions.
- Driver responsibilities.
Alabama Drivers Education Requirements
The state requires 30 hours of behind-the-wheel experience for drivers younger than 18. These hours do not have to be spent in formal Alabama drivers ed classes. Classes are optional, but students can enroll as soon as they turn 15. Drivers education in AL is a trustworthy and reliable way to get the necessary hours and experience.
For adult drivers (age 18 or older) and emancipated minors, the Alabama graduated driver’s license (GDL) program, the 30 hours of behind-the-wheel experience may not be required. However, adult drivers education can still be highly beneficial.
Benefits of an Alabama Driver Education Course
Driver education is the best way to prepare students to get their learners permit and driver’s licenses. Most courses cover in-classroom and behind-the-wheel training. Licensed instructors are professionals who can lend their expertise and experience to help guide new drivers. An Alabama drivers education course is a safe way to gain knowledge as well as practice and build new skills. For first-time drivers, there is a lot to learn, and drivers ed is a tried and true way to gain that knowledge.
How to Enroll in an Alabama Driver Ed School
If you prefer to enroll in an off-campus class or do not have the option of enrolling at your school, a simple online search for drivers ed classes near you should provide plenty of licensed, independent options. Check reviews from customers, as well as the cost of the course. For most driving schools, you only need to place a phone call, leave your information and secure a date for the first class. If you attend a school that offers drivers education, ask your guidance counselor or teachers about when and how to enroll in the course.
Enrolling in online drivers ed only takes a few minutes. However, because drivers ed online classes are not recognized in the GDL program, if you decide to pursue online courses, be aware that you will still need to meet the 30-hour behind-the-wheel training.
Alabama DMV Drivers Ed Certificates
When you complete Alabama drivers ed classes, you will likely receive a certificate. Each driving school has different rules, expectations and procedures. For instance, you may need to complete a set number of hours or pass an exit exam before receiving a certificate. Ask ahead of time what you can expect.
Drivers Ed for New Alabama Residents
If you have recently moved to Alabama, you might be curious about how the state rules apply to you. Because drivers education in the state is optional, you will not need to worry about whether or not your past course experience is applicable. Simply complete the 30-hour experience form and bring it with you when you go to get your license. If you would like to review the state driving laws because you are a new resident, you may enroll in a driver’s education course or in traffic school, which is discussed below.
Alabama Drivers Ed vs. Traffic School
The differences between drivers ed and traffic school are often misunderstood. Many people confuse the two terms and use them interchangeably. Driving school or drivers education is for new drivers to learn safety procedures, how to drive, road rules and driver responsibilities. In contrast, traffic school is for individuals who already have driving experience. Often, these drivers take traffic school courses after they are ticketed for a traffic offense since traffic school often helps these drivers avoid getting points on their records.
Alabama Driver Education Fees
AL drivers ed prices vary, depending on the driving school you choose to complete your course through. Licensed driving schools may offer different options, such as entire courses or even a set number of hours with a driving instructor. In general, most Alabama drivers ed classes cost $300 to $600 and last approximately eight weeks.
Alabama Driver Education Course Forms
Note: DMV forms change regularly. The forms provided above are current based on the date of writing.
- Motor Vehicles from revenue.alabama.gov
- Alabama Drivers Ed from iDriveSafely.com