How to Take a Drivers Education Course in Montana
Drivers ed is Montana is an integral part of the Graduated Driver License (GDL) program for young drivers between the ages of 14 and 16. Drivers ed classes are designed to teach teen drivers about safety and responsibility behind the wheel. Through the GDL program, drivers can slowly build their driving experiences and knowledge to become a fully licensed MT driver. To enroll in a course, individuals must be at least 14-and-a-half years of age but no older than 19 years of age.
Drivers ed online is not yet approved by the state. In fact, the only approved program type is a course offered at a public school within the state. Student drivers who wish to receive a driver’s license must attend a state-approved course at a public school district. Drivers education is one of the most important steps in the GDL system. For more information about the approved education courses offered as well as the curriculum, how to enroll and how the program differs from traffic school, continue reading the topics discussed below.
Who needs to take drivers ed in Montana?
In MT, drivers ed is required for any driver younger than 16 years of age who wishes to receive a driver’s license. This teen driving school requirement instills the education and responsibility necessary for young motorists to operate vehicles on public roadways. The program helps drivers become properly trained before they get behind the wheel, lessening the likelihood of crashes or citations.
The state recognizes the importance of teaching young drivers not only traffic rules and laws, but how to avoid distractions and stay safe. Motorists older than 16 years of age are not required to take the education course, but still must comply with the requirements of the GDL process.
Types of Drivers Ed Classes in Montana
The only drivers education classes approved by Montana to satisfy the GDL requirements are courses offered by public school districts. Student drivers between 14 ½ and 16 years of age must be enrolled in school in order to begin the education and licensing process. Drivers ed online programs are not approved by the state, but may be used in conjunction with an approved course to help students study and prepare for the exams.
Likewise, a private driver education course may help students study, but it does not count toward the GDL requirements. Private driving schools are not authorized to satisfy the education requirements.
High school drivers ed is the only program option approved by the state. Students should contact their school districts to enroll in the course. They can add the classes into their schedules and apply the credit to the mandated GDL coursework after completion.
What will you learn in a Montana drivers ed school?
Drivers ed classes in MT review all the important driving topics one must know to pass the test. These topics include Montana traffic laws, rules of the road, operational procedures, road signs and common traffic citations. After finishing the course, student drivers will have the knowledge they need to receive a full license. Note that the drivers ed test does include a road exam. As such, the driving education course requires students to log experience behind the wheel.
Another component of teen driving school is learning about the dangers of distracted driving, including texting while driving and driving while intoxicated. Student drivers learn the consequences of committing these infractions and how to avoid these situations.
Montana Drivers Education Requirements
Drivers ed in Montana is overseen by the Office of Public Instruction, or OPI. This department requires all drivers between the ages of 14 ½ and 16 to complete the following forms of instruction:
- 54 hours of classroom learning
- 6 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction
- At least 25 days of instruction from a state-approved educator
- Study for and receive a Learner License during instruction
While parent taught drivers ed is not approved to satisfy any requirements, parents and legal guardians do play a key role in the success of a young driver. Parent supervision of a teen driver behind the wheel can be used during the GDL process when the teen prepares to take the licensing exam. A parent/guardian must sign a Practice Driving Log to verify the student has completed at least 50 hours of behind-the-wheel practice (including 10 hours of nighttime driving).
Benefits of a Montana Driver Education Course
Drivers education in Montana is invaluable for young drivers, who are just beginning to learn about the state’s road rules and traffic laws. The program lowers the risk of teen traffic violations by equipping young drivers with the knowledge and skills to navigate safely.
Teen drivers ed also helps parents build confidence in their young drivers, as they can be sure that the state has prepared young motorists with the knowledge they need to stay safe behind the wheel.
How to Enroll in a Montana Driver Ed School
Enrolling in a drivers ed course in Montana is easy. Since the only approved programs are courses offered by public schools, student drivers must contact their school district for registration instructions. They may need to provide a form of identification, such as a school ID or identification number.
Montana DMV Drivers Ed Certificates
Upon completing drivers education school, motorists will receive a certificate of completion. Most public school districts automatically forward students’ certificates to the state. If a driver’s school does not forward the certificate, the driver must do it personally. They may need to provide their:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Completion transcript
Drivers Ed for New Montana Residents
Drivers ed is mandatory for new drivers between 14 ½ and 16 years of age. Those who have recently moved to Montana that fall between these ages must complete an approved driver instruction program at their new school. Those who already hold an out-of-state permit may drive in state for 60 days before they must transfer their permit in the state. Those who have out-of-state drivers education experience must determine whether their certificate is transferrable to the state by calling the OPI.
Montana Drivers Ed vs. Traffic School
Drivers ed classes and defensive driving courses are often confused for one another but are two entirely different programs. Defensive driving courses, or traffic school, are typically reserved for license holders who commit traffic infractions.
They may be required to enroll in a defensive driving class if they commit certain violations. Furthermore, drivers may enroll in traffic school to improve their driving skills, remove points from their records and avoid suspension.
Montana Driver Education Fees
Drivers ed prices in MT vary depending on the school district in which a driver lives. Costs vary between $200 and $500. Drivers should call the school they plan to attend to find exact prices.