How to Train to Be a Driving Instructor

Driving instructors are needed to teach others to drive, whether teenagers learning to drive their first car or adults learning to drive vehicles such as a school bus or semi. Driving instructors work in the public school system, in private or commercial driving schools, or, where allowed, as independent instructors. To become a driving instructor, follow the steps given below.


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    Have a valid, appropriate driver's license. Before you can train to be a driving instructor, you need to have a valid driver's license to drive the type of vehicle you wish to teach others how to drive, and it must be valid in the state or country in which you want to teach.
    • Your license must not have been recently suspended or revoked. (The exact length of time may vary from state to state, but the most common length of time is 2 years.) You also cannot have had a license suspended or revoked in another state prior to receiving a license in your current state.
    • There may also be restrictions as to how many penalty points can be assessed against your license without it being suspended or revoked. For instance, to enroll in a driving instruction program in Great Britain, you cannot have more than 6 points assessed against your license. You may also be unable to become a driving instructor if you've been convicted of a crime involving a motor vehicle, regardless of when or whether your license has been suspended, revoked, or had points assessed against it.
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    Have experience in the type of driving you wish to teach. In most cases, you'll need at least 2 to 3 years of experience doing the kind of driving in which you wish to become a driving instructor. (If you plan to teach others how to drive tractor-trailer rigs, this may be longer.)
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    Complete basic education requirements. You need to be proficient in the language of the country in which you will be teaching to be able to read and teach others to read road signs and to communicate with law enforcement personnel when necessary. This usually means at least the equivalent of a high school education.
    • If you plan to teach driver education in a public school setting, you'll need a college degree in education.
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    Attend an approved driving instructor training program. To teach others how to drive, you must attend and graduate from an accredited driver instructor program. A driver instructor program consists of classroom instruction in both traffic laws and how to teach them to others, observing driving lessons given to others by certified instructors, and teaching others how to drive while being observed by a certified instructor.
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    Get your driving instruction license. Once you graduate, you need to apply with the state or country in which you plan to be a driving instructor for your license. You may also be required to submit to a physical examination and, in states or countries that permit driving instructors to teach independent of a school, an examination of the vehicle in which you plan to instruct others.
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    Get certified as a driving instructor. Certification is not available or required for all types of driving instruction but can be helpful as a networking tool when you're looking for work as a driving instructor. One certification organization is the Commercial Vehicle Training Association, which represents truck driver training schools and instructors.


  • To be successful as a driving instructor, you should be someone who enjoys working with people and has the patience to deal with their mistakes. If you work as an independent driving instructor, you also need to have the skills to manage and market your business.

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